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Inclusiveness First: The Norwood Park Project Moves Forward | Local News



FAIRMONT – Norwood Park’s transformation on the East Side will take a big step forward this week.

On Tuesday, the Town of Fairmont will hold a public hearing at the Public Safety Building from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to gather community ideas and feedback on the Norwood Park project. Current plans call for the park to be transformed into an inclusive park, allowing anyone of all ages and abilities to play together in one space.

In 2017, the Fairmont Parks Commission planned to “revitalize” many of the city’s parks. On their radar was Norwood Park, a small playground on the East Side of little interest, but the location and property has a lot of potential. The park is located at the corner of Morgantown Avenue and Suncrest Boulevard near the Victory Baptist Church.

The commission continued to plan for the park over the next year and in the fall of 2019 announced that Norwood Park would become all-inclusive. The committee voted and approved the decision to redevelop the site.

In May, the city’s parks commission met again around the theme of Norwood Park to take stock of the progress of the project. At the meeting, the committee was joined by Jim Christie of Civil & Environmental Consultants, landscape architect and project manager, who led a discussion on the Norwood project.

At the May reunion, Christie unveiled a conceptual render for the new Norwood Park. The commission was satisfied with the progress made by the CEC and Christie. Norwood Park is adjacent to a property owned by Novelis’ Fairmont location, which has pledged up to $ 75,000 to fund the purchase of playground equipment. The company will also provide volunteers. who will work on the park renovation project.

“What we did was we included other groups to be all inclusive,” Christie said at the May meeting. “The Disability Action Center is a big part of that, Morgantown’s PlayWorks, Messenger Speech Therapy, WVU Music Therapy, and the Challenger League.”

Too often, with projects like these, planners and architects avoid consulting with community members who are affected by their project, but CEC has approached those who stand to gain the most from the new inclusive park. Many organizations, such as DAC and PlayWorks, which work with people with disabilities have directly contributed to the project.

“The CEC did an incredible job with the concept,” said Julie Sole, director of the DAC. “We gave [CEC] lots of ideas when it came time to come up with a design and CEC really hit him out of the stadium.

The concept of Norwood Park goes far beyond the usual playground. The concept includes sensory spaces, communication walls, fully accessible to residents who experience different forms of mobility and an integration of inclusive elements, rather than adding them.

“These are the components we were looking for – unique, safe, accessible and inclusive,” Sole said. “For that, their initial concept is fantastic.

While most parks have ADA compliant items, those items are usually an afterthought. A park will have a swing, then on the side is a single wheelchair swing.

“We want inclusion to be a natural process, not a forced process,” said Mike Lentz, owner of PlayWorks. “It’s not really inclusion if it’s forced. By making these parks [inclusive] Right from the start, inclusion is natural and that’s what all parents want for their kids … they want it to be easy for their kids.

This inclusive park seeks to integrate these elements by putting everyone on the same level.

“There are a lot of things that children who don’t develop normally learn from their peers that typically develop,” Lentz said. “They want to do what they do, they want to be included.”

And these interactions are healthy, not only for people with special needs, but for the education of all concerned.

“It is very important for people with special needs to interact with people who have a ‘typical function’, you might say,” Sole said. “But it’s even more important for children and normally developing adults to interact with … people with special needs.”

“It will really promote inclusion,” Lentz said. “You can’t just call something inclusive and hope it works, you have to build it from the inside out. “

This park will not be just for children, but for people of all ages. Generally, playground equipment is not designed to accommodate a full-sized adult. However, plans call for the equipment in this new park to be specially designed to accommodate adults.

“We wanted to take into account the height and weight of individuals and how everyone can have access to all areas of the park,” Sole said. “There will be no space for people with special needs and space for people without developmental disabilities – it’s all there together.

“This is how the world should be.”

Questions or suggestions regarding the Norwood Project should be sent to Hanna Turner, City of Fairmont Marketing and Communications Manager, at [email protected]


Cuban Americans from across the United States demonstrate in front of the White House and Cuban Embassy – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports


WASHINGTON (WSVN) – Hundreds of Cuban Americans from across the United States, including southern Florida, have come to the nation’s capital to take their growing calls for freedom in Cuba to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

7News cameras captured New York resident Dustin Garcia, his face and white T-shirt appearing to be bloodied, as he walked back and forth and waved the Cuban flag in front of the House Blanche, Saturday afternoon.

“I feel sad. Sometimes I feel like I want to go with them, join them and fight with them, but the only thing I can find to support them right now is to be there for them and to do everything possible to fight for them, ”he said.

One of the many Spanish signs held up read: “If Cubans are in the streets, so are we.”

Among the protesters who filled Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square were Oscar Martinez and his group.

“We want the world to know what’s going on,” he said.

Martinez said they were from Miami.

“We want freedom for Cuba. We don’t need drugs, we don’t need anything else. We need humanitarian intervention. We need help, “he said.” This is just the beginning. “

Cuban Americans want their voices to be heard. Many of them traveled to the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC on Saturday to listen to music through the speakers.

“They use our own music to stop our voices,” said Ivis Rodriguez, a resident of Texas.

The loud chants of the demonstrators ended up drowning out the music.

“Let’s see if they can hear us since we’re closer now,” said New Jersey resident Darina Alarcon.

A banner adorning the facade of the Cuban Embassy reads “Cuban life matters. End the blockade now! “

“This is not the message. It’s a joke, ”Rodriguez said. “We are fighting for freedom, just that, freedom. No more excuses for this. It’s a joke.

Cuban Americans who spoke to 7News said they plan to continue moving towards freedom, thanks to a movement that Cubans on the island launched on Sunday.

“We are so proud of this young generation. We thought hope was lost, and hope was right under it, and it’s going up, ”Rodriguez said.

Martinez said some of those in his group will return to South Florida on Saturday night and the rest will return on Sunday.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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2 Chainz says new album will be his last trap record


2 Chainz evolves. And apparently, this evolution includes no longer releasing albums dedicated to the trap.

Tity Boi has been one of the most ardent artists in trap music over the years. However, he seems to have changed his mind. On Saturday morning (July 17), he shared his epiphany with his fans on Twitter. “This became my last trap album, enjoy it,” the Atlanta MC tweeted.

It’s unclear why Tit is moving in a different direction. It could be him who just wants to progress as an artist and not be cataloged in a subgenre. If his next album is indeed the last trap record, the former member of Playaz Circle has had a hell of a tour, which includes over 20 mixtapes, EPs and albums focused on the life of trap.

2 Chainz’s most recent album, So help me god, was released last November. It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart. In February, Tit announced he was planning a new project by tweeting: “Im Fina is dropping another project”. There has been no update on the new offering, but it has been reported that Chainz and Lil Wayne are wrapping up the sequel to their joint album, ColleGrove.

While trap music may soon become a thing of the past for the Pretty girls love trap music rhyming, he continues to take legal business steps in real life. Earlier this month, he announced an investment in a solar technology company. “So I invested in this company which essentially takes solar energy and conditions it for reuse even at night, a bit like a solar refinery,” he revealed on Twitter.

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After COVID-19, we’ll need more than therapy


At the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, there is a surprisingly premonitory scene. Captain America, the valiant soldier who wields an indestructible shield, appears in civilian clothes as he leads a support group. He’s here to help survivors of the Snap, an event triggered by the villainous Thanos in which billions of people die without warning or explanation. Still struck by the sudden loss five years later, support group participants are looking for answers on how to cope with their pain.

When a man says he’s just been out for the first time, Captain America replies, “That’s it. It’s those brave little steps that we have to take to try to become whole again, to try to find a purpose.”

Although the Marvel movie premiered in 2019, I’ve kept coming back to this scene in my mind since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dimly lit room, the dark voices, the sign on the wall that says, “Where are we going, now that they’re gone?” It was a minute-long glimpse of what healing might look like in a fantasy world defined by mass death.

Now here we are, after at least four million unexpected deaths worldwide, trying to find some semblance of normal like COVID worrisome variants overturn our expectations. Investors and entrepreneurs saw the magnitude of this suffering and saw it as a business opportunity. In 2020, investors invested $ 2.4 billion in digital behavioral health companies, many of which aim to embrace the therapeutic model of individual treatment and make it more accessible through virtual platforms. Some are trying to automate mental health care using chatbots that talk to users about their emotions.

These connections can support us in vital ways.

These services are important and can be useful, but strange as it sounds, the support group in End of Game proposes a model that is perhaps more realistic and meaningful. It demonstrates the irreplaceable value of peer and community support in the face of disaster. As we navigate the post-vaccination period of the pandemic and learn more about the emotional and psychological distress we still feel – along with our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues – we must prioritize some form of healing that builds on bonding and helps us build new relationships.

These connections cannot replace accessible, high-quality therapy, but they can support us in vital ways. They make us feel less alone, help us collectively deal with grief and trauma, help resolve practical or emotional issues, and bring communities together. We will continue to need this support as we face future waves of trauma from climate change, and research suggests that such social capital can lead to better mental health outcomes following disasters.


Climate change anxiety: how to stop the spiral and tell the difference

As venture capital invests billions of dollars in efforts that will vastly expand an infrastructure of paid services that keep people in silos with a therapist, behavioral health coach, chatbot, or automated tool, imagine a federal initiative. major nationwide to fund community support groups. A small pilot project that provides support groups for agricultural workers could provide a plan. In one such group format, trusted mental health professionals lead wellness conversations with a focus on empowering participants to help each other rather than diagnose them.

Educational workshops that help people learn basic information about mental illness, how to identify signs and symptoms, and how to engage in empathetic conversations should be another important part of the recovery resources available to everyone. . We already have a model in Mental health first aid, at national scale Peer reviewed program that teaches people about mental health and wellness. However, the workshop is often promoted to first responders, teachers, social workers and other professionals who encounter people with mental illness or seizures more frequently. Expanding access and knowledge of MSFA could dramatically increase the ability of people to understand their own mental health and respond sensitively to others in difficulty.

With increased federal funding, community mental health centers, which typically operate as small hospitals or therapy clinics, could serve as hubs for support groups and workshops. They could also add social programs that bring people together to enjoy hobbies and activities like baking and basketball. If that doesn’t sound like mental health care, Dawn Belkin Martinez, associate dean for equity and inclusion and associate clinical professor at Boston University’s School of Social Work, isn’t. agreement.

“I think the community is a healing intervention,” she says.

“I think the community is a healing intervention.”

Belkin Martinez applies a “health release” philosophy to his work with students and clients. The goal is not just to help people cope better with stressors and mental health issues. It’s also about helping them understand how the systems that govern their lives – think capitalism, structural racism, misogyny, etc. – affect their well-being, then take action to change these external conditions while deconstructing negative messages about themselves. the sentence they internalized as a result. By adopting a different framework for viewing their problems while tapping into community networks and support to thrive, they can chart the course forward.

Unfortunately, this is what is lacking in many therapy experiences. Belkin Martinez says traditional training does not teach therapists how to collaboratively identify and discuss the links between mental health and socio-political factors. Psychology as a labor force too is not diverse, which means therapists may be culturally incompetent depending on their client’s background. In particular, people of color, people with disabilities and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender who have asked for help but have had to fight stereotypes or discrimination are well aware of this barrier.

Even though talented therapists and psychiatrists have valuable skills and expertise, not everyone wants such treatment, they can’t either to afford or access he. A long-standing shortage mental health care providers makes dating rare, especially now given growing demand. The issues we face in affordability, access and quality cannot be solved with Internet therapy, which has exploded during the pandemic. Some may prefer anonymity and convenience, but still cannot find the right therapist for them.

Community leaders develop creative approaches to the problem of quality and access. Take for example, PyschoHairpy“, a program that certifies barbers and stylists in the provision of “culturally sensitive mental health first aid”. Founded by a black clinical psychologist who is also a natural hairstylist, the program trains participants in “microcounseling” skills such as active listening, mindfulness and storytelling therapy.

The organization Estoy Aqui (I’m here) aims to reach the Latino / Latinx and Black communities of western Massachusetts with a suicide prevention ‘community care’ model called La Cultura Sana, or Cultural cures. Its founder, Ysabel Garcia, told me that the model focuses on dismantling factors like systemic racism and white supremacy, which she believes contribute to suicide risk and mental health issues. Starting in August, Garcia plans to offer workshops to Latin / Latinx and black businesses that also serve as a common gathering place, such as barber shops, bodegas and laundromats. She hopes that by providing mental health awareness to business owners and their staff, they will be better equipped to identify signs of emotional distress, know what cultural strengths they can draw on to support others and respond. with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.

Some will still need the expertise of therapists and psychiatrists, especially as we learn more about the mental health problems and psychosis that may accompany COVID-19 infection. But think what might happen if the private sector and government invested in us, ordinary people who need community in the aftermath of a tragedy, and who love their neighbors, colleagues, friends and family, and want to help but often do not. know how.

We actually don’t need Captain America, but we could definitely use each other.

If you want to talk to someone or if you have suicidal thoughts, Crisis text line provides free and confidential 24/7 support. Text CRISIS to 741741 to be put in touch with a crisis counselor. Contact the NAMI Hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or by email [email protected]. You can also call the National lifeline for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255. Here is a listing of international resources.

The Recorder – “A Little Help From My Friends”: Artists Get Help from Emily’s Fund



Emily List was a huge Beatles fan who understood Ringo when he said, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Thus, the fund created to honor Emily’s memory, the Emily List Fund for Performing Arts Therapy, will this year give a little boost to her fellow entertainers who use theater, dance and music to help people. disadvantaged.

Grants in this 10th year of the fund will go to five groups emerging from a difficult pandemic year in which they continued to work with their clients online instead of playing, dancing and making music with them online. nobody.

The fund was established in 2012 in memory of Emily, an actress, dancer and lover of all the performing arts, who lost her life to a rare form of cancer in 2011. During her 10 premieres years he has awarded $ 65,000 in grants. to 25 groups, mostly local.

This year’s recipients hope to use their grants to reconnect with the real world.

Whole Children, based in Hadley, helps teens and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities explore their passion for theater because, as Valle Dwight puts it, “people with disabilities shouldn’t be sidelined in theater. or in life ”.

The March 2020 Whole Children’s show had to be canceled a week before opening night due to the pandemic, but Dwight, director of development and communications, says they are bringing the theater back in person this summer and teaching two course because of its popularity.

Enchanted Circle Theater works with schools in Holyoke and Springfield to create and perform original plays related to the curriculum, which it continued to do remotely last year.

Executive Director Priscilla Kane Hellweg says thousands of students are served each year through these programs that motivate them to learn, help them believe they can be successful and help them “develop the skills of innovation and 21st century creative thinking necessary for their success in the future ”- programs that hopefully can take place in person next school year.

Born Dancing Inc., run by founder Melissa van Wijk, offers high-level dance classes to students with physical and intellectual disabilities and other underserved communities. Born Dancing produces original performances in which students appear with professional dancers, after taking courses that turn into productions.

Van Wijk had to cancel last year’s performances, but she shared videos of the dancers working from home and is now creating a new show – “our biggest production yet” – at the Flea Theater in New York City.

SciTech Group Director Gary Bernice is hoping to rebuild the group – literally – after a year in which he and his co-directors have created a comprehensive online music program for their musicians. Over 400 instruments were distributed to students at home, and group directors created 250 lesson videos and conducted 6,000 individual lessons on Zoom.

Called “The Pride of Springfield,” the group has created “an environment through music that challenges and motivates students to strive for excellence,” according to Bernice, and those who play for more than a year are three times more likely to stay in school. .

“This school year was like no other,” says Bernice, “but our students never gave up!

Neither were the participants in “Dancing with Our Docs,” a fundraiser for a dance program for breast cancer survivors sponsored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Mount Clemens, Michigan.

Pat Keigher, Regional Director of Cancer Services, says: “Like Emily, our patients use dance to help them fight cancer. The power of dance and music helps shift their focus to healing, not diagnosis. Their performances are truly inspiring and a tribute to all cancer patients. “

The program had to be canceled last year, but the same four patients, paired with their doctors in choreographed and costumed dance routines, are preparing to dance again this fall when they perform in front of a thousand guests at the show. an annual breast cancer awareness event. .

And with a little help from Emily’s Fund, they will.

Karen List is Emily’s mother and a professor in the journalism department at UMass. For more information, visit emilylistfund.org/.


Hyatt Regency collapse remains among deadliest in U.S. history: NPR



Firefighters rescue people under a collapsed walkway in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Missouri on July 17, 1981. The collapse left 114 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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Firefighters rescue people under a collapsed walkway in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Missouri on July 17, 1981. The collapse left 114 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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It was another summer night in 1981. Hundreds of people gathered for a “tea dance” at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on July 17th.

Among them were Karen Jeter, 37, and her husband, Eugene, 48, who had just married a few weeks earlier.

“She was a really good dancer. She loved dancing, loved music. She was the one who taught me to dance,” said Karen’s son Brent Wright. “They were really wonderful people.”

TV crews were also at the Hyatt Regency that evening to cover the social event in the hotel lobby. Years later, Wright would watch footage of Karen and Eugene Jeter on a national news program.

“They had captured this video of my mom and stepdad dancing, laughing, just having fun,” Wright said.

“It’s really a good thing to know that at least that night they were having fun and living their lives to the fullest, you know, still newlyweds,” he said. “At first, after a tragedy like this, these things are difficult to watch.”

The news clip captured some of the Jeters’ last moments.

They were among 114 people who were killed at the Hyatt Regency that night when two elevated walkways freed from their support rods and collapsed into the crowd below, injuring more than 200 people and leaving a pile of rubble crumpled digging for rescuers.

It remains one of the deadliest accidental structural failures in US history and draws parallels to the recent condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, which killed nearly 100 people some 40 years later. .

How the Hyatt Regency collapsed

In 1981, the same year the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside was built, the Hyatt Regency, some 1,500 miles away, was enjoying its second summer open to the public.

The concrete “heavenly bridges” floating above the lobby were a hallmark of the new 40-story hotel in the middle of Missouri’s largest city.

The site of one of the nation’s worst disasters is quiet after bodies were removed from the Hyatt Regency lobby. A still intact walkway hangs overhead as sections of the two collapsed walkways lie in the rubble.

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The site of one of the nation’s worst disasters is quiet after bodies were removed from the Hyatt Regency lobby. A still intact walkway hangs overhead as sections of the two collapsed walkways lie in the rubble.

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They would also be what would condemn him. After the collapse, investigators would conclude that a seemingly minor design change contributed to the disaster.

The elevated walkways were held by rods connected to the roof of the atrium. But the second floor walkway was connected to the fourth floor walkway – not the roof. This meant that the fourth floor walkway was taking double the expected load.

As the July 17 tea dance unfolded, the crowd grew in the lobby as well as on the catwalks, where spectators gathered to get a bird’s-eye view of the festivities below.

Then suddenly the second and fourth story airlifts began to sway before collapsing and crashing into the lobby, killing some revelers and trapping others under the broken concrete.

Among the first responders to the scene was Dr. Joseph F. Waeckerle, who had recently resigned his post as Kansas City medical director to take up a post at a local hospital.

“You have to understand the chaos and carnage that had taken place in this hall. The water was flowing, the power grid was cut when the walkways collapsed. Electric wires were hanging, electric arcs and sparks. ‘there was no light, ”Waeckerle said.

He said he spent around 12 hours in the hotel lobby, overseeing rescue triage operations for those who survived the collapse.

Even for Waeckerle, who had responded to other disasters, the scene at the Hyatt Regency was a shock.

“Like everyone else, I closed my eyes for a moment and said, ‘Damn, what am I doing here?’ and said a little prayer and prayed that I could do my best, ”he said. “And then left.”

Rescuers worked hard through the night, using cranes and other heavy machinery to move the huge chunks of concrete that made up much of the pile. First responders went to great lengths to extract victims who were trapped under stationary debris, sometimes amputating their limbs to get them out.

For Wright, it wasn’t until the next morning that his father and stepmother, who had also attended the tea dance, told him and his sister that Karen and Eugene Jeter were dead.

“It was unimaginable. You never expect this kind of news, especially when you’re a kid. And to say it was difficult is an understatement,” Wright said. “Part of your initial reaction is shock, and it’s almost too horrible to even believe it.”

It would take months, if not years, for Wright and the other families of the victims to get answers as to how something so unimaginable could have happened on such a joyous occasion.

Lessons learned

Civil engineers are still closely studying the deadly structural failure of the Hyatt Regency. It serves as an uplifting narrative for similar conceptions.

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Civil engineers are still closely studying the deadly structural failure of the Hyatt Regency. It serves as an uplifting narrative for similar conceptions.

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After the collapse, the engineering firm that signed the plans for the footbridges lost his license, and the owner of the Hyatt Regency paid $ 140 million in damages to the families of the victims.

The fatal structural failure is still closely studied by civil engineers and serves as a caveat for similar designs.

Waeckerle said first responders also learned lessons after working at the collapse site, such as how to improve communications, which he said is “still the biggest problem” in the event of a crash. disaster.

“For example, initially we used a megaphone, and it shortened very quickly when you were sprayed with water,” he said. “Then it was dark, so people screamed and screamed. And then we kind of got organized.”

He urged first responders to continue their research into the Surfside condo collapse to follow formal emergency management rules, but also to maintain an emotional connection with victims and survivors.

“Follow command and control. Follow communications. Never give up hope. And never give up on respecting your patients,” Waeckerle said.

Wright, who now helps lead the Skywalk Memorial Foundation to honor the victims of the collapse and the first responders who rushed to help, said he understands the lives of many families of those lost in the Surfside disaster.

“I have thought about all these people in Florida every day since this event,” Wright said in a recent interview. “I can only hope that they have friends and family with them to give them hope, comfort and help them through incredibly difficult days.”

Wright urged those relatives of the victims to continue their search for answers to what happened, and he acknowledged that for many years a period of excruciating mourning remained to come.

“But be patient. Sit down with these people who love you and love you and take it one day at a time. Eventually you will see a little light at the end of the tunnel. And with all of that, you ‘I m I know you can.


Branjae from Tulsa brings music and activism to the Woody Guthrie festival


Branjae literally takes the idea that “the truth will set you free” with her latest musical project.

The Tulsa singer, songwriter and actor latest single, “Free Facts,” deals a blow to the current scourge of willful ignorance with a fiery funk sound and an upcoming sci-fi short.

“People grab small pieces of information, bytes of information, that just support their biases and what we want to believe. We don’t see all the evidence for the truth so that we can make informed decisions and decisions. appropriate and choose the way we want to believe, ”she said.

“So it’s really a tribute to people becoming more individual again, instead of going their separate ways. We’ve seen a lot in our country over the last five or six years, that it’s really split in two. a lot of people don’t take the time to do their own research, to make their own decisions, to choose what they want to be. “

“The most famous Oklahoman on the planet”:Woody Guthrie Folk Festival returns to Okemah

Branjae is a Tulsa-based singer-songwriter, actor and activist.

Artist and activist, Branjae brings her “Free Facts” and other new music to this year’s Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, where she will perform an intimate and stripped-down set at 1:30 p.m. on July 17 in the historic Crystal Theater at the end, the hometown of Okemah, a great folk icon.

“I’m a fan of Woody Guthrie and everything he stood for. And that’s super important,” said Branjae. “His music is something that we can look back and refer to. We’re fighting the same fight that Woody wrote back then. We’re still fighting him. So I’m still on my way to Woodyfest.”

After going fully online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Woodyfest is back in Okemah, Guthrie’s birthplace, for its 24th annual edition, continuing through July 18 at multiple locations across the city.

“Branjae brings an energetic and expressive performance unlike anything WoodyFest has experienced before,” said Maddie Gregory, president of festival marketing.

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Tulsa activist and musician Branjae speaks at the unveiling of the Tulsa Race Massacre Memorial Tree on April 17 hosted by Plant Seads, Up With Trees and the Centenary of the Race Massacre Tulsa in the Greenwood district of Tulsa.

The return of Woodyfest

Two-time Grammy-winner, singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, Grammy-nominated Mary Gauthier, Brennen Leigh, Owned by Paul James, Jonny Burke, Bonnie Whitmore and Oklahomans Mike McClure and Saugeye are among those who make their debut at WoodyFest this year.

The Guthrie family are represented at this year’s festival by Cathy Guthrie and Sarah Lee Guthrie, two of Woody Guthrie’s granddaughters, and Serena Guthrie, one of his great-granddaughters.

Along with Branjae, Oklahoma favorites in the lineup include John Fullbright, Samantha Crain, Levi Parham, Kyle Reid & the Low Swingin ‘Chariots, Carter Sampson, Ken Pomeroy, Greg Jacobs and more.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woody Guthrie Coalition, which runs the festival, enforces physical distancing, encourages face covering, and limits capacity at festival venues.

Shows inside the Crystal Theater are limited to around 250 tickets, well below the 600-seat capacity, and people are encouraged to stay within their social-distancing “bubbles” on the Pastures of Plenty stage. The festival also returns to Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern, which will be a free venue as well as the house of the open mic, as usual.

“We are also going to be getting vaccinated armbands, so that every time people check in they can show their proof of vaccination and they will get a vaccination cuff that will somehow help reassure everyone around them that ‘they’re vaccinated,’ Gregory mentioned.

Branjae Jackson performs a interpretive dance to close the ceremony at the unveiling of a mural by Michel Rosato in the Greenwood district on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

Back on stage

With the pandemic shutting down the majority of live music outlets for most of the past year, Branjae said she was excited to be back on stage at Woodyfest.

“It feels good to be able to come back. It’s time to start backing up and playing gigs again. For me, it’s a little different, coming out with fresh energy, with new songs,” said Branjae, which was part of last year’s Virtual Woodyfest lineup.

“I’m just ready to spread out and see what’s new and what’s changed and what’s different. It’s time to share some love and be with people again. I’m so excited. to be with people again, the audience being back on stage. It’s been too long. ”

One of her highlights so far this year has been performing at the recent Black Wall Street Legacy Festival, as part of the centennial commemoration of the Tulsa Running Massacre.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is now known as one of the worst episodes of racial violence in US history. Between May 31 and June 1, 1921, crowds of white residents attacked, torched, and ultimately devastated the Greenwood district of Tulsa, which at the time was one of the wealthiest black communities in the United States, this which earned it the name of “Black Wall Street”. The deadly tragedy has been covered up for decades and omitted from the history books, but the centenary has captured national media attention.

“It can be something quite sensitive when we talk about race and racism, white supremacy and things that have happened.… It is such a tragic event,” said Branjae, becoming moved.

“Now we’re finally looking at it. We’re finally opening the lines of communication. I’m happy to see more of my white siblings… who actually want to learn and want to listen and want (to get) rid of white supremacy.”

Tulsa singer, songwriter and activist performs in music video for her cover of Lowell Fulson's song

Spectacular short film

In 2019, Branjae released a music video for “Street Light,” which she co-directed with Basil Childers. More of a short film than a traditional music video, she said the song and visual came from her personal experiences with domestic violence. She became active with the Domestic Violence Intervention Services in Tulsa and donated the proceeds from “Street Light” to support the organization.

“Street Light” stars the artist (aka Branjae Jackson) as a woman who leaves when her partner becomes violent and is greeted by a street party with circus performers ready to lift her up.

After this clip “went around the world,” the Broken Arrow High School graduate was taken to continue to develop visually, including making her film debut playing Sugar Plum in “Finding Carlos,” a hip-hop holiday movie inspired by the classic ballet “The Nutcracker” and directed by Oklahoma City filmmaker Lance McDaniel.

“I learned so much working with these actors and this team, and it was so positive,” said Branjae. “We’re looking to do more. We’ve been on the phone and exchanged emails and talked about new opportunities for more roles and more films.”

Television and cinema:OKC’s DeadCenter Film Festival named Oscar qualifying festival for short films

Branjae appears in a photo from her upcoming short "Free facts."

Cover songs and laser beams

The Tulsan stars as a singer who had a hard time in the short film of her cover of “Tramp,” a song by Lowell Fulson, a Tulsa-born bluesman who was African American and Native American. She worked with Jeremy Charles, director, screenwriter and producer of Tulsa-based Cherokee, owner of FireThief Productions, to create the short, which was shortlisted for the New York Lift-Off Global Network Film Festival.

Branjae recorded the cover of the album “Back to Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music”, a compilation of 17 songs written by influential Oklahoma icons recorded at Leon Russell’s famous Paradise Studio on Grand Lake and released. last year on the Tulsa- based on the non-profit label Horton Records.

“It’s kind of an arrogant song. And I wanted to take the song, and kind of give it a twist… because I’m a woman and the song is called ‘Tramp’. So we wanted to flip it over a little, ”Branjae said in a spring interview at a spring event of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial.

“Brian Horton from Horton Records contacted us saying, ‘Hey, we want to do a video for you.’ We said, “We want to make a short film. … So we developed this character, and she makes her way to the top and fell hard through the hard times and really seeks her dream and becomes that star.” which she has always thought about and imagined for whatever life has thrown at her. ”

In addition, Branjae reunited with Brian Hicks, with whom she worked on “Street Light”, to edit the short film for her new song “Free Facts”. She said she hopes the cut will be completed by the end of the month on the sci-fi drama she wrote and directed.

“This is a future society controlled by laser technology and computers. So everyone who is stuck in this society is controlled by a pendant embedded in their head,” she said.

“My character arrives in this weird, stark, completely white place, and everyone is tanned, walking in some sort of robotic movement – and their job is to break free.… I have to bring up a serious subject concerning the individual being thought of, then create this awesome visual. “

To fund the project, she launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised nearly $ 8,000 towards the planned goal of $ 6,500. She worked with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa to make tax-deductible donations and pledged to donate 20% of the campaign to the nonprofit.

“This is one thing that artists in general, but especially black artists lack, is support.… They are always a part of what is happening in our community, lobbying for the community and pushing for black artists. and keeping it diverse and really telling the truth, ”Branjae said. “Woody’s legacy, his memory, what he stood for… it’s really important. We’re just happy to be a part of it.”

Tulsa Branjae musician appears as Sugar Plum in OKC filmmaker Lance McDaniel's holiday hip-hop flick

24th Annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

When: Until July 18.

Or: Several locations in Okemah.

Tickets and information: https://www.woodyfest.com.


As COVID casts a veil, people turn to yoga, music, meditation for relief



With the COVID-19 pandemic triggering lockdowns, isolating people and reducing social interactions, many have taken refuge in spiritual practices like meditation, yoga, Buddhist chanting and even music therapy to relax.

Psychologists say that meditation and chanting bring the mind into an area of ​​consciousness, preventing it from wandering. Representation photo: iStock

Perhaps the next worst thing to die for an average human is the thought of losing a loved one. So when the whole family of Rashmi Rekha Das, a journalist based in Odisha, fell victim to COVID-19 last year, she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Barely reconciled with the loss of her father a few years ago, Rashmi was terrified for her three-year-old daughter. “My heart sank to see a perfectly singing baby get to bed in one day. She was under my responsibility and I cursed myself for being an irresponsible mother, ”she said.

It was then that a close friend taught Rashmi to sing four phrases to calm his nerves – “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you and love you.” The mantra known as Ho’oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian practice, when said to oneself, is believed to cleanse and heal the mind through feelings of love, forgiveness, repentance, and gratitude.

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For Rashmi, it worked like a charm, encouraging her to join an online meditation group. Rashmi says that since then she has not only improved but is also able to handle people and situations with greater clarity.

“The four sentences cleansed my mind of all guilt and worry. I was able to breastfeed my daughter without fear of losing her and she recovered quickly. Meditation, on the other hand, has helped me flush out all the pent-up bitterness, guilt, and dissatisfaction from my personal and professional life. Today, I am a more forgiving person and at peace with myself and my environment, ”she says.

Many, like Rashmi, have found a secure foothold in spiritual practices like meditation, yoga, and chanting during the pandemic, which besides wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods, pushed many into the abyss. bottomless depression.

Read also : Stranded, penniless circus performers turn very dark as COVID robs them of concerts

The summary dismissal of office colleagues and the sudden deaths of five close friends and three relatives came as a brutal shock to Rajesh Patel (name changed), a telecommunications engineer based in Mumbai.

“Income has been severely reduced and I have a family to feed and rent, taxes, IME loans and school fees to pay. The deaths around me, the fear of being fired from my job, the reduced income and the insensitive attitude of the company towards us were too much to bear at one point, ”he says.

Meditation not medicine

As the burden of stress grew, Rajesh found himself insomniac. He sought psychological help when doses of homeopathy failed to remedy his misery. The psychologist recommended meditation over medicine.

“I have meditated and walked twice a day for the past two months. I won’t say that I have fully recovered, but I am starting to feel better, ”he says.

A recent study found that 66.2% of 649 adults who practiced both yoga and meditation during the COVID-19 pandemic had normal mental well-being, compared to 50.6% of individuals who did not. no. The study, published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, associated the practice of yoga and meditation, or preferably both, with “a higher level of mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic “.

As busy as her day is, Devleena Chakravarty, a government consultant in Chennai, takes an hour to join her peers in a Buddhist singing group. Although she started practicing in 2013 to relax from the doctoral blues, Devleena says singing has helped her deal with emotional stress and keep negative thoughts at bay.

A typical session involves a group of participants – known as the sangha – sitting together and singing Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō (roughly translated as “I devote myself to the universe”), a mantra from the Nichiren school of Buddhism.

“It is a verbal meditation that aims to bring you absolute happiness despite your circumstances. You are supposed to look at a script or look at a blank wall and sing the words. There is no time limit, you can end it whenever you want. Sometimes I even sang for hours at a time, ”she says.

She recounts her horrific experience last year when she found herself stranded in the middle of a vacation when the country was locked down due to the pandemic.

“My parents and I were stranded at my brother’s house in Hyderabad for two months. It was a great time to bond, but also a nerve-racking time when emotions were running high and you had nowhere to go beyond apartment 2BHK. That’s when we started singing together. We have experienced less confrontation and more understanding. The relationship between my mother and my sister-in-law has undergone a radical change, ”she says.

Healing power of vibrations

Many others have turned to music therapy to block noise.

Dr Kummar Chatterjee, who runs Music Mantra, a Mumbai-based organization that offers music therapy, says the vibrations of music and mantras (chants) have enormous healing powers.

“The sound of ‘Om’, a lullaby or even songs from a movie have healing powers,” he says.

Chatterjee uses Waltz Music, which has a rhythm of three beats in each bar, as standard. “The particular model is called Shasti Taal in Indian music. Rhythm has the power to create vibrations in the brain. Music like Shiva Tandava Stotra or Raj Kapoor Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan were set at this rate. Our brain is stimulated when we chant these mantras or sing these songs. And a stimulated mind has no room for toxic thoughts, ”says Chatterjee.

Chatterjee says he personalizes therapy based on each individual’s health status and social background.

“We first study an individual and then try to cure him. If it’s a Hindu, I can ask them to recite the Ganapati Mantra or the Gayatri Mantra, and if it’s a Muslim patient, it would be one of the Quls of the Quran for them, ”he said .

Chatterjee, who does not believe in treating depression with drugs, believes the disorder developed during the pandemic, mainly due to fear. He says people with severe depression who come to his therapy sessions have reported feeling numb after dusk. “There is a saying from Saint Kabir that words hurt the most. So it’s not the fear of COVID, but what is being said about it that scares people. I ask my patients to avoid watching or reading news or rumors related to the pandemic, or talking about it, ”he says.

Dr Sumathi Chandrasekaran, psychologist and founder of Mind Café in Chennai, agrees that no medicine can keep the body and mind as integrated as these spiritual practices can.

Citing a study which after interviewing 10,000 Indians found that 43% suffered from depression after the COVID-19 outbreak last year, Dr Sumathi says it’s time people understood that the mind and the bodies are connected and a fragile mind makes the body vulnerable to disease.

She attributes the spread of the pandemic primarily to panic. “If COVID is a trigger, how you respond to it matters. The pandemic has spread like wildfire because most Indians have gone into panic mode. When the mind is threatened, the reptilian brain, which controls heart rate and body temperature, activates and secretes unhealthy hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This causes anxiety, capsizes the stomach, the heart beats quickly and wheezing sets in. This is where it becomes easier for the virus to infect the body, ”she says.

Dr Sumathi says the trick is to put the brain in an area of ​​awareness rather than danger. “When you do yoga, chant the Gayatri Mantra, or listen to therapeutic tunes like Indian classical music, they bring you to a state of consciousness, preventing the mind from wandering. It helps you become aware of the pandemic and protect yourself instead of panicking and falling prey to it, ”she adds.

The joy of sharing

Since most of these practices are group activities, members say that one of the most therapeutic parts is sharing their thoughts with fellow groupmates and listening to their stories.

“The beauty of my Buddhist group is its white collarless nature. When I was in the United States before the pandemic broke, we had former drug dealers and homeless mothers singing with us. Realizing that my miseries are tiny compared to theirs has given me a new perspective on life, ”says Devleena.

Rashmi, who credits meditation and yoga with putting her life back on a disciplined path, says the changes in her own life inspired her family, especially her mother, to embrace the practice. “She became depressed and sleepless after my father died and couldn’t sleep without taking pills. But now she is off medication and is looking forward to life, ”says Rashmi.

Swami Suyagna, a full-time monk and volunteer at the Coimbatore-based Isha Foundation, said people were increasingly aware of their mental and physical health after the pandemic. Sharing the account of a Sathyamangalam volunteer in Erode, Suyagna says that a school field in the village of the former, which was once empty, now has at least 20 walkers who go around in the morning.

Read also : Dear Diary, you are probably the most underrated story source in the world

The monk says that the last few months have also seen an increase in the number of clicks to Isha’s free meditation videos like “Isha Kriya” and “Simha Kriya” on YouTube.

“Everyone has lost someone to the pandemic and people, warned by this, are starting to turn in on themselves. The main changes that I have noticed in people are the change in outlook on life and the practice of consciously eating and exercising, ”he adds.


Federal subsidy to Shuffle Tampa restaurant approved, then revoked after race and gender prioritization lawsuit


Danielle O’Connor (right) and Jennifer Evanchyk, co-owners of Shuffle Tampa.Hutchinson Photo c / o Tampa Shuffle

Jennifer Evanchyk, co-owner of Shuffle Tampa, was ready to breathe a sigh of relief after the difficulties her business faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Mix, the only indoor shuffleboard bar and restaurant in Florida, received a letter of approval for a federal grant through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The amount: $ 117,000.

It was a “life changing” feeling, she says. Shuffle had waited so long for relief.

Funds had to be deposited into their business account within seven days. Evanchyk and his business partner Danielle O’Connor checked their bank accounts every day, eagerly awaiting the money. Shuffle could improve his air conditioning for the brutal summer heat, Evanchyk thought. It could fix the company’s backyard and make other crucial improvements. She and O’Connor could finally emerge from the turbulent pandemic year.

But day after day, the money was not there. The anticipation became more terrible and their anxiety intensified. She was constantly logging into an online portal to check the status of their loan.

She checked over and over again, until one day, towards the end of June, she logged in to see a devastating word: “rejected”.

“It was pure shock,” Evanchyk told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

The official rejection letter gave three reasons why Shuffle could have been refused the loan, after being approved.

  • You have applied for the SVOG (Shuttered Venue Program) and are therefore not eligible for the RRF.
  • You have already defaulted on an SBA loan.
  • After reviewing your award request, the SBA has decided that your award cannot be approved due to an ineligible business type or other related reasons. The SBA will take no further action on your request.

But neither of the first two applied to Shuffle, Evanchyk said, and the last potential reason was vague.

She looked for answers. She made calls and texted, but no one answered. Finally, she thought to herself: how could they approve us, then suddenly deny us?

Around this time, Evanchyk saw a June 24 article published by FSR Magazine: “SBA Cancels More Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants. “

“Another twist in the distribution of Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants by the Small Business Association (SBA) took place at noon on Wednesday as an unknown number of previously approved applicants received rejection notices,” the article.

In March, when Congress created the $ 75 billion restoration fund as part of the Biden administration’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout, it included language that the SBA should give the priority for funding businesses owned by women, people of color and veterans.

In June, a conservative legal group founded by Stephen Miller and Mark Meadows, close associates of former President Donald Trump, filed a complaint in Texas on behalf of the owners of the restaurant “Blessed Cajuns”, arguing that the prioritization of candidates on the basis of race and gender is unconstitutional.

Next month, the New York Times reported that the federal judges said it was evident that the program’s policy violated the Equal protection clause of the Constitution. The SBA suddenly ended the policy and revoked the awards of nearly 3,000 priority applicants who had been approved for grants. A total of 265,000 business owners have been denied funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, while more than 100,000 have been approved.

Since the story broke, it has reached the national media, while affecting the livelihoods of people across the country.

It leaves people like Evanchyk and O’Connor to suffer.

“Having gone through the last 15 months of this pandemic and being told that help is on the way, just pulling everything out from under you is a blow to the bottom,” she says.

It’s one thing to simply be denied, says Evanchyk. But having the funds secured and then having them revoked is disastrous for their livelihood and for the efforts that Shuffle has put into the Tampa Heights community.

Shuffle opened in March 2018 and was famous front vagina since. It offers community shuffleboard league nights, corporate team building and recreational therapy for local veterans. The building has four indoor shuffleboard courts, a full bar, and a kitchen. Maintaining such a business is expensive and the last year has been the biggest challenge in Shuffle’s existence.

“I feel like these SBA funds died in the water,” Evanchyk says.

But she and O’Connor aren’t giving up.

They have contacted state officials and are asking community members to do the same. At the top of the home page on the Shuffle website is a link to the congress petition to top up the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. It literally takes 15 seconds to complete, says Evanchyk.

With enough people making their voices heard on the situation, there is a possibility for a better future.

“We hope that new funds will open,” says Evanchyk. “And that would mean so much to us.”

CL has contacted the local SBA office to inquire as to why Shuffle was approved and then denied his loan, but has yet to receive a response. Has your business been denied an SBA loan after it was initially approved? Email me ([email protected]) or CL’s anonymous inbox ([email protected])

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BLACKPINK Rosé shares soulful cover of Paramore



Tuesday July 13, BLACKPINK’s Pink appeared on a South Korean variety show Sea of ​​hope. During the program, the K-pop star performed an acoustic cover of Paramore’s “The Only Exception”.

Rosé performed the moving song on the TV show’s intimate outdoor beach stage in front of a small crowd. The Korean-Australian singer sat on the floor playing the acoustic guitar, accompanied by another guitarist and a keyboardist.

Last month, Rosé covered John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” on the show, which Mayer called “gorgeous.” on Twitter after the performance went viral.

In March, Rosé released her first solo album, R, which sold over half a million copies in the month following its release, making Rosé the first South Korean soloist to do so in 19 years. The album contains the singles “Gone” and “On the Ground”.

Otherwise, BLACKPINK is releasing their five-year anniversary movie – BLACKPINK THE MOVIE – in August, which will feature exclusive interviews and re-edited concert footage of the K-pop group. The film will be part of the group’s new “4 + 1 Project” which celebrates five years since their Square One debut in 2016. Details of the remaining four parts of the “4 + 1 Project” have yet to be confirmed.

Check out the cover below and read our interview with Rosé here.


Removal of music tuition fees welcomed by MSPs in the northeast


Fees for children learning a musical instrument at school will be waived thanks to funding of over £ 7million from the Scottish Government.

The councils will also receive £ 6million to waive core program fees that may be levied on families for things such as home economics material or theatrical outings associated with drama qualifications.

The agreement with COSLA covers the academic year 2021-22 and marks the delivery of two more commitments for the first 100 days of this government.

The cost of learning a musical instrument in Scottish schools will be waived.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “My priority is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Scottish children and young people, regardless of their background.

“All children should have the best start in life and the ability to participate in the essentials of education should never be limited by a child’s ability to pay.

“The announcement means families won’t see bills for music lessons or core program activities in the new school year. I will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities to develop a sustainable and funded model for years to come. “

The definition of “core curriculum” is a classroom activity in the eight core curriculum areas of general general education in primary and secondary education, as well as the activity associated with preparing for SQA qualifications in the phase superior.

Stephen McCabe, COSLA spokesperson for children and youth, said: “The councils recognize the importance of instrumental music lessons for the learning and development of our children and youth.

“Where tuition fees were in place for tuition fees, this is due to a series of local pressures on base council budgets.

“The one-year funding program agreed between COSLA leaders and the Scottish Government will allow for the abolition of tuition fees over the next academic year and the maintenance of existing benefit levels, so that fees and charges do not are not an obstacle to learning an instrument.

‘We welcome the commitment of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to work with COSLA and industry partners to examine the intent, impact and broader implications of this Scottish Government policy intervention. and to develop a model for the long-term sustainability of instrumental music education services across Scotland, which are to include sustainable funding arrangements for all boards. “

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin welcomed the move.

Ms Martin said: ‘The Scottish government has made it a priority to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, regardless of their background.

“Funding to support free music lessons and to help with other costs is very welcome and necessary.

“This means that families will not have to face additional costs for children wishing to play musical instruments or attend subjects where additional costs may have been incurred.

“We need to do everything possible to make sure that there are no barriers to learning a musical instrument or craft.”

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam also praised the decision.

She said: ‘The rollout of the SNP’s 100-day plan continues as the Scottish government announces the removal of tuition fees from music and other basic activities, such as art and theater.

“This welcome announcement means that many more families across Scotland will now be able to offer their children the opportunity to learn invaluable new skills throughout life.

“Particularly when it comes to core activities such as music, art and theater, it is linked to supporting our long-term goal of achieving a welfare economy, especially by because of the transformative effect that music, art and drama can have on the positive development of young people.

“This is something I have been a huge advocate for in my role as Aberdeenshire Town Councilor, which is why I am delighted to support this change in my role now as MSP for Banffshire and the Buchan Coast. “

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Jewish Senior Life expands its music therapy program



Jewish Senior Life’s music therapy program now has two certified neurological music therapists on staff.

Melody Boyd and Kristina Jewell use an evidence-based processing model comprised of 20 techniques for sensorimotor training, speech, language, and cognitive training, and focus on the neurosciences of music to process the brain and brain connectors in people with human injury or disease. the nervous system.

“The NMTs provide groups on the Neurobehavioural Unit and the Memory Care Unit, as well as one of them offering one-on-one campus-wide tours,” said Meghan Bevins, Director of Recreation Therapy. “For example, we could partner with a physiotherapist to reduce freezing episodes in a resident with Parkinson’s disease in order to optimize their safety and independence. In a group setting, both NMTs meet individual and group needs through structured musical exercises that stimulate cognitive function, access to memory and movement, while allowing for socialization at the level of engagement of each patient.

“Music therapy helps our residents achieve their personal goals and gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. With only 7,000 certified music therapists in the United States, we are pleased to have this service available to our residents.

Populations served by NMT include patients with stroke and head trauma, as well as those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders that affect communication, movement and cognition. The special designation requires a four-year degree combined with training, continuing education, and an exam which must be passed every three years to ensure they are up to date on current changes in research and intervention. .

Jewish Senior Life also offers various music programs including SingFit, Simpl Players, Music and Memory, as well as live performances by artists from the Rochester community. SingFit is the newest venture and allows for safe singing through a lyrical track, as well as interactive group sessions that include movement and reminiscence through musical interaction.

Current Jewish Senior Life Artist-in-Residence Ashlen Wright is a trained singer at Nazareth College who provides music to all of its residents.


Lilly acquires Insulin Innovator Protomer – PharmaLive


Based in Indianapolis Eli Lilly and company is to acquire Protomer Technologies, based in Pasadena, Calif., In a deal that could exceed $ 1 billion.

Protomer has a drug technology platform made up of proteins capable of sensing the concentrations of specific molecules and adjusting to create varying doses. This pipeline includes an insulin product that adapts to different glucose levels in diabetic patients. The company was founded in 2014 by researchers at Caltech led by Alborz Mahdavi. In November 2020, Lilly conducted an investment round which was supported by the JDRF T1D Fund. JDRF T1D’s first funding also included the Paris-based Sanofi. The November 2020 cycle saw Lilly own 14% of the company. Under the new agreement, he acquires the rest of the shares.

In November 2020, Katie Ellias, Executive Director of JDRF T1D Fund, said, “Protomer’s novel mechanism for glucose-sensitive insulin shows tremendous promise and has the potential to be a game-changer for people with type 1 diabetes. . “

No specific financial details were disclosed other than the fact that the $ 1 billion figure was tied to various stages of development and business.

“Lilly has a long history of working to improve the lives of people with diabetes and we are committed to delivering real solutions, including innovation in insulin therapy,” said Ruth Gimeno, vice president of research at diabetes and clinical investigation at Lilly. “Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life for people with diabetes by dramatically improving both the therapeutic efficacy and the safety of insulin therapy. Protomer’s glucose-sensing insulin program, based on its proprietary Protein Sensor Molecular Engineering (MEPS) platform, shows great promise and Lilly is delighted to enhance our diabetes pipeline with the innovative technology of the society.

Protomer calls its diabetes product “a smart glucagon”. That is, new generation insulins that react to glucose. Insulin would automatically detect when blood sugar levels are rising in the body and activate when needed and stop when blood sugar levels reach normal levels.

Alborz Mahdavi, CEO and Founder of Protomer, said: “We are delighted to join Lilly, a leader in diabetes therapies, and to advance our science with their support to better meet the needs of patients. This transaction validates the accomplishments of our team, and we look forward to continuing our important work with Lilly. “

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

Ellias, in today’s announcement, noted that this acquisition was “a significant milestone for the T1D community and a key step in bringing Protomer’s breakthrough technology promise closer to the clinic. Our early support and investment in Protomer is emblematic of our Fund’s mission to help companies with innovative science accelerate next-generation therapies that change the lives of people living with T1D.

Mahdavi added, “We have been supported by JDRF since our inception and working closely with one of the leading type 1 diabetes research organizations has been invaluable to us. The Protomer team is excited to embark on the next chapter of our work at Lilly as we focus our efforts on advancing glucose-sensitive insulins and accelerating the development of these next-generation protein therapies. “

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Although it can develop in adults, it is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. There is no cure. Treatment involves managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet, and lifestyle. The cause is unknown, although the body’s immune system typically attacks the islets of Langerhans, the cells that produce insulin, in the pancreas. There appear to be genetic factors, although there are some indications of exposure to viruses and other environmental factors may play a role.

Billy & The Kids deliver an emotional sendoff to Red Rocks with Billy Strings, James Casey and more [Videos]

Billy & The Kids deliver an emotional sendoff to Red Rocks with Billy Strings, James Casey and more [Videos]


After what was initially to be a unique spectacle in Amphitheater of the Red Rocks swollen in a two night run, there was a pervasive feeling throughout Tuesday night Billy and the kids show that we were all on probation.

Once again supported by special guests Billy Cordes and James casey, the extended ensemble led by Grateful dead drummer Bill kreutzmann brought out every last drop of excitement from her last scheduled performance.

Tuesday’s show began with another slow build, as each member of the quartet turned sextet dialed the collective frequency, eventually emerging with Circulation“Dear Mr. Fantasy” directed by Strings. It didn’t take long for the jam to turn into a bit of smooth jazz going through Casey’s saxophone before the keyboardist. Aron Magner ultimately laid the groundwork for Strings to speak on the “Hey Jude” coda that the Dead would often associate “Mr. Fantasy” with from 1988 to the end of the Brent Mydland time.

The story of “Cassidy” came next as Magner and guitarist Tom hamilton split the vocal tasks in a mellow mix before the jam got surprisingly spacious for such a lyrical song. Watch a pro-shot video of the opening segment of the song below.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “Dear Mr. Fantasy”> “Hey Jude”> “Cassidy” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Relix]

Billy & The Kids came back to reality just enough to slip into a “Jack Straw” that once again saw Magner and Hamilton control the mic. The merry “Jack Straw” wore a noticeable shade of Joe Russo is almost dead of energy as the improvisation sparked from all corners of the stage, with Strings delivering a dazzling solo that seemed to hurt.

Meanwhile, in the sky over Morrison, CO, a few light showers produced a rainbow against the dying sunlight. Downstairs, Billy & The Kids hit the first play stoppage of the night as “Jack Straw” came to a leisurely conclusion and provided a brief respite from the seemingly endless train of sequences that started the show.

This tranquility continued until the next song as Casey mistook the vocals for a touching version of the Charles Johnson-written live Jerry Garcia Group favorite, “My sisters and brothers”. The group then welcomed another special guest as Hamilton introduced the veteran Red Rocks Paul Hoffmann of Green bluegrass at the scene, joking that this might be his “big break.” The tongue-in-cheek commentary heralded a looping moment, as Billy Strings’ very first Red Rocks show returned in 2019 in support of Hoffman and Greensky.

The mandolin player joined in a rustic “My & My Uncle” which gave the voice to Strings and left Hoffman the solo. the Bob weir cowboy tunes continued to come with “Mama Tried,” where Magner provided a rootin ‘tootin’ piano solo before “Dire Wolf,” which completed a three-song series that Strings repeats frequently in his efforts in solo.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey, Paul Hoffman – “Me and my Uncle” – Morrison, CO – 7/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey, Paul Hoffman – “Me and my Uncle” – Morrison, CO – 7/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey, Paul Hoffman – “Dire Wolf” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

After Hoffman left the stage, Billy & The Kids were able to resume more electrified jams, an ability they took full advantage of for a tough descent down “Shakedown Street”. The crack team at FANS knew exactly when to start with the psychedelic visuals, adding a bit of flair to an already transcendent saxophone solo by James Casey. This streaming viewer worried for a moment that next to Casey, Billy Strings appeared to have frozen half-ground. After a sustained note of nearly a minute, however, the multi-talented picker finished his musical buffering and helped close the number as well as the first set.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “Shakedown Street” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

The second set immediately got off to a flying start with a staggered recovery of WHO‘s “Join Together”, sung by Billy Strings. Billy & The Kids clearly threw out the rulebook for the second set, with an independent “Franklin’s turn” followed. With Tom Hamilton on vocals, one might assume he was just finishing the unfinished “Help On The Way”> “Slipknot!” movement he left hanging with JRAD at The fishing music festival two weeks ago.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “Join Together”> “Franklin’s Tower” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Relix]

After a funkified jam courtesy of James Casey, Strings took to their trusty acoustics to slow things down with “To Lay Me Down”. Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, a newly sleeveless Tom Hamilton slipped down a slide to cultivate the mood as the group settled in for a long night without being in a rush to get to a particular location. .

Things started to gradually pick up speed with another JGB favorite in “That’s What Love Will Make You Do”, before the band cocked another curve by nailing the F minor chord to sound “Help On The” Way “, before being joined by his eternal partner,” Slipknot! “

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “To Go To Bed” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

With “Franklin’s Tower” already played earlier in the set, the band instead took a detour to a “The Music Never Stopped” groove with Aron Magner singing the lyrics to a song that found new meaning in the return of the song. live music.

The musical train never stopped moving as the high speed locomotive raced straight into “Peggy-O” where Magner’s passion from the previous song filtered through the air and was intercepted by Strings who delivered a another stimulating vocal performance.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “Peggy-O” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21


[Video: Music City Maven]

Things then began to calm down with one final streak in the second Beatlescover of the evening, a contemplative “Dear Prudence”. After a brief stoppage of play, Strings mistook the mic for another with an emotional “Brokedown Palace” before the group took off for a much-needed encore break.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey – “Brokedown Palace” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Like the day before, the encore began with a segment “Drums” from Kreutzmann who once again saw him join Jeff Franca (Conspiracy). The rest of the group then joined the group as the larger ensemble launched a Terrapin station movement by cutting directly to the meat with “Lady With A Fan” followed by the holder “Terrapin Station”.

Now was not the time for that engine to roll into the station, however, as Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey and Jeff Franca pooled all of their collective artistic and energetic resources for a fiery crescendo of “I Know You Rider” to close the evening.

Billy & The Kids, Billy Strings, James Casey, Jeff Franca – “I Know You’re Riding” – Morrison, CO – 07/13/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

With no more Billy & The Kids dates on the horizon, Kreutzmann’s children – and his new parents – will once again scatter to travel the country with their respective groups. Like any good child, however, a day will come when they will need a home cooked meal or do their laundry and they will go home. Hopefully it won’t take another five years.

Billy K, too, will be getting to work this summer with a busy schedule of Death & Company tour dates. View a full list here.

Setlist: Billy & The Kids with Billy Strings, James Casey | Amphitheater of the Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 07/13/21

Series One: Dear Mr. Fantasy> Hey Jude> Cassidy> Jack Straw, My Sisters and Brothers, Me and Uncle [1], mom tried [1]terrible wolf [1], Shakedown Street

Second series: Join yourselves> Franklin’s Tower, to lay me down, that’s what love will make you do, help each other on the way> Slipknot! > The music never stopped> Peggy-O> Dear Prudence, Brokedown Palace

Again: battery [2], Lady with a Fan [2] > Terrapin station [2] > I know you rider [2]

[1] with Paul Hoffman

[2] with Jeff Franca


Increased lottery funding for community groups through Fife


Frontline organizations have received money to help them adapt and recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Kirkcaldy’s Cottage Family Center received £ 77,000, which will allow it to continue its Connecting Families project, which provides therapeutic interventions to young people and their families facing multiple challenges.

Pauline Buchan, director of the center, said: “There are no words to express how absolutely delighted we are to have received continued funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, especially during what has been a period of time. very difficult for so many of our children, youth and their families.

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Duncan Mitchell, Managing Director, at FEAT
Duncan Mitchell, Managing Director, at FEAT

“Our continued support of the National Lottery Community Fund will continue to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for families to resolve relationship issues, conflicts and wellness needs.”

The ongoing regeneration of Silverburn Park in Leven has seen £ 106,475 go to FEAT which will use the funding to organize a variety of community activities, including a volunteer program.

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Willie Rennie steps down as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

Duncan Mitchell, Company Secretary, said: “It will make a huge difference in our ongoing regeneration efforts, transforming the park from what used to be a decaying place and turning it back into a vibrant place.

Pauline Buchan, Cottage Center, Kirkcaldy (Photo: Fife Photo Agency)

“This project can be a real catalyst to realize aspirations and hope again for the future.”

Buckhind Players got £ 10,000 to continue their adult theater troupe and start a youth group, and the Fife Center for Equalities £ 80,441 to provide a range of services to older people from ethnic minorities,

Nina Munday, Chief Executive Officer, said: “At the onset of the pandemic, we identified that information and support was not reaching older people from an ethnic minority living in Fife.

“This is because the volunteer-run lunch clubs could not take place due to restrictions.

“The National Lottery Community Fund gave us a small grant to enable us to recruit three multilingual employees who distributed culturally sensitive food packages, as well as provide the latest COVID-19 information to seniors in their own language.

“Now, with this new funding, seniors will have more confidence to access traditional services. “

Thanks for reading this article on our free website. We depend on your support more than ever, as the change in consumption habits caused by the coronavirus is having an impact on our advertisers.

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New piano gives meaning to the elderly community



By Sahar Chmais

Inside Orchard Park, music shines on Tuesdays as community residents gather to sing along to the piano; these days, the elderly residents have a purpose. It wasn’t long ago that they were finally able to revive that goal, as a broken piano and COVID-19 robbed them of these joys.

First, it was the COVID-19 restrictions that forced residents to stay in their rooms without group activities or interaction. After a year of estrangement, residents felt lonely and no longer left their rooms for activities. Music was their saving grace.

“They got used to [staying alone]”said Ruben Flores, Director of Life Enrichment at the Retiree Community.” Having something to do is the only thing that gets them out of their bedroom these days. “

Orchard Park offers plenty of activities for residents, such as art and physical therapy, but that wasn’t enough to get residents involved.

When the residents were finally able to reunite, the piano they sang on, played by Jean Wood, broke. The piano notes were wrong, making it difficult for residents to sing the high notes. Wood didn’t want to sit idly by while her students suffered without the music – she made it her mission to raise money for a new piano.

Wood enlisted the help of the Chapel in the Hills Women’s Guild, where she is also the Music Director. The women in her group were eager to help within days, they donated more money than she asked for.

“They were so excited they kept thanking me,” Wood said of the residents of Orchard Park. “I’m saying I’m not doing anything special, I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.”

The piano brought a lot of joy to the residents. The afternoon gathering had 14 residents seated in the room, practicing songs from the early 1900s such as April Showers, and raising their voices and volume as high as possible. Some clapped if they couldn’t keep singing, but a woman couldn’t keep her enthusiasm.

Residents of Orchard Park sing along with April Showers as Jean Wood plays the new piano.

Irene Nixon has been a singer since childhood, when she was part of a quartet with her sisters. When April Showers’ lyrics ended, there were only two things left; Nixon’s music and voice, echoing the lyrics.

“We have a soloist,” Wood joked with the band, “her name is Irene. It’s amazing that someone our age has so much air.

Nixon was finally called out of the room before the practice was over, and as she walked out the door, her mouth kept moving, singing the songs she loved.

“Anything that can cheer them up and get them out of their lives and give them pride in what they’re doing,” said Wood, “they were having a blast. when you get older When you have nothing new for several days, you become depressed.


University of Louisville and Medtronic Partner to Develop Epidural Stimulation Algorithms for Spinal Cord Injury

Claudia Angeli (left), with UofL research participants Kelly Thomas and Jeff Marquis and trainer Kristin Benton

A collaborative effort between the University of Louisville and Medtronic to apply epidural stimulation therapy to people with spinal cord injuries was spurred by a $ 7.8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke .

University researchers made world news in 2018 when two people diagnosed with complete spinal cord injury regained the ability to walk through epidural stimulation for experimental use.

However, despite these findings, the use of epidural stimulation outside of a research lab to restore function in people with spinal cord injury has so far been hampered by a myriad of limitations, including the use of a technology designed for patients with intractable pain — not those with a spinal cord injury.

The $ 7.8 million recently announced by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – will fund work at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) at UofL in collaboration with Medtronic to develop and test software applications. specially designed for spinal cord injuries that work in conjunction with Medtronic’s commercially available device, Intellis, which is indicated as a spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain.

The five-year project, funded by the NIH BRAIN initiative, focuses on integrating technology to improve control of locomotor and bladder function using epidural stimulation.

Claudia Angeli, Epidural Stimulation Program Director at KSCIRC, said: “We have seen great results with epidural stimulation in the laboratory, but these technological system improvements will greatly facilitate the implementation of this therapy in the community.

“The integration of multiple systems will allow people with chronic spinal cord injury to benefit from daily stimulation by reducing the need to manually monitor and revise stimulation parameters.”

Medtronic epidural stimulators were first used for spinal cord injury in 2009 as part of an investigational device exemption with the FDA in research at UofL led by Susan Harkema, professor of surgery neurologist and associate scientific director of KSCIRC. Epidural stimulation therapy involves implanting a neurostimulator under the skin of patients and implanting electrodes into the epidural space of the lower spinal cord, which together deliver mild electrical impulses to the spine.

Although epidural stimulation has been proven to provide effective relief from chronic pain, there are functionality limitations when treating people with spinal cord injury. For example, the stimulation settings that allow people with a spinal cord injury to stand are different from the settings that allow them to walk, while a third set-up is needed to help bladder function. In addition, the devices researchers use today must be manually programmed for each individual function.

The goal of the new project is to develop integrated closed-loop programming for multiple systems, particularly locomotion and bladder function, using wireless sensors to monitor user condition and adjust pacemaker parameters according to needs. In collaboration with Medtronic, researchers at UofL will develop learning programs for the closed-loop system and integrate programming with commercially available epidural stimulators, on an experimental basis.

Charlie Covert, vice president and general manager of Pain Therapies, which is part of Medtronic’s neuromodulation business unit, added, “Medtronic is delighted to collaborate with the University of Louisville on research related to the use of stimulation of the spinal cord to improve the function of individuals. with a spinal cord injury.

“Collaboration is key to innovation in this space in order to meet the needs of this large patient population. “

Newburyport Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 20th season



The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival will celebrate its 20th season this summer with six concerts over six days, as well as open rehearsals, a conference and a panel discussion.

“The only difference from a normal summer is that they will all be outside,” said NCMF Artistic Director David Yang. “When we planned this festival months in advance, we were a little leery of sitting inside.”

The rain location for most Festival concerts is under the tent at the Theater in the Open, One Spring Lane, Newburyport. The Custom House concert will take place under a marquee at the Custom House.

“Because we can’t have that many people at a Garden Concert, we do more,” Yang said. “We usually have three concerts. This year we will have six concerts in a row, and the concerts will be a bit shorter without a full intermission.

This summer, tubist Scott Devereaux and composer-in-residence Eric Ewazen will join Yang on viola with violinists Sharon Roffman and Rebecca Anderson, and cellist Clancy Newman.

“It’s an amazing band this summer,” said Yang, “a fantastic band. We have this crazy tuba player coming up. Scott is a tuba virtuoso and Eric writes a piece for tube and string quartet. is pretty exciting, I’ve never worked with a hit before.

The festival will begin with a lecture presenting the summer’s main work “Hiding in plain sight: secrets and forbidden love in Berg’s“ lyrical suite ”,” followed by a week of open rehearsals at St. Paul’s where people will be socially distanced. Also on the program, a round table to meet new artists and hear them work on the world premiere of Ewazen.

The repertoire also includes quartets by Haydn and Shostakovich, music for solo violin by Bach and Ysaÿe, and music for solo tuba, including Penderecki’s “Capriccio”, “Winter” from the Four Seasons and “The Flight of the drone ”by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival is set to return for its 20th season.  The list of performances includes the festival's artistic director, David Yang, on viola.

The informal family concert in Place Patrick Tracy will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10. Sit back and bring your own iced tea or smoothie as you listen to selections from summer programs, including works by Ysaÿe, Berg, Haydn, Bach, and Shostakovich. The program is not intended for children, but they are welcome.

Haydn’s Opus 71 String Quartet No. 3 will be featured in five of the NCMF’s garden concerts.

“The Haydn quartet is heaven for me,” said Yang, “and we can play it five times in a row. If I were to play a string quartet for the rest of my life, I would be so happy to play a string quartet. Haydn strings different every day. That would be pure bliss. The Haydn is amazingly beautiful, happy and humorous music. It’s just nice to live with that every day.

“” Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 9, on the other hand, harnesses completely different emotions, starting cryptically and ending with a fierce tornado of sound. As happy as the Haydn is, Shostakovich’s end is a little furious. It’s sad, angry and moving.

Alban Berg’s “Lyric Suite” is the centerpiece around which the Festival revolves.

“The Berg combines it all,” Yang said. “It’s six movements. Some are quite sunny and happy and some are angry and stressful. It covers the whole range.

Books have been written on Berg’s technical mastery, Yang said. The third movement is a palindrome. Part C is part A literally upside down.

Sharon Roffman, seen here with her violin, will perform for the 20th season of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival.

“It’s just amazing,” he said, “because like all good music, when you remove layer after layer, you discover incredible complexity. The Berg’s third movement is incredibly fast. It’s the hardest thing I’ve played in my life. It’s short and pure, an abject terror for musicians. When you know it, it blows the mind. It is arguably the most influential string quartet of the 20th century. It’s amazing work.

While some pieces will be performed throughout the Festival, each evening is a different program.

“If people want to come to multiple concerts,” Yang said, “they’ll hear different pieces in different contexts. You always hear something new. It’s always incredibly exciting.

Founded in 2002 by Newburyport resident Yang and Jane Niebling, this week-long classical chamber music event series in August was originally sponsored by St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport. The Festival now operates as an independent, non-profit organization.

for your information

WHAT: Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

WHEN: From Wednesday August 4 to Sunday August 15

OR: locations throughout the Greater Newburyport area

INFO: www.NewburyportChamberMusic.org, 978-701-4914, [email protected]. Tickets for the garden concerts are $ 20-30. Other events are free, but some require tickets to ensure safe levels of participation.


L’Oréal sees opportunity in sun care with skin care benefits


“We are proud to be part of L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation team which continues to lead the industry in scientific developments that help improve patient outcomes by providing safe and effective therapeutic skin care.Tom Allison, senior vice president and global head of professional marketing at CeraVe, said in this month’s press release on the brand’s latest consumer survey.

And he explains why research like the one published last April in JDD is particularly relevant for the CeraVe brand: “As a leader in therapeutic skin care, at CeraVe we are committed to working with dermatologists to better understand the skin barrier and develop effective formulas with ingredients essential for healthy skin, such as ceramides, that provide therapeutic solutions for all skin needs. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Focus on ceramides and sun care

There are many scientific and scholarly articles on ceramides and the effects of UV rays on the skin.

But, according to scientists at the L’Oréal research and innovation center — Hawasatu Dumbuya PhD, Xi Yan MD PhD, Ying Chen PhD, Janet Wangari-Olivero PhD, Stephen Lynch PhD, Patricia Brieva PhD, Qian Zheng MD PhD, Charbel Bouez Doctorate-“The direct impact of UV rays on the integrity of the skin barrier in clinical settings remains little explored. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The team’s research results, published in the article entitled Efficacy of Ceramide-Containing Formulations on UV-Induced Skin Surface Barrier Alterations, show that, “Treatment with a sunscreen containing ceramides and a moisturizer reduced erythema and hyperpigmentation, improved skin hydration and maintained the normal morphology and renewal of surface skin cells after UV rays” according to the summary of the article. “Our results”, they write, “Indicate that barrier-enhancing lipid formulations may provide additional benefits in the patient’s daily routine by strengthening the barrier and improving overall skin health against chronic sun exposure. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

2021 sun protection use and consumer expectations

In partnership with international market research firm OnePoll, CeraVe conducted a survey in early June 2021, interviewing 2,000 adults in the United States about their use and expectations for sun protection. 96% would not use sunscreen daily.

However (and this is perhaps more relevant for the CeraVe brand), 64% “Say that they would like their sunscreen to have benefits for the skin”, according to this month’s press release.

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint is the brand’s answer to this expectation. The topical sun care product not only offers UV protection benefits but also the skin care hydration benefits and sheer coverage of the foundation product, “So that consumers do not have to choose between skin care and sun care”, like the release notes.

“CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint is the perfect daily step in a skin care routine,” Says Dr. DiAnne Davis, a dermatologist who works with the brand, “Because it provides the broad spectrum sun protection we need every day, along with barrier restoring ingredients that I advise my clients to look for and a shade that pairs well with most skin tones.” skin. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.


A recent British graduate, Reginald Smith Jr., represents the United States at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.



Less than a month after taking the step to earn a Masters degree from the University of Kentucky Reginald Smith Junior This weekend, at St. David’s Hall in the UK, we will step onto a very different UK stage. Here, the baritone was chosen to represent the United States on the 20th. BBC Cardiff Singer World Competition.

As part of the prestigious classical music vocal competition, Smith will compete on BBC TV, radio and iPlayer from June 12 with the world’s 15 best rising stars in international operas and songs.

Smith will face biennial singers from Austria, China, Denmark, England, Georgia, Iceland, Mongolia, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Venezuela, Wales and 14 of the first representatives of Madagascar. And the Republic of Kosovo.

This year, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, performed at St. David’s Hall with no audience for the COVID-19 protocol, will take place from June 12 to 19, with the first round scheduled for June 13. I’m.

“The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is an important starting point for world-class singers at the start of their careers, and after one of the most difficult years for any performer, this is truer than ever. We hope that this year’s edition will be a light of hope for all young singers, those who are competing or maybe looking for a home. Show your support for the emerging artists. Take advantage of their extraordinary talent and their best live music production for a few days, ”said David Jackson, artistic director of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

The singer of this year was selected on three stages among the candidates for the recording. The main judges are chaired by Welsh National Opera Director General Aidan Lang and include two famous opera stars: Wales bass baritone Neil Davis and American soprano Roberta Alexander. I will accompany the singer for the performance Welsh National Opera With Michael Christie BBC Wales National Orchestra Litton Andrew Litton.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and his BBC Wales song award Supported by, in association with the Welsh National Opera Cardiff Council. BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, song and audience award winners will receive trophies and prizes.

UKNow recently caught up with Smith. He was quarantined for the tournament this weekend. Smith spoke about his recent success on the Metropolitan Opera stage “Porgy and Bess”. He shared his thoughts on the next competition in the online classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UKNow: By playing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2019, winning a Grammy Award, earning a Masters degree, and competing in Cardiff, you can pull off a pretty good streak. How was the ride quality of the roller coaster?

Black-smith: Fortunately, I had some free time to return to UK to get a masters in vocal performance. The music school teachers are top notch and learning from each of them has really been a highlight of my year. From Masters to Grammys in Cardiff? I can’t even speak. All I can say is that when God prays for your steps, He will follow the path that has been made for you.

UKNow: You have just obtained a master’s degree, what motivated you to ‘return to Japan’ at doctoral school? What was your experience during the pandemic?

Black-smith: I have two bachelor’s degrees in UK and have always wanted to get a masters degree. But I was still busy and couldn’t go back to campus full time. I love to learn and expand my knowledge of things in my content area. You can take them all to the stage or to your private studio.

Due to the pandemic I was able to take the hybrid / online course. I was still working, but it gave me the opportunity to continue my job and my degree at the same time. Working with this faculty and a very talented colleague has really gone beyond my comfort zone. I will bring this experience and knowledge to the world.

UKNow: How did you feel about being selected to represent the United States competing for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

Black-smith: Your dreams will come true! This competition started the careers of so many singers around the world. It is worth being selected as finalist of the year and being the sole representative of my country, to say the least.

UKNow: When did you first hear about the Cardiff competition?

Black-smith: I first heard about the BBC Cardiff singer at the world championships in high school. I remember looking around and waiting for them to move on. It’s like an opera Olympics with lots of great musicians from all over the world! Watching the game was thrilling and I caught up with the tournament every time.

UKNow: How do you choose the music for this kind of competition?

Black-smith: Each round, the singer can choose up to 18 minutes of music. For me, I try to present a balanced program rather than hitting the circuits one after the other. I would like to show you various aspects of my art.

UKNow: There is a second competition for art songs, would you like to participate as well?

Black-smith: Yes, I am also participating in the Song Prize competition. I have always loved art songs, more intimate recitals and musical presentations, as well as larger opera performances. I look forward to both tournaments.

UKNow: When pursuing a career, are there any UK mentors / contacts that you continue to work with or are still in contact with today?

Black-smith: I am currently studying singing with another teacher, but I am eternally grateful to my eternal mentor and teacher. Dr Everett McCorby, For all he’s done for me. His immense generosity and wisdom supports me wherever I go. Without the students of Dr McCorby, the British Opera House, the University, the broader artistic culture of Lexington, and a continued commitment to Kentucky’s influence on art, I wouldn’t be me today. world.

Especially with Nan Maxwayne and Professor Cliff Jackson (current honor), McCorby’s incredibly supportive teachers and vocal coaches, I am fortunate to have the most outstanding “team” that anyone could ask for more. I am deeply grateful that they have influenced my career and my life.

Prior to earning his masters in May of this year, Smith obtained two bachelor’s degrees in choir. Musical education Vocal performance from UK in 2013 Smith came to the British Opera Theater As an Alltech Vocal Fellow in 2007 he studied under Everett McCorby during his undergraduate years In UK he has edited several performance and competition credits, including the Coronation Mass of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a solo on the Fauré Requiem. UK Choir Solo Performance with Lexington Philharmonic.

Local audiences are “Falstaff”, Porgy and Bess, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Pirates of Penzance”, “Bat”, “The Magic Flute”, “Labo Ame”, “River of Time”. He has performed on “The Pirates of Penis for Singing” every season and has been a guest on Seagle Music Colony’s elite summer program, the oldest summer vocal training program in the United States.

After earning an undergraduate degree, Smith participated in the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Program, won the Metropolitan Opera National Council audition in 2015 and recently in the opera world singing on Metropolitan Opera recordings, Grammy Award winner. The production of “Porgy and Bess” in 2019-20, which paved the way for excitement. Visit his website to see some videos of his previous performances. www.reginaldsmithjr.com/videos ..

The acclaimed British Opera Theater program is a school of music, therefore a British art university.

A recent British graduate, Reginald Smith Jr., represents the United States at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

Source link A recent British graduate, Reginald Smith Jr., represents the United States on the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.


Swimmers dive into Detroit River to raise money for cancer research


Grace Bunke was 11 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. She developed her love for swimming in physiotherapy after undergoing a partial leg amputation. Grace was able to combine her two passions – swimming and cancer research – with Swim Across America.

“This was one of his last requests from me, is that I continue his legacy and that I continue to swim with Swim Across America to continue to raise awareness but above all to raise funds for research for clinical trials” said Grace’s mother, Vickie Bunke.

Swimmers and volunteers gathered at the Belle Isle Beach home Thursday to raise money for cancer research during the third annual Motor City Mile Swim Across America. Swimmers of all skill levels were welcomed to the event.

Bunke traveled from Atlanta to participate in the 1-mile freestyle in the Detroit River in honor of Grace. Bunke will embark on an “Amazing Grace Tour”, where she will travel the country for 14 Freestyle Swim Across America to celebrate Grace, who has lived for 14 years.

“We will be completing all 14 races in Atlanta in October. We are excited to finish in Atlanta because Grace swam 1 mile in Lake Lanier in Atlanta and that’s how we connected with Swim Across America,” Bunke said. .

Participants can register to swim a half mile, 1 or 2 miles. The charity event is not a race, so the “winner” is determined by who donates the most money.

Swim Across America hosts similar charity swim events across the country. Money raised at each event is donated to a local cancer research center so that the funds directly benefit the community.

Dearborn's Jared and Leighton Akers watch their mother Kendra Bozich swim the course of the Detroit River during the Swim Across America to raise funds for cancer research event in Detroit on Thursday, July 9, 2021. The swimmers have traveled distances of two miles to half a mile.

“Three words we all want to hear are ‘I love you’ and three words you never want to hear are ‘you have cancer’, but if so you want to hear ‘there is hope, “those three words. What I love about Swim Across America is that the dollars we raise here… all stay in the community,” said Rob Butch, CEO of Swim Across America.

The Detroit event raised approximately $ 58,000 this year, which will be donated to the Rogel Cancer Center at the University of Michigan.

“It has been a fantastic collaboration with Swim Across America. Everyone who comes to volunteer, swim and fundraise so that we can support our researchers, we are so grateful, ”said Julie Brabbs, Executive Director of Rogel.

Karrie Lyons kisses her 12-year-old daughter, Joy Lyons, who traveled the two-mile Swim Across America event to raise funds for cancer research in Detroit on Thursday, July 09, 2021. Swimmers walked through distances of two miles to half a mile.

“Funding … is really hard to find for researchers, especially for what we fund, which is early stage cancer research. In order for a researcher to start and be able to get some of the first data for their research, they need funding. but it’s hard to get that national funding for that, ”said Julie Wheatley, vice president of operations at Swim Across America.

This year’s recipient of donations is Dr. Phillip Palmbos, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. Palmbos’ research focuses on increasing the rate of positive responses to immunotherapy in patients with pancreatic cancer. Only 1 in 3 patients with pancreatic cancer have a positive response to immunotherapy.

“I deal with cancer patients all the time, so I have faces that come with all of these research projects,” Palmbos said. Her two grandmothers died of breast cancer in their fifties.

Swimmers took to the Detroit River for the Swim Across America event to raise funds for cancer research in Detroit on Thursday, July 9, 2021. Swimmers covered distances ranging from two miles to one. half a mile.

Brabbs also has a personal connection to Swim Across America.

“I myself am a 5 year survivor. The treatment that I have received and the long-term side effects that I will continue to have from it, I am very motivated to support research on it and to help improve the incidents of cancer mortality as well as the quality of life of the patients. survivors, ”Brabbs said. mentionned.

Chad Steed, 49, of Huntington Woods, was the main contributor to Thursday’s event, donating $ 7,000. He too is a cancer survivor.

What he thought was a pink eye from swimming turned out to be cancer. Steed was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in his twenties.

“The first question I asked the doctor was, ‘Can I continue to swim? It’s not going to spoil the swimming, is it? ”Steed said. “Like many of you, if I don’t swim for a few days, I’m a little scared. It makes me happy, so I had to keep swimming, ”he said.

A shirt worn by Vickie Bunke of Atlanta who participated in Swimcross America to raise funds for cancer research in Belle Isle in Detroit on Thursday July 09, 2021. Vickie lost her 14 year old daughter Grace to illness and plans to swim a total of 14 events in his honor.

Steed was treated at the University of Michigan and now, 20 years later, is in remission. The longtime swimmer competed in the 1 mile freestyle at the Swim Across America event.

“We support cancer research. We also want to give family and friends the opportunity to honor loved ones who may be battling cancer or who may have died of cancer,” said Wheatley. “Swimming is a really big challenge for a lot of people. A lot of people think swimming deserves the challenge that cancer patients struggle with.”

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Rob Atteberry, 49, of Clarkston, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 40. Like Grace, he began swimming during his recovery after his second battle with cancer. Atteberry was unable to swim this year but still paddled with the swimmers.

“I’m going to be back here next year for the 2022 Swim Across America, swimming a mile without a doubt about that,” Atteberry said.

Contact Janelle James: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @Janelle___J

Questlove’s Documentary “Summer of Soul” Captures Emotions of Harlem Music Festival 1969



Black gospel music is often described as uplifting, an expression of joy in the faith. But Questlove, the director of a new documentary about a groundbreaking music festival in Harlem that ran for six weeks in the summer of 1969, said there’s another side of gospel that’s not. minus a release.

“There were a lot, I guess we can call the primitive musical expression or the primitive exotic expression or just the layman term, of people acting wild,” Questlove, the frontman of The Roots, the house band for “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Religion News Service told a virtual press conference on June 22.

“So if it’s a mind-catching gospel singer, if it’s Sonny Sharrock doing one of the most atonal, destructive, violent solos I’ve ever seen on a guitar,” said Questlove, “I wanted people to know that it’s fair It’s not black people acting wild and crazy, that it was a therapeutic thing. And for many of us, gospel music was the channel. , because we didn’t know the dysfunctional families, therapies and life coaches that we have now. “

Questlove, whose first name is Ahmir Thompson, said he wanted the documentary to explain the meaning of some of the festival’s most moving music.

“Summer of Soul: (… Or, When The Revolution Couldn’t Be Televised)” will hit theaters and air on Hulu starting Friday, July 2. The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won a grand jury award as well as an audience award in February.

The little-known Harlem Cultural Festival was held from June to August at Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park), drawing a predominantly black audience and well-known African-American musical celebrities. Following the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., organizers envisioned the festival as a way to honor King. Then-New York City mayor John Lindsay supported the festival, hoping to quell unrest.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended during the festival, and musicians and participants celebrated Black history, culture and fashion, seeking unity at a time when the nation was rocked by the Vietnam War. and a drug epidemic even as she faced a racial calculation.

“Summer of Soul” opens with a drum solo by Stevie Wonder and features artists ranging from blues performer BB King to gospel singers Edwin Hawkins Singers to Puerto Rican percussionist Ray Barretto. Gladys Knight recalled in an interview in the documentary how she joined in the prayers of the Pips, her male backing vocalists, before taking the stage and was “totally taken over” as she saw the crowd respond enthusiastically to “I am. heard through the Vine. “

Gospel music featured prominently on one day of the festival, but was also performed on some of the other five Sundays.

Artists and pundits interviewed by Questlove for the documentary and shown between snippets of footage from the festival – which took place in a basement for decades – agreed that the role of gospel goes beyond mere music.

Reverend Al Sharpton in the documentary described gospel music as more than just religious expression: “The gospel was therapy for the stress and pressure of being black in America.

“We didn’t know anything about therapists. But we did know Mahalia Jackson,” said Sharpton, president of the Harlem-based National Action Network and Pentecostal pastor turned Baptist.

Jackson, a very popular and influential gospel singer at the time, played a key role in the festival – not only as a headliner on July 13, 1969, the day designated as the gospel festival, but as a singer. of “Precious Lord, Take Ma main”, a favorite hymn of the murdered civil rights leader.

Moments before his assassination, King had leaned on the balcony just outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and asked a musician to play this hymn at a meeting scheduled for the evening of the 4th. April 1968.

This saxophonist was one of the musicians of the festival a little over a year later.

“Ben Branch has always been revered by kids like me because Dr. King’s last words were addressed to Ben,” recalled Sharpton, who was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s teenage director of Operation Breadbasket.

The documentary shows Branch, the leader of the Operation Breadbasket Orchestra, performing “Let Us Break Bread Together” as the Reverend Jesse Jackson prepares festival-goers for a musical prayer.

“We want Sister Mahalia, Mavis Staples and all of our groups to prepare for our ‘Precious Lord’ prayer today,” announced Jackson, a pastor who, over 50 years later, still continues his activism and has been arrested during a demonstration. a few weeks before the film’s theatrical release.

Staples, a member of The Staple Singers, recalled in an interview for the documentary that she was struck down by her “idol”, Mahalia Jackson, to help her sing the anthem.

“It was just an unreal moment for me,” recalls Staples, who started the song slowly. “I’m telling you, that was the moment of my life. When she gave me that mic back, I said, ‘Oh, she loves what I do.'”

Questlove noted that it wasn’t just gospel singers who featured the genre in their festival performances. Others, like The 5th Dimension, featuring singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., included the style as they sang other flavors of music, including their rendition of “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In. “, from the Broadway musical” Hair “. “

“This performance from them at the Harlem Cultural Festival was closer to that of a gospel revival,” Questlove said at the press conference. “I’ve never heard Billy Davis, except for one of their songs on their solo album, a song called ‘Your Love’. I’ve never heard Billy Davis Jr. use his hoarse gospel baritone, – AAHHHHEE – that kind of James Brown-ish sock-it-to-me, that sort of thing. “

In their interview in the film, McCoo and Davis explained how happy they were to be received at the festival as they were – black performers who had appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” but had also been attacked for having sang pop music and “not be black enough.”

“Billy did all of these wonderful gospel licks in his ad libs,” McCoo said. “Our producer said ‘OK Billy take him to church’ and Billy knew exactly what to do because Billy sang gospel as a teenager.”

Beyond gospel inclusion, the entire festival exuded a sense of unity and a desire for hope at a time when not only King, but also Harlem-based Sen. Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X , had been lost under the bullets of the assassins.

Sharpton recalled the vocals of Nina Simone, who performed “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”, as he spoke with Questlove in the film.

“Nina Simone sang this with her tone that sits somewhere between hope and mourning,” Sharpton said in her interview in the film. “I mean, no one could capture the two spirits like Nina. It defined a whole generation because you could hear in her voice our pain but our challenge.”


The Wallflowers: Exit Wounds Album Review



During the alternative rock gold rush of the 1990s, the Wallflowers didn’t quite belong to the burgeoning grunge or American camp, but they did benefit from the abundance of guitar bands. They arrived at the heyday of Pearl Jam and Hootie & the Blowfish radio, so there was an audience prepared for their strum-and-jangle. With his singles “One Headlight”, “6th Avenue Heartache” and “The Difference”, quadruple platinum record from 1996 Bring down the horse provided the basis for frontman Jakob Dylan to lead various incarnations of the Wallflowers through roster changes and extended interruptions, negotiating slight mode changes without giving up the band’s adherence to the core elements of rock’n’roll: guitar , bass and drums, all sized by the vortices of the Hammond organ.

Exit injuries, the band’s first album in nine years and only their seventh record in nearly 30 years, doubles that foundation, delivering an album that in many ways could have been released somewhere in the mid-1990s. Dylan is the only original member of the time of Bring down the horse, the coherence of sound and aesthetics is therefore surprising. Revisiting old Wallflowers records shows how much he struggled with a desire to modernize their trad-rock to fit the times – the years 2002 Red letter days has a visibly glassy electronic sheen and instinct to move forward on a clear path.

No attempt to accommodate contemporary fashion is apparent on Exit injuries. Working with a lineup he put together in the late 2010s, Dylan seems comfortable playing the same sort of highway ballads and Saturday afternoon rockers he’s been writing for decades. Her voice carries light nuances of leather which are highlighted by the Americana soul of the Wallflowers, as in the opening track “Maybe Your Heart’s Not in It No More”. The song provides an ideal opening salvo for the record: the group’s confident groove is offset by Dylan’s minimal middle-aged introspection, a sentiment that runs through many of these songs. Dylan balances these moments of doubt with ironic self-mockery, a trend that is brought to the fore on “I’ll Let You Down (But Will Not Give You Up)”. This mix gives a slight boost to his straightforward songs. He arrives at familiar destinations by detours, not by the main road.

Call it wisdom, call it maturity, but the depth of experience deepens the traditionalism of Dylan’s music; he grew up in the clothes he has worn all his life. To that end, he’s aided greatly by the production of Butch Walker, another old-school rock’n’roll follower who knows which elements of Dylan’s music to emphasize. The thinness of Exit injuries is a bit misleading. It may not seem rushed, but the simple and straightforward arrangements give the disc a moderate energy boost. The keyboards soften the harsher edges of the guitars, American singer Shelby Lynne provides harmonies throughout, and the rhythms are smooth even when simple. Every detail not only adds texture but also character.

None of Walker’s brushstrokes come as a surprise, but they accentuate Dylan’s personality. He has a slightly surly disposition that camouflages an open heart; it’s hard not to see his bruises when he sings “I Fire Up Keeping You Warm” on “Roots and Wings”. Like Tom Petty, Dylan prefers small gestures to big statements, finding emotional truth in a clever turn of phrase like “the dive bar in my heart”. This modesty has been one of Dylan’s gifts from the start, when he tried to write songs that seemed to have been pitched for years. Now that he has covered a few kilometers under his belt, his handwriting is crisp and his collaborators seem at ease. At Exit injuries, the Wallflowers are finally becoming the classic rock band they always wanted to be.

Buy: Gross trade

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Best of Southern Utah Desert Sands winner Ketamine relieves mental health disorders and chronic pain – St George News



Image bank | Photo by fcscafeine / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT – Ketamine brings hope and healing to people living with treatment-resistant depression and many other disorders. However, patients should not trust just any clinic for their ketamine treatment. The Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center has been recognized as the best in southern Utah.

Dr Eric Evans and Shannon Evans, owners of Desert Sands Medical Clinics, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

AT Desert Sands KetamineDr. Eric Evans administers ketamine by IV infusion to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, as well as chronic pain. Ketamine in a therapeutic setting represents an optimistic new frontier for many patients who have already tried a variety of drugs with little or no success.

“I hesitate to use the word ‘miracle’ with any medicine, but ketamine has been just plain miraculous for a lot of people in our clinic,” he said. “With ketamine, people can wake up in the morning and joy is a possibility again for them.”

Learn more about ketamine

Clinical studies of treating depression with ketamine have shown a success rate of around 70%, Evans said, adding that some patients experience an improvement in mood after their first infusion. In comparison, oral antidepressants typically have a 40-45% success rate and take between four and eight weeks to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Ketamine targets the amygdala, the area of ​​the brain that plays a key role in mood and baseline emotional state. Providing long-lasting results with a much higher success rate than antidepressants, Evans proclaims it a “wonder drug” for treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders. Patients with painful conditions like migraines, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and complex regional pain syndrome have also experienced remarkable results.

“It’s a great alternative for patients who struggle and haven’t found relief in traditional pharmaceutical offerings,” he said. “We encourage them to reach out and try something different before they give up hope.”

Not all suppliers are created equal

Many patients seeking treatment for mental health conditions and pain have already received a complex list of medications, some of which may not be compatible with ketamine. At Desert Sands Ketamine, each patient sees a doctor who carefully assesses their medical history.

Interior of Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George News

As a certified anesthesiologist, Evans has administered ketamine regularly in the operating room for the past 25 years and has said the drug is extremely safe. The vast majority of people tolerate both surgical therapeutic doses without side effects. Either way, patients are closely monitored during and after their Desert Sands Ketamine infusions to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness.

“There is an art to donating ketamine,” he said. “We tailor the dose to the individual, which is the main reason we’ve seen such high success rates.”

Serving Southern Utah

Desert Sands Ketamine won Gold in Alternative Therapies as well as Silver in Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment category in 2021 Best of Southern Utah competition. Evans said that although they serve many patients in the greater St. George area, people have come from as far away as New York and Los Angeles, and many places in between, due to the solid reputation. that they established.

As a native of southern Utah, Evans relishes any opportunity to give back to his community. After working in the hospital for decades, he saw the need for another mental health treatment option locally and knew that ketamine, a drug that he administered almost daily to surgical patients, could provide a lifeline. rescue for those struggling with mood disorders.

“The opening of Desert Sands to help patients here in our community has been very gratifying,” he said. “To be voted the best is truly an honor.”

Discover the Desert Sands difference

At Desert Sands Ketamine, Evans has created a welcoming, spa-like healing environment with compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping each patient achieve the best possible results. Nurses are caring professionals whom he has personally selected for their ability to cope with difficult conditions.

Image bank | Photo by kieferpix / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

“The setting for ketamine treatment is extremely important,” he said. “Having a comfortable space that allows your mind to relax while consuming ketamine is key. ”

In addition, the clinic provides resources for patients to improve all aspects of their well-being, including dietary counseling, meditation, massage therapy, relationship counseling and talk therapy. The patient experience always begins with a free consultation to discuss their issues and determine if ketamine is right for them.

“Each person has a unique story and a set of issues they face,” Evans said. “We try to use a comprehensive approach for each patient.”

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center website or call 435-522-5190.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.



Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.


Orfeh, The Skivvies, Jason Robert Brown and more announced for Feinstein’s / 54 below next week


Next week FEINSTEIN’S / 54 BELOW, the Supper Club and Broadway Private Event Destination, features some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz and beyond. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.54Below.com or call (646) 476-3551.


Tony Award® Winner Jason Robert Brown returns to Feinstein’s / 54 Below to celebrate his very first vinyl release, the Craft Recordings album Coming From Inside The House: A Virtual SubCulture Concert, featuring his fierce band in their first live performance in over one year. With songs from his award-winning shows and movies, his solo albums and a few surprises, it will be a joyful and cathartic JRB concert like no other!

Coverage fee of $ 65. $ 105 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Go wild with The Skivvies for an evening of music inspired by Little Shop of Horrors. Known for their comedic and varied mashups, Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley don’t just cut out the arrangements – cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica – they literally strip down to their underwear as they play. Having played Seymour and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors productions, Lauren and Nick will bring the story and song to life in a personal and electric way. Plus, expect The Rocky Horror Skivvies Show hits from their debut album and more. Featured in People magazine’s Hottest Bodies issue and as Sports Illustrated’s favorite new band, the Skivvies Award-nominated concerts are packed with great vocals and crazy harmonies … but no pants.

With Lauren Molina, Nick Cearley, Diana Huey, Tamika Sonja Lawrence, Rob Morrison and Juson Williams

$ 45 cover charge. $ 75 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Broadway royalty Lee Roy Reams returns to Feinstein’s / 54 Below with an all-new show celebrating his collaboration with the late great legend Jerry Herman. Lee Roy will delight audiences with glorious songs and outrageous stories from shows such as La Cage aux Folles and Hello, Dolly!

The ten credits of Lee Roy on Broadway range from Sweet Charity, Applause, Lorelei, Hello, Dolly !, and 42nd Street to La Cage aux Folles, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Producers. Come get the theatrical treat from a guy who was there to see everything from Dolly’s eyelashes to Billy Lawlor’s well-worn tap dancing.

Coverage fee of $ 60. $ 95 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Songs inspired by the nerve, style and history of Chicago, the musical. Sirius XM Radio’s On Broadway host and former Broadway Mama Morton Christine Pedi celebrates the Chicago spirit with “feel good” and “bad girl” songs from the Roaring Twenties and beyond, including classics from composers Kander & Ebb and a star – A mix of “Chicago Divas” with the famous prints of Ms. Pedi. Hear from some of the great ladies on stage and on screen get the chance to play Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly! Musical direction by Matthew Martin Ward.

$ 45 cover charge. $ 60 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


With the energy of a teenage girl, the wisdom of a sage and the memory of a superhero, Marilu Henner, star of “Taxi”, “Evening Shade” and Gettin ‘the Band Back Together, takes you on a journey through his decades long career filled with Broadway shows, movies, two hit sitcoms and three husbands! Hilarious and sincere, it’s an evening you won’t forget!

Coverage fee of $ 60. $ 95 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


After a very brief hiatus (and almost a year after the release of his debut album), Robbie Rozelle returns to the basement with a brand new show. And after a year and a half of binging all over Netflix, the acclaimed artist has things to say. Join Robbie and his little group as they celebrate life, love and life aloud in a hilarious new adventure from the creator of Songs From Inside My Locker and Tuesdays at 54 that’s sure to be full of his signature medleys, razor-sharp wit, and just a hint of snark. He just hopes his suit jacket still fits him. And if not, who cares? It is a party !

Written and performed by Robbie Rozelle

Musical direction and arrangements by Yasuhiko Fukuoka

With Robbie Rozelle and special guest Joseph C. Townsend

Coverage fee of $ 40. $ 65 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.

ORFEH: OR & MORE-JULY 15-17 at 7:00 p.m.

The roof comes off the house with the mighty Tony Award® herself a Grammy nominated and nominated diva, Orfeh! She will be joined by more friends with more songs than ever. From pop hits to Pretty Woman, you’ll dance in your seats and wave your towels for Or & More … and more.

With the main group of Orfeh led by musical director Steven Jamail and vocalists Niki Kimbrough and Tim Kodres.

With Orfeh with special guests Eric Anderson, Raymond J. Lee (July 16 only) and Marissa Rosen

$ 85 cover charge. $ 135 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


After a sold-out race in 2019, Broadway and Symphony Orchestra performer and BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award nominee 2020 Blaine Alden Krauss, known for Hamilton, The Cher Show, Kinky Boots and Great Comet, brings back his success, From The Soul, at Feinstein’s / 54 below. The return of this bouncy evening of music features Krauss’ vocal and emotional renditions of favorites Funk, Broadway and Pop. Starring the award-nominated arranger, Dylan Glatthorn, Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Purlie !, Stevie Wonder, Judy Garland and The Wiz!

Coverage fee of $ 40. $ 65 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Taylor Sorice is a singer / songwriter / performer who has been singing since before she could walk. Known as SORICE on the Billboard Jazz charts with the hit single “You Better Know It” and her latest single, “I Won’t Be Your Fool”, Taylor is a multi-genre singer who began her career in singing and studying musical theater. here in Manhattan.

Join us for An Evening With Taylor Sorice as she takes us on a journey through the roles and songs that shaped her career to become what it is today! You’ll hear classics of musical theater from the shows that shaped her like Anastasia, Little Women and South Pacific, as well as many SORICE originals and pop covers. You will laugh, you might cry, and you will certainly enjoy the surprises she has in store for you along the way!

An Evening with Taylor Sorice is directed and produced by Megan Minutillo

With Taylor Sorice and special guests Christopher Hlinka and Jaqueline Balducci

Coverage fee of $ 35. $ 60 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Celebrating Ari Grooves’ upcoming and debut album, Ari Groover aka “Ari Grooves” (Holler If Ya Hear Me, Bare), is a Broadway gem / DJ with something to say. Message From a Wanderer is about a woman with gifts from the future going back to the past, all the way to the year 2020, to find understanding of herself and what it really means to be a “wanderer”. 2020 appears to be the year of devastation, filled with major changes that seem daunting. The vagabond forces us to unwrap ourselves to see the masterpieces that we are. We don’t know, the journey we are about to take will be the start of a new renaissance. We are all wanderers looking up to the sky for answers! Let’s celebrate with Ari Grooves and his friends!

With Ari Grooves, Shaq Hester, Akilah Sailers and Joy Woods

Coverage fee of $ 40. $ 65 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Sally Wilfert (Assassins, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) returns to Feinstein’s / 54 Below with her brand new show, How Did I Get Here? She and Music Director Joseph Thalken take you on a musical journey from an innocent farmer in Ohio to an acclaimed Broadway singer.

Coverage fee of $ 55. $ 90 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.


Natalie Walker spent the pandemic somewhere outside her body watching her brain break and reassemble and shatter and reassemble endlessly (Latin, intellectual …..). Now the only thing that feels set to her is singing and / or screaming in a basement and being a witness throughout, so she goes it alone at Feinstein / 54 Below for the very first time afterwards. having successfully ridden her ponytails. extraordinary friends in previous engagements with Bonnie Milligan and Heath Saunders. In the great classical tradition (opera, highbrow …..), Natalie Walker: Mad Scenes is an evening dedicated to the art of swaying. Accompanied by musical director Dan Garmon, Walker will take the audience * on a tour from daze to hysteria, from Lucia to Liza, from Norma to Neely, from Beale to Bensimon (Housewives, nerd, taste has no no sense) and vice versa.

* Walker’s Cavalier states that the audience ratio between close friends and people she doesn’t know very well is okay, so the vibe is “warm and encouraging” but stops far from “maybe intervention ? She doesn’t know what that exact ratio is and will never know because she doesn’t respect numbers as an art form, but trusts everyone to “just be cool” and “sort of. feel it “.

Coverage fee of $ 40. $ 65 in premium seats. $ 25 minimum food and drink.

Feinstein’s / 54 Below is committed to protecting the health of its artists, staff and guests and has created a safety plan to ensure safe conditions as well as optimal performance conditions. The new policies require performers, production, kitchen and dining staff, and all members of the public to show proof of vaccination to enter the premises. Additional information on our security protocols can be found here.

Capacity will currently be limited to only 100 guests for shows until August 31, 2021. Tickets for all shows up to that date will be sold in capsules of 2, 3, 4 or 6 tickets. Unaffiliated parties will not be seated at the same table. Feinstein’s / 54 Below installed improved airflow and filtering systems as well as added plexiglass barriers between some tables. Based on CDC and New York State guidelines at the time of performance, safety protocols and seating arrangements may change, and policies may be adjusted as needed.


Billie Eilish reveals how therapy helps her write songs | Music



Billie Eilish reveals how therapy can help her creative process.

The makers of “Bad Guy” hits see therapists “once a week”. She encouraged everyone to do the same, just like she did when she discussed the benefits of opening the door for someone.

She told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1:

“Everyone should go, even if they think their life is wonderfully perfect and everything is fine. Everyone should go.

“And I think it helps my creative process, because it keeps me from throwing up, and it keeps me from having everything here.”

A 19-year-old star working on the long-awaited second album Happier Than Ever explained that the therapeutic conversation influenced his lyrics.

“It makes me talk about things, and then I think about it constantly. I’m talking about therapeutic things that I don’t even think about in my life.

“It’s like I’m thinking about next week. Wow, I should write about this on what we talked about during the treatment. It’s really interesting.'”

“And it really helps, it gets you out, and it really needs it.”

Billy also said that she experienced a lot of “soul searching” on her new album.

She said: “There was as much soul-searching as I was.

“I realized that I had never even faced in my life, and that I had never done so.

“And the same thing that I’ve witnessed and seen around me is happening, and I’m talking through it, taking it off of me, and then you know that sounds good. “

Billie Eilish reveals how therapy helps her write songs | Music

Source link Billie Eilish reveals how therapy helps her write songs | Music


Addiction Council calls for increased funding

breaking news on a newspaper page

Five drug addiction programs overseen by four organizations will seek a 17.6% increase in funding for 2022.

The total funding of $ 1.24 million, which is $ 186,515 more than what was approved for this year, received a preliminary recommendation from the Drug Addiction Public Funding Council on Wednesday.

Although each of the five proposed budgets was passed unanimously, the board can only make funding recommendations. The final decisions are entrusted to the elected officials of the municipal and departmental councils. These applications are generally funded 50/50 by the city and county.

City and county councils will begin 2022 budget hearings in the coming months that include these recommendations.

Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress (ASAP) – Hub.

Total demand: $ 521,839 (compared to $ 499,641 this year)

Opened in September 2019, the Doug Otto United Way Building center provides the resources needed to recover from addiction, including referrals to already existing programs. The hub also helps navigate healthcare, insurance systems, resources for connecting to community services, and even the basics of obtaining food, shelter, and transportation.

As soon as possible, retiring executive director Doug Leonard said part of the requested increase would go to a grants writer, who can help make the HUB more self-reliant. Currently, the organization relies on a Columbus Regional Health grants writer who is only available a few hours a week, he told the board. If the funding is approved, Leonard says an experienced, but retired grants writer is the primary candidate for inclusion.

The other unmet need included in the proposed new funding is for a full-time, bilingual Spanish-speaking staff member, Leonard said. In recent years, the center has seen very few members of the local Hispanic population, which is the second largest ethnic group in Bartholomew County, he said.

ASAP – Housing

Total request: $ 51,759

There are now 10 different sober living or salvage homes in the Columbus area. Demand has increased to the level where it will take many homes to fill the void. Current estimates have about 90 recovery beds in Bartholomew County. But with more homes slated to open in the next six to 12 months, Leonard said about 350 to 450 people would be served in those homes each year.

The funds sought will allow ASAP to hire a full-time sober home liaison who will ensure these homes maintain a positive community image, said the retired ASAP director. This person would also act as a navigator to ensure that those looking for a salvage house are able to find one that matches their needs and circumstances, he said.

The liaison would also endeavor to ensure that the 12-step recovery meetings follow best practices, as well as meeting with those in charge of the house to foster familiarity and trust, as well as to raise common issues. in every house.

Leonard spoke about the need to establish a specially designed reintegration home for those who have just been released from prison.

Recovery Makes a Life for Men (REALM)

Total demand: $ 215,878 (compared to $ 205,042 this year)

Inspired by a successful community correctional program for women, REALM’s goal is to provide comprehensive, evidence-based residential treatment that focuses on the substance abuse needs of 30-40 male offenders each year.

Since the start of REALM in early 2010, 53 inmates have participated. Among the men who successfully completed the program, their risk of committing another offense was reduced by almost 48%, according to Bartholomew County Community Corrections Director Rob Gaskill.

The additional money being sought for next year would provide a 4% salary increase for two residential agents who are currently publicly funded ASAP, Gaskill said. The request also includes $ 6,970 to fill a funding gap to pay a case manager who is not covered by grants already acquired.

Adult Drug Recovery Court (DRC)

Total demand: $ 115,292 (compared to $ 103,951 this year)

DRC integrates evidence-based drug treatment, mandatory drug testing, penalties, incentives and bridging services. The goal is to reduce recidivism and drug addiction among those at high risk or high need, Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin told the fundraising board.

When court officials did their initial planning, funding for that year was supposed to be $ 207,000. However, Bartholomew County officials paid $ 80,900 directly to the salary and benefits of a second case manager who will divide her workload between the DRC and the Family Restoration Court, the judge said. With financial assistance from the city and county, the court hopes to expand its capacity from a maximum of 25 participants this year to 35 to 40 participants in 2022, Benjamin said.

The program will also begin to seek new forms of funding, as a grant from the Federal Office for Judicial Assistance will expire at the end of next year.

Part of the increased funding will be used to provide 4% salary increases to key DRC members who are likely to face a heavier workload next year, Benjamin said. It would also provide additional drug testing and incentives to court participants.

Bartholomew Prison Drug Treatment Program.

Total demand: $ 340,291 (up from $ 249,910 this year)

Opened in early 2020, this program provides treatment to non-violent offenders with historical substance abuse and mental illness disorders. Applicants who meet the criteria receive group and individual therapy for up to 16 weeks. After graduation, they receive treatment for an additional 6 to 12 weeks. About a third of the 292 offenders who applied to the program were accepted, said prison addiction treatment coordinator Theresa Patton.

The funding sought is for staffing next year, Bartholomew County Deputy Chief Sheriff Major Chris Lane said. This would involve making Patton a contract employee paid $ 145,000 per year with no benefits. Last year we asked for one full-time recovery counselor, but two part-time counselors who would not be receiving benefits. However, there have been no qualified candidates willing to work part-time, Lane said.

“Even the full-time position took us three to four months to fill it,” Lane said.

Lane therefore proposes that another full-time advisor be hired with benefits instead of two part-time.

‘It’s like a house’: Baton ready, Andris Nelsons reflects on his return to Tanglewood | Local News


LENOX – On the eve of the official opening of the Tanglewood Summer Festival and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first public performance in 17 months on Saturday night, Music Director Andris Nelsons took some time to reflect on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts in general, and the BSO in particular.

With at least 12 sold-out concerts in the compressed six-week classical season, the orchestra is looking to return after losing $ 60 million in ticket sales since February 2020 and cutting its annual budget by 50%. of $ 107 million.

During a Wednesday break between rehearsals with the BSO and the young student musicians of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Nelsons, 42, emphasized his belief that audiences are hungry for shared experiences. He also shared how he spent some unforeseen free time, including renewing his passion for martial arts.

Excerpts from his conversation with The Eagle follow:

Q: It must have been a moving experience to come back to Tanglewood and the orchestra.

A: Absolutely, although I conducted the orchestra in January and April for the streaming, and it was wonderful to see the musicians, but we missed the audience, and now we can play side by side without masks.

It’s incredible; barely got here, I took my golf cart, I walked around, everything is so green, so beautiful. The students play wonderfully with a lot of passion and excitement. It’s like a house, walking around, talking with musicians or a member of staff. It’s so human; that’s what has always been the gem here. It brings everyone together. It can be very busy, but everyone is smiling.

Q: Playing with an audience instead of empty space must make a difference.

A: It’s inspiring, and there can be no substitute for live concerts; we need to be able to share. Streaming was not a substitute for concerts, but it saved the musicians from being separated from each other for too long, so they now find themselves with the audience. The orchestra is like family, absolutely.

Q: During the pandemic, you had more free time than at any time in your career; you must have thought about the lack of live music.

A: I haven’t had that much free time since I was 11 because in my teenage years I was very busy studying the trumpet, then came professional life, and since then it’s been busy, busy , busy.

So at first we were shocked, but we thought it would take a few weeks or even two months, but we soon realized that it was a terrible disaster.

I spent a lot more time with my family so it was wonderful to be with my daughter, my parents, my wife. Of course, I’ve been listening to music, YouTube, and comparing performances, studying songs that we’re going to do next season.

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Nelsons, shown at the Tanglewood field, said the downtime during the coronavirus pandemic had helped renew his passion for martial arts.

Q: What about personal activities?

A: I practiced martial arts from 11 to 18, then quit for 22 years. During the corona I started going to the martial arts club [in Leipzig, Germany], to think about my physical condition and take care of it as much as possible, because it helps your inner being to express itself.

I have always been fascinated not only by the physical aspects, but also by the philosophy and psychology of taekwondo (Korean traditional martial art). It is self-discipline, and I will continue to do so.

Plus, we’ve all experienced where the true friendships are, and we’ve also realized that music and culture is very clearly not high on the agenda in some places. The world has become less predictable, we have planned five, ten years in advance, and it has proven that in a very short time everything has stopped and changed.

It’s kind of a sign from somewhere; we think we know everything and we can influence nature and everything. But, in fact, everything is very fragile, and we have to look at the priorities of life, and be ready to support ourselves, and sometimes we have forgotten that.

It’s a return to the basics of humanity, really. This is the time to reflect and think, to breathe. You don’t always have to rush.

Q: Will this experience affect your approach to creating music?

A: I think so; I don’t know if it will be better; it might be a lot worse (laughs), but making music has so much to do with thinking, sharing. And this time will certainly teach us to cherish every moment we have in life, everything positive we have, the opportunity to say things and express thoughts. Now we can come back to a pace where we can reflect.

Q: Could this affect the balance between your career, family, time to walk and talk to people?

A: Maybe that’s true, and I love the two orchestras I have (Boston and Leipzig Gewandhaus), and in fact I have more free time than before due to less guest conducting.

I don’t cut the time with Boston or Leipzig, but in between, when traveling, it’s so nice to arrive a few days early. And I cherish every moment that I have to be with my daughter, Adriana, 9; Time passes so fast. She loves music, but at the moment she is playing tennis.

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Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra rehearse in the Shed at Tanglewood Thursday, in preparation for Saturday’s opening concert – the orchestra’s first public performance in 17 months.

Q: This summer at Tanglewood, vocal music is missed by all of us which had to be avoided due to the pandemic.

A: There are still other challenges to overcome, but next summer we plan to return to opera in Tanglewood, and vocal music, along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, is so important.

Q: Are you hoping to explore more contemporary music?

A: We’re including contemporary pieces this summer at Tanglewood, and we’ve planned several more commissions from a wider range of composers.

Perhaps the attitude of musicians and audiences watching contemporary pieces could change; we will think more about why this music is as it is and what it expresses. There’s a reason it’s complicated or atonal, reflecting what’s going on in life and in the world.

I always try to think about musical and emotional reasoning, and maybe that will encourage us to delve deeper into contemporary music, because there is so much wonderful music, and sometimes it is hidden. We need to invest more time for this; we don’t want to neglect it.

Q: How do you feel about your role as a teacher, working with young musicians at Tanglewood?

A: I felt so fulfilled two summers ago, I’m passionate about it and maybe I’ll try to expand it, because these young musicians have very interesting ideas; it allows us to remember when we were students.

For conductors of all ages, it’s a never-ending process, to make sure that your communication is what you feel on the inside, as it’s not that easy to show how you feel.

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The orchestra will return to the Shed on Saturday. With at least 12 sold-out concerts in the compressed six-week classical season, the BSO is looking to return after losing $ 60 million in ticket sales since February 2020 and cutting its annual budget by 50% from $ 107 million.


Barkley gains popularity in sports betting ahead of celebrity golf



He’s known to have an unusual golf swing and an overall dismal golf game, but Charles Barkley is a popular choice in sports betting this week.

Of course, the bet isn’t exactly a huge show of confidence in the former NBA star and current basketball TV presenter.

Bettors have an 8: 1 odds for Barkley to finish in the top 70 at this week’s American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament at Edgewood-Tahoe. Those odds, from William Hill, started at 17-1 a few weeks ago.

If Barkley ends up in the top 70 in the field of 89 people, a bet of $ 100 pays out $ 1,700.

Charles Barkley starts off at the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday July 11, 2020.

Barkley told media he is working with new swing trainer Stan Utley and has erased the many voices that haunted his thoughts on previous rounds of golf.

Utley said Barkley’s problems on the golf course in the past have been physical.

“I’m not too worried about his ability to compete under pressure in front of a gallery. I think he understood that,” Utley said. “I’m pampered by people who think he has mental issues with golf. Charles’s issues were purely skill issues. They have nothing to do with confidence, the mind.

Fans line the 17th fairway during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday July 11, 2020.

Former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder, who has won three in a row at Edgewood (2015-17), has said he will go against popular betting.

“I guess there are too many people doing this,” Mulder said with a smile. “I would probably go the other way because I’m a really bad player. What everyone thinks, I’ll do just the opposite.”

The Celebrity Golf Tournament takes place Friday through Sunday at Edgewood.

Mardy Fish hits a drive on the 17th hole during the ACC golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course last year.

Celebrity Notes

Odds of winning the Caesars Sports Book (William Hill): Mardy Fish is the defending champion, but two-time winner Tony Romo is the favorite in 3v2 betting.

Romo had to retire in the second round last year at Edgewood due to a wrist injury, which later turned out to be a broken wrist.

Romo said punters are “just guessing” and Fish is the favorite.

Fish scored a course record of over 37 points in the second round last year in the modified Stableford scoring system, a score of 63 in regular scoring.

Romo added that 10 or 15 players are capable of winning this week.

“It shows that the players are only getting better. They are getting better education. And they are working on their game,” Romo said. “You see a guy like Kyle Williams the last teardrop just came out of nowhere for this area, but for those of us who know he always had the ability to hit the golf ball really well. other person like that to sneak in. And it’s really fun. “

Mulder also said Fish or Williams are among the favorites to win.

“It’s hard to go against Mardy. I don’t know if anyone really hits him off the tee to the green better than him. Over the last few years I guess you could tell he would sometimes have a hard time putting. “But last year he put in great, obviously. You can’t put the numbers he did and not putt well. It would be hard for me not to put money in,” Mulder said.

Tony Romo swings off the 1st tee during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday July 11, 2020.

Athletes active in the field: Stephen Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, TJ Oshie, Joe Pavelski, Derek Carr, Seth Curry, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Travis Kelce, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Kyle Fuller, Kyle Rudolph, Robbie Gould, Kyle Lowry, Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen , Golden Tate and Andrew Whitworth.

Steph Curry hits a tee shot as Aaron Rodgers watches during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Friday July 10, 2020.

Hall of Fame in the field: (17) Marcus Allen, Ray Allen, Charles Barkley, Jerome Bettis, Terrell Davis, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mike Modano, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, John Smoltz, Annika Sorenstam, Michael Strahan, Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Rice, Charles Woodson and Steve Young.

More notable competitors: Justin Timberlake, Travis Kelce, Tony Romo, Justin Tuck, CC Sabathia, Dell Curry, Larry the Cable Guy, Roger Clemens, Kevin Nealon, Mark Mulder, David Wells.

Justin Timberlake is back at Edgewood this summer.

Two for 32: Jim McMahon and Jack Wagner have played in the 31 previous celebrity golf events at Edgewood.

Beginner players: Derek Carr, Seth Curry, Sean McDermott, CC Sabathia, Michael Strahan and Andrew Whitworth

Golfers: Kira K. Dixon, Dylan Dreyer and Annika Sorenstam.

Odds for favorites:

Tony Romo 3/2

Mardy fish 2/1

Mark Mulder 4/1

John Smoltz 8/1

Kyle Williams 8/1

Annika Sorenstam 8/1

Stephen Curry 12/1

Derek Lowe 18/1

Joe Pavelski 25/1

Jack Wagner 30/1

Steve Young hits a tee shot during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe last year.

Steve Young partners with the therapy room at Renown Children’s Hospital: The Renown Health Foundation announced a partnership with former San Francisco 49ers and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and the Forever Young Foundation to build a Sophie’s Place at Renown Children’s Hospital.

The Music Therapy Room, which will be inaugurated later this year, is designed for children and their families to enjoy music and interactive activities during their hospital stay.

Young, a longtime ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, has helped raise more than $ 1 billion to support children’s hospitals across the country, like Renown’s Children’s Hospital.

Fantastic Celebrity Golf: There are fantastic leagues for almost every other sport and now fans can form celebrity golf teams.

Visit ACCfantasygolf.com to create a team for a chance to win prizes each day of the tournament.

Fans choose one player from each of the five flights. There will be a winner each day. Each day’s winner will win a trip for two to Edgewood next year, hotel and airfare included.

On Sunday, the big winner will also receive a paid trip for two to Edgewood, as well as $ 10,000 donated to the charity of their choice on behalf of American Century.

The final group travels the 16th fairway during the American Century Championship golf tournament at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada on Sunday July 19, 2015.

Jim Krajewski covers high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on twitter @RGJPreps. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com.


Treneti makes music that literally heals


Recommended by: Daniela Serna, Open Signal program manager, animator and programmer at S1

“This past year has changed my listening habits, with music being an active part of finding calm and centering me in the midst of all the confusion. Treneti’s avant-garde explorations of jazz and soul have deep meditative qualities and nourish the mind – throw him in your headphones and let his voice overwhelm you. It will do you a world of good, I promise you.

Treneti Brown only found his musical instrument four years ago.

Professional dancer, her body was her instrument for a long time, until she took a bass for the first time and didn’t put it down for two hours.

“I find myself playing a lot of different instruments,” she laughs, “but I don’t know how to play them”.

Brown was undergoing big changes in her life the moment she started playing bass. In 2017, she left her hometown of Chicago and was traveling across the country. She spent time at a spiritual sanctuary in northern Michigan, where she meditated seven hours a day and learned toning, singing, frequency therapy, and how to layer sounds with gongs and tuning forks. She also traveled to Guatemala, where she worked with a drum shaman and learned indigenous vibratory singing.

Eventually, she moved to Portland, where she found a scene eager to welcome her music: a vast collection of electronic staccato beats that are both meditative and sultry, and soothing electro soundscapes, grounded in sung vocals.

Brown enjoyed a rapid rise in the Portland music scene, playing a few smaller shows in 2018 before being booked into Mississippi studios. Soon she was selling both the Mississippi Studios and the Old Church.

Yet she had to overcome a steep learning curve to produce and publish music. In January 2020, she released her first album, Psalms of Saturn, a more direct album with bass, drums and vocals, followed by his electronic EP Her’isness in December 2020.

There is a hypnotic quality in Treneti’s music. You notice that your head involuntarily moves and that your body is less tense, as if you had received a contemplative sound bath. This healing effect is intentional.

“Some music has a regenerating and calming effect on the body, and others are abrasive. Some music totally disturbs the ship, ”explains Brown. “For me, it is really important to create a sanctuary and a place of sound nourishment. “

When Brown talks about the healing properties of her music, she’s not talking figuratively. A fanatic of math and science, Brown builds her own synths with specific frequencies that have regenerative properties for the body. For example, 528 hertz is the frequency of solfeggio, the frequency of the healthy human energy field, and the frequency of love, while 25 hertz is the frequency of a cat’s purr.

“These are the ancestral frequencies,” she says. “This is how, in ceremonies, prayers and rituals, our ancestors channel these divine frequencies. I’m just basically doing the same thing.

The influence of healing sounds is persistent in his work; she also runs the Solaris Voice Academy, which helps artists develop their voices with holistic singing training and empowerment techniques.

But it’s somewhere between the emotional and mathematical space of healing frequencies that Treneti’s music thrives.

“Much of me was unsatisfied until I discovered not only music but also music production and literally working with frequencies, mixing them and balancing them,” she says. “When I tapped into that, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is what I was looking for: this is math.’ All synthesis is ultimately trigonometry. It gave me quite a space to be a nerd.


Study reveals link between chromosomal instability and cell senescence


Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of solid tumors such as carcinoma. Likewise, cellular senescence is a process strongly linked to cellular aging and its link with cancer is becoming increasingly clear. Scientists led by ICREA researcher Dr Marco Milán from IRB Barcelona have revealed the link between chromosome instability and cell senescence.

Chromosomal instability and senescence are two characteristics common to most tumors, yet it was not known how one relates to the other. Our studies indicate that senescence could be one of the intermediary links between chromosome alterations and cancer. “

Dr Marco Milan, Head of the Development and Growth Control Laboratory, IRB Barcelona

“The behavior we observed in cells with chromosomal instability made us think that they could be senescent cells and indeed they were!” says Dr Jery Joy, first author of the article published in Development cell.

The study was conducted on the fly Drosophila, an animal model commonly used in biomedicine, and the mechanisms described may help understand the contribution of chromosomal instability and senescence to cancer, and facilitate the identification of possible therapeutic targets.

Reverse the effects of chromosome instability

Researchers from the Development and Growth Control laboratory have shown that, in epithelial tissue with high levels of chromosomal instability, cells with altered chromosome number balance break away from neighboring cells and enter senescence. Senescent cells are characterized by a permanently arrested cell cycle and the secretion of a large number of proteins. This abnormal secretion of proteins alters surrounding tissue, alerting the immune system and causing inflammation.

If senescent cells are not immediately eliminated by the body, they promote abnormal growth of surrounding tissues, leading to malignant tumors. “If we identify the mechanisms by which we can reduce the number of senescent cells, then we will be able to reduce the growth of these tumors,” says Dr Milan. “In fact, this study shows that it is possible, at least in Drosophila“says Dr. Joy.

Cells with an imbalanced number of chromosomes accumulate a high number of aberrant mitochondria and, as a result, a high level of oxidative stress, which in turn activates the JNK signaling pathway, triggering entry into senescence. “We have shown that reducing this high number of mitochondrial abnormalities, or regulating the oxidative stress they induce, is sufficient to decrease the number of senescent cells and the negative effects of chromosomal instability,” reiterates Dr. Joy.

These results open new avenues of research to find therapeutic targets and reduce the levels of senescence caused by chromosomal instability in solid tumors.

Extrapolation from fly to mammals

The vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is widely used in biomedicine. It is a valuable animal model in cancer research due to its short life cycle, the availability of a large number of genetic tools, and the presence of the same genes as in humans, but with a lower redundancy level.

In fact, experiments designed to dissect the causal relationship between cellular behavior or characteristics of human tumors, such as chromosomal instability and senescence, are more easily analyzed in this model organism.

Future laboratory work will continue to dissect the molecular mechanisms responsible for cellular behaviors found in solid tumors of epithelial origin produced by the simple induction of chromosomal instability. “The more we understand the biology of a tissue subject to chromosomal instability and the molecular mechanisms responsible for the cellular behaviors that emerge and give rise to malignant tumors, the better our chances of designing effective therapies and reducing the growth and malignancy of the cells. Human carcinomas are large, ”concludes Dr. Milan.


Biomedicine Research Institute

Journal reference:

Joy, J., et al. (2021) Proteostasis failure and mitochondrial dysfunction lead to aneuploidy-induced senescence. National Library of Medicine. doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2021.06.009.


The historic Battle of Brooklyn setting provides the perfect outdoor location for the Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra



Khuent Rose on the steelpan. Photo: Rathkopf Photography

The Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra (BCCO) performed a free outdoor concert last night at the Old Stone House. Members of the audience stretched out on picnic blankets and lawn chairs to listen to glorious music from Haydn, Dvorak and Bruch’s violin concerto – with solo violin Luis Casal – as well as catchy highlights from “Pirates of the Caribbean”. The group was led by BCCO director Dorothy Savitch. Khuent Rose kicked off the evening with an upbeat steelpan set.

Dorothy Savitch runs BCCO. Photo: Rathkopf Photography

BCCO is a passionate group of dedicated amateur and professional musicians who perform the great masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire.

This event was one of many free outdoor events hosted by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) in recent months, including its Spring Benefit music festival (May 15), a Juneteenth performance (June 19) and the World Refugee Day Music Festival (June 20), and more. Other free outdoor performances will be announced shortly.

For more information on BKCM, visit BKCM.org.

Stay up to date with upcoming events and programs by following us on social media: @brooklynconservatory on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, @bkconservatory on Twitter

The solo violin Luis Casal. Photo: Rathkopf Photography

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music transforms lives and builds community through the expressive, educational and therapeutic powers of music. Our Park Slope house offers private music lessons, group lessons, ensembles and music therapy. Through our community engagement programs, we provide high-quality music education and music therapy to more than 6,000 students and clients in public schools and community organizations in the city’s five boroughs. We strive to be a safe, supportive and inclusive place where all people can come together and experience learning, joy, creativity and healing through music.


Q&A with Jenny Sherak, AmerisourceBergen


Jenny Sherak: As Senior Vice President and President of Specialty Physician Services, I focus on the strategic direction of AmerisourceBergen’s services for specialty physician practices, which range from oncology, neurology and rheumatology to ophthalmology, gastroenterology and other specialties. Every day, we optimize the value we deliver to this clientele while developing and executing new technology solutions and programs for the benefit of practices and patients.

Previously, I was Global Head of Oncology Pipeline Commercialization and Business Development at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In this role, I was responsible for defining long and short term growth strategies for the Oncology business unit. I have worked to ensure the continued growth of the company by maximizing the innovative global immuno-oncology pipeline while leveraging external collaborations, mergers and acquisitions.

I have spent my career helping fuel the pipeline of new oncology products, particularly those that could be used in the community setting, and now I am excited to provide these and other specialty products to community physicians, so most patients ultimately have access to therapies that improve or save life. One of the things that my experience has shown me is how essential this connection between the manufacturer or developer of pharmaceuticals and the doctor in the community is. I have seen with my own eyes how complex both sides of the relationship are, and now I have the opportunity to help bring these two worlds together as successfully as possible and to collaborate with our partners to advance health.

How would you describe your approach to customer relations?

For me, it’s about creating partnerships based on mutual respect, trust, communication and good support. The pharmaceuticals we deliver to doctors’ offices treat complex illnesses, and these therapies can be expensive and fragile. We know how important it is to offer the right product to the right customer at the right time because human life is expected and often depends on it. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly – I believe in being reliable out of respect for what our clients do and what patients experience. At the same time, it is extremely important for me to listen deeply to our customers and to hear what is difficult for them. We challenge ourselves to think creatively and be their partner in order to facilitate their work. It’s not just about dropping off the drug, but how can we help identify the right patient, ensure the practice can receive and administer the treatment, ensure reimbursement, and help the patient obtain financial assistance. I believe that, in a partnership, we should ask ourselves, every day, what else? What more can we do?

How have the needs of medical offices evolved in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

In the first months of pandemic ‘stay at home’ orders, community physicians saw a 40% drop in new patient visits as well as a 100% increase in cancellations and no-shows. The fall in patient volumes has created new financial constraints for them. and, as a result, fifty percent of private practices had to lay off office staff.

Despite the uncertainty, our medical practice clients adapted and moved very quickly to adjust business operations to meet patients where they felt most comfortable, whether it was implement telehealth capabilities, revise office workflow to accommodate patients in a socially distant, front-line business, and more. After 15 months, we are seeing our oncology practice clients, as well as all specialties, return to “normal” or “pre-COVID” patient volumes, which is encouraging on several levels.

This return of patients to our medical practices also has implications for our pharmaceutical partners. In fact, I believe that one of the most critical services provided by AmerisourceBergen’s specialty division is using our sophisticated analytics and algorithms to monitor the types of patients entering the practices we serve and help identify peak needs in specific products. Not only does this data allow us to help medical practices better navigate inventory management, reimbursement needs and changing workflows, but we also seamlessly turn this data into a resource that helps our pharmacy partners and biotechnologies to better manage their supply chain.

What services and solutions have proven most useful for practices in a changing healthcare landscape?

At AmerisourceBergen, our specialty physician office solutions connect practices with products, technology and information that aim to maximize efficiency and improve the patient experience, allowing physicians to focus on patient care. . Our technology solutions and consulting expertise help firms optimize every aspect of their business, from workflow management to financial operations.

Considering all the changes that the practices have gone through over the past year and continue to undergo, we have seen an increased dependence on their partners, and the main one is their GPO. We work closely with practices to ensure they have access to the most advanced therapies at competitive contract rates, but our work goes beyond that. Our experts take pride in helping member firms harness their business’ potential and support their patients, which includes accessing clinical trials, navigating reimbursement, and resolving barriers to patient care. Our GPOs were created to help community practitioners realize more value on everything from pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to surgical and medical equipment. We partner, on behalf of our customers, with the country’s leading pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers to provide a range of products on contractual terms, but even more so, we help ensure their products reach the patients who need them.

In fact, one thing that excites me a lot is our ability to support physician practices and implement precision medicine. As therapies are increasingly tailored to each patient, it is essential that we support community practices through the implications of these advancements, be it access, workflow, or otherwise. For example, we have new solutions that we’re going to roll out in the short term that help speed up the process of matching an individual patient with the right treatment, whether in the market or in a clinical trial, for their specific condition and disease. genetic makeup. At the same time, we propose and continue to develop tools that support adherence strategies from the start of treatment, including the identification of financial support or co-payment assistance for patients in order to make therapies more affordable.

Ultimately, my team’s goal is to connect community practices and drug companies in a way that promotes patient outcomes, product adherence, and long-term success. We strive to create the best possible access to products and provide actionable data insights that support our collective understanding of physician and patient needs. We use our extensive global distribution network and extensive industry expertise to simplify and optimize product access while providing expert advice and GPO contracts to help each practice thrive.

How do you envision innovation in solutions for physician practice over the next five years?

With the potential of more than 40 breakthrough cell and gene therapy products approaching FDA approval by 2024, we are continually looking for innovative ways to successfully support the next wave of therapies and the physicians and patients who will want it. to access. Allogeneic therapies have a huge advantage over first-generation autologous CAR-T cell therapy and are likely to become more accessible to physicians and patients in the hope that they will continue to provide many benefits for patients. As healthcare progresses, so too must the processes for connecting patients to the therapies they need.

Innovative delivery systems, such as cell and gene therapy, require new levels of coordination, from complex logistics to provider preparation and patient services, to ensure treatment success. These are game-changing therapies, but there are some limitations as they must be administered in certified hospital settings. Our job is to support physician-led practices so that they are ready to administer these advanced and expensive treatments, and that is what excites me the most. Our experts provide market access, reimbursement, and information on specific therapeutic areas to help practices understand the unique market landscape. Not only are we looking to make sure our practices are ready for the next wave, from a logistical and data support standpoint, but also from a patient identification standpoint. As we prepare our pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical practice partners for the coming future, we challenge ourselves to think about how we should prepare for this very different reimbursement and payment model. Overall, AmerisourceBergen’s specialist division aims to ensure patients have access to new and innovative life-saving therapies, through their nearest provider, at the best price. We strive to ensure that people around the world are living the healthiest lives possible.


In the midst of a mental health crisis, these Pittsburgh groups are stepping up


Before the pandemic, society was already experiencing a mental health crisis. Now it’s even worse. An increase in demand, coupled with an insufficient number of providers and high treatment costs, can make it difficult to access services.

Where traditional health systems are lagging behind, community groups intervene. From therapy to Black Pittsburghers and new parents to creating virtual community healing spaces, here’s how three Pittsburgh organizations are filling the need.

Smiling Steel

Last spring, two and a half months after the start of the pandemic and six days after a Minneapolis cop murdered George Floyd, Julius Boatwright posted an offer on his personal Facebook page. If a black man in Pittsburgh needed therapy but couldn’t pay, Steel Smiling would try to help.

“I think a couple like, a few shares, a few people will reach out,” said Boatwright, founder of the nonprofit Black Mental Health. Smiling Steel. “It has definitely become a Pittsburgh virus.”

Julius Boatwright, the founder of Steel Smiling. (Courtesy photo)

The post has been shared over 500 times. Without a prompt, donations began running on Steel Smiling’s GoFundMe page – eventually raising over $ 120,000 for what is now the Black Mental Health Fund. Since then, the organization has received around 300 referrals, Boatwright estimates. Most are from Pittsburgh, although some have come from all over the United States and as far away as the Dominican Republic.

India Renae Hunter, then a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, was one of them. After struggling to find a therapist who accepts Medicaid, Hunter contacted Steel Smiling last June. “From there, the process was really easy,” she said. In July, she was put in contact with a therapist through the Black Mental Health Fund. They now talk to each other on the phone once a week. “She was very helpful to me,” Hunter said.

Donations, as well as the support of several foundations *, helped finance the work of Steel Smiling. But there is a challenge: the limited number of black mental health professionals in Pittsburgh. “It’s great that more people are reaching out, but now there aren’t enough black therapists to meet the need,” Boatwright said.

A Julius Boatwright Facebook post offering therapy to Black Pittsburghers in need.

Julius Boatwright’s Facebook post from May 31, 2020 has gone “Pittsburgh viral.”

Wait times for contacting a therapist can vary from one week to three months. So, last month, the organization launched a new program. During the weekly pre-treatment experience sessions, individuals can learn about therapy, attend group support sessions, or do activities like gardening and yoga. The goal is to provide support, free of charge, while people wait for services.

“We know it’s not like you call on Monday and are in therapy on Tuesday,” Boatwright said.

Learn more about The site of Steel Souriant.

Advanced allies

From infertility to postpartum depression, having a baby can be traumatic. Yet, quality reproductive mental health services are often difficult to access. Many providers are untrained in reproductive mental health and may ignore family concerns, said Jodie, a Pittsburgh-based therapist. Hnatkovich. Therapy can be expensive, even with insurance. And many families lack transportation and child care.

A photo of Jodie Hnatkovich, a white woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and glasses.

Jodie Hnatkovich, one of the founders of Forward Allies. (Courtesy photo)

This is why in 2019, Hnatkovich and three of his peers founded Advanced allies for equity in mental and reproductive health, a nonprofit organization that trains providers in reproductive mental health and covers the costs of therapy, transportation, and childcare for families, using donation money and training products. So far, the organization has trained 25 providers and funded therapy for four families. “Caring for families and parents with young children is so vital,” Hnatkovich said. “Mental health care for a family member has an impact on that family cycle for a lifetime. ”

Throughout the eight-month training course for mental health providers, participants are educated on topics such as systemic racism and alliances, LGBTQ parenting, and postpartum family support. The next cohort, which will start in September, will be open to mental health care providers as well as obstetrician-gynecologists, doulas and social workers – “any midwife,” Hnatkovich said.

A room with white walls, a dark gray carpet and five gray armchairs on the floor arranged in a circle facing each other.

Forward Allied downtown area. (Courtesy photo)

Hnatkovich hopes the organization can help eliminate loss and preventable trauma in the childbearing years. “Helping pregnant women to feel… as if they are allowed to speak out and that when they speak they are heard”.

Learn more at Forward Allies website.

Collaborative Visible Hands

“Balanced.” “Recognition.” “Community.”

These are just a few of the words that Visible Hands Collaborative attendees added to a word collage describing their experience of the June 10 meeting. The collaborative, which meets every Thursday evening on Zoom, practices integrative community therapy [ICT], a group therapy method created in Brazil to increase access to mental health in low-income communities.

The collaboration began when Alice Thompson, a medical student, became interested in ICTs during the pandemic. After Thompson participated in a virtual ICT group based in Switzerland, she and her father, Dr Kenneth Thompson, received a grant from the Staunton Farm Foundation to fund the first ICT training in the United States. Thirty-five people, about half of them in Pittsburgh, have been trained to lead their own groups.

A collage of words with words such as "expectations," "appreciation" and "possibilities" in different color fonts.

At the end of the June 10 meeting, participants were asked to submit a word to describe what they took away from the session.

Each 90-minute meeting is structured the same way. The group begins by sharing “celebrations” or good things that are happening in their life. Then, after a brief musical interlude, dancing encouraged, participants can share a problem, or “rock”, that they are facing. The group votes on a rock to focus on during the meeting and spends time in the workshop offering tips, related experiences, quotes and more.

“Much of the power comes from just hearing other people talk about their own experiences with the same type of challenges. Because a lot of times when we feel depressed, lonely, or isolated, we can find ourselves stuck feeling like we’re the only ones feeling that way, ”Thompson said.

The “spirit” of ICT is what sets it apart from other forms of group therapy, said Lem Huntington, mental health case manager and collaboration participant. “ICT evokes a kind of party and fun vibe, rather than a dark one, you know, here’s another day to bemoan our woes,” he said. “He contextualizes people’s problems in a search for solutions.

Unlike traditional mental health care, ICT is community based and does not require health insurance or the ability to pay. “It’s a middle ground where [meetings] are free to access and open to anyone who wishes to join, ”said Thompson. “So there really is no limit. “

Learn more about Visible Hands Collaborative website.

* Foundations supporting Steel Smiling include the Staunton Farm Foundation, the Hillman Family Foundations and the RK Mellon Foundation. PublicSource separately receives support from these foundations.

Juliette Rihl is a journalist for PublicSource. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @julietterihl.

This story has been verified by Chris Hippensteel.

Mental health reporting was made possible with funding from the Staunton Farm Foundation, but decisions about news are made independently by PublicSource and not on the basis of donor support.

Experimental, amplified vocals draw audiences live at Café Oto


Concert life in London is slowly reopening to a limited audience, and it was a special pleasure to hear that one of my favorite London venues was once again hosting live musicians. Like its neighbor the Arcola Theater, Cafe Oto (“Sound” or “noise” in Japanese) is, to say the least, raw space. Former warehouse with a bar in one corner and an interesting selection of books, vinyls, and cassettes in another, the performance space has a fabric backdrop and an odd bump in the middle of the floor. On June 30, 2021, there were only about 40 of us in space – socially distant, seated at tables – when in normal times the room can accommodate well over 100 people crammed together. others. Draft beer is served in 2/3 quart glasses, because why not.

For more than 20 years, Café Oto, founded by the Anglo-Japanese couple Hamish Dunbar and Keiko Yamamoto, has been a major venue for experimental contemporary music of all genres. Established names tend to bring their passion projects to Oto: on June 23, 2021, I had the privilege of being in the small audience for the singer and artist of the movement Elaine mitchener spellbinding program, which ranged from Fluxus texts to physical performances. While there is no typical Oto program, diversity has always been their watchword, and the June 30 event featured four women from a wide range of creative backgrounds. The amplified voices were the only common thread.

Amy Cutler – Photo by Jonathan Crabb

Amy Coutelier, geographer, musician and filmmaker affiliated with Goldsmiths College, University of London, recently gave a talk on Nature karaoke which included a Singing Zoom species. It appears that in the UK current Covid regulations allow group singing in football stadiums but not elsewhere, so there was no public participation in the Oto event. Cutler coupled kaleidoscopic projections that sometimes got sharper – a white horse and a woman’s silhouette coming and going – with a continuous, very reverberating soundscape. Sitting at a desk, she added to the sound with vocalizations. The echo effects blurred the meaning and towards the end the volume and bass increased and we heard distorted samples of half-memorized songs. This dreamlike experimental film created memorable sights and sounds; I would love to see more of Cutler’s work.

Canadian composer Cassandre Miller is well known to the London new music audience as a composer, but this was a rare occasion to hear her as a performer. In her introduction, Miller suggested that she was a frustrated performer who recently started incorporating vocals into her writing process. His work is often inspired by recordings, and this improvisation is rooted in a work for violin recorded by a Greek performer from the Albanian border. The themes of exile and isolation in the original were accentuated in Miller’s multitrack vocal performance, as if she was creating harmonics from her own source. She added a harmonica to the range of sounds, more like an enhanced breath than anything else. Her haunting performance – singing an uprooted folk song with herself – resonated strongly with the present times, when many of us have grown a little too accustomed to our own company.

Cassandra Miller - Photo by Jonathan Crabb

Cassandra Miller – Photo by Jonathan Crabb

The final ensemble was a collaboration between the dramatic soprano, composer and singer improviser Alya Al-Sultani and award-winning turntablist and composer Mariam Rezaei, both experienced performers although they have never worked together before. They were more outgoing performers than Cutler or Miller, and their improvisation provided a welcome injection of rhythmic dynamism, contrasting with the continuous flow of the other ensembles. Erotic play, the coupling of human voice and machine, was their apparent theme, entering and exiting recognizable texts (I want you / woman / that’s how it is). Al-Sultani unleashed considerable vocal power and his virtuoso vocalization playfully engaged with the turntables. Rezaei brought rhythmic eccentricity, sudden drops in a lower register, and cartoonish spirit to their 25-minute performance. The explicit emotional intensity, expressed with confidence by the two women, was both uplifting and revealing of the emotional power within Miller’s ensemble and Cutler’s enigmatic dream landscape.

Everyone said how nice it was to hear live music again, to share the space with real people. Café Oto combines a relaxed atmosphere with a DIY aesthetic (staff moved wood panels to block light from windows before Cutler’s set) and a remarkably attentive audience. As with all cultural venues in the UK, times have been extremely difficult recently for the venue, and “Support Café Oto” signs are posted outside. No other venue in London does so much for experimental music, and their audiences have to keep buying tickets, downloads, and 2/3 of a pint of beer.

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorial independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded by generous donor and institutional support. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF.

A gift to ACF helps support the work of ICIYL. To learn more about ACF, visit “At ACF” section or composateursforum.org.


Live music will return from July 19 as UK government announces end of Covid restrictions


LIVE FEEDBACK: The UK live music industry has welcomed the government’s announcement to lift all restrictions related to Covid. From July 19, there will no longer be capacity limits related to Covid for live events, with social distancing measures and mask wearing to be enforced at the discretion of venues and event organizers.

In a statement, the Music Venue Trust (MVT) said the news was “good news for millions of music fans, for artists, teams, venues and local communities who have been deprived of live music and working for so long “.

The MVT said its goal now is to ensure the safe reopening of UK sites, regardless of any Covid restrictions that may be in place, as cases continue to rise in the UK as the Delta variant the most contagious becomes established.

“We have worked alongside the grassroots concert hall industry throughout this crisis to identify methods by which we can achieve this, regardless of government guidelines, limitations or restrictions. The keyword for us and the industry throughout these long, difficult months has been ‘safe’.

But industry bodies such as LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have warned the government, urging the government to support a program to ensure that music festivals and events Live can get insurance coverage in the event of cancellation. .

Insurance remains the main obstacle to planning with confidence and there is no reason not to implement such a regime if the government’s roadmap is truly irreversible.

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association for I

More than half of the UK’s summer festivals have been canceled, and event planners and live music professionals fear more restrictions will further disrupt an industrial sector which contributes $ 4.6 billion dollars to the UK economy and lost 85% of its income in 2020.

LIVE said the commercial insurance industry had “failed” the live music industry on Covid cancellations, and said government intervention was necessary to ensure the security and stability of the industry .

“Government ministers have repeatedly stated that a program will be announced once legal barriers to full performance have been removed,” Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE said in a statement. “Well, we are now almost at this point and there must be no further delays if we are to reap the rewards from the superb rollout of the vaccine. ”

Paul Reed, CEO of the Association for Independent Festivals, said a government-backed insurance plan was vital. “Insurance remains the main obstacle to planning with confidence and there is no reason not to implement such a program if the government’s roadmap is truly irreversible,” he said, adding that guidelines must be provided by July 12 for procedures for testing, tracing and isolating personnel working at festivals.

You can read the full statement LIVE on the government announcement here.


4 benefits for investing in global infrastructure


ginvestment in global infrastructure and funds such as FlexShares STOXX Global Broad Infrastructure Index Fund (NFRA) offer many benefits that investors may not be aware of.

A recent FlexShares blog post revealed that exposure to infrastructure on a global scale may offer more rewards beyond serving as a utility game. One of those benefits is income, which is difficult to achieve given the current low rate landscape.

“Many investors view infrastructure investments as a source of income, which is particularly beneficial in today’s prolonged low interest rate environment,” said FlexShares. “And like real estate, infrastructure tends to benefit from low interest rates because it translates into lower costs and lower debt financing.”

In addition, the city’s discourse on capital markets has focused on inflationary pressures. With the income component of global infrastructure, investors can stay ahead of inflation as prices rise.

“With rising inflation expectations, investors can benefit from the potential of the infrastructure to serve as a hedge against inflation, ”said FlexShares.

Global infrastructure can also be a bouncing game. Some infrastructure sub-sectors were affected during the pandemic, but these same sectors now represent value games with upside potential.

“At the onset of the pandemic, certain infrastructure sectors, such as air transport, seaports, railways and pipelines, were particularly affected. As global economies reopen, these sectors could be on the back burner. point to benefit the most, ”FlexShares continued.

Sectoral and international diversification

Finally, having a global infrastructure can offer ETF investors the potential for diversification. Not only will a fund like NFRA provide investors with uncorrelated exposure to equity markets and interest rate dynamics, the benefits of moving overseas provide an additional layer of diversification.

“Listed infrastructure stocks provide investors with exposure to both equity markets and interest rates, thus offering the potential for the diversification benefits that come with differentiated returns,” said FlexShares.

Overall, the NFRA seeks investment results that generally match the price and return performance, before fees and expenses, of the STOXX® Global Broad Infrastructure Index. The index reflects the performance of a selection of companies which, on the whole, have broad exposure to publicly traded developed and emerging market infrastructure companies, including US companies, as defined by STOXX Ltd. in accordance with its index methodology.

“Investors have long looked to infrastructure stocks for their potential for diversifying portfolios, generating income and responding to inflation,” another Article on FlexShares mentionned. “But investments in infrastructure also historically have unique risks, including sensitivity to regulatory and political impacts, as well as natural disasters. We believe that the key to managing these risks lies in broadening the scope of an infrastructure investment strategy across geographies, sectors and even revenue types. “

For more news, information and strategy, visit the website Multi-asset channel.

Learn more at ETFtrends.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Lindsey Graham criticizes ‘repairs’ for black farmers


title=wpil_keyword_link"debt relief fund in the stimulus bill was “remedies” because it targets underprivileged and black farmers.” title=”South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said a debt relief fund in the stimulus bill was “remedies” because it targets underprivileged and black farmers.” loading=”lazy”/>

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said a debt relief fund in the stimulus bill was “remedies” because it targets underprivileged and black farmers.


Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina challenged a proposed $ 5 billion debt repayment fund that would benefit historically disenfranchised black farmers as part of the $ 1.9 billion stimulus package against coronaviruses, calling it “repairs.”

Graham, a Republican, criticized what he called the Democratic “wish list” in the stimulus deal in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

“Let me give you an example of something that really bothers me. In this bill, if you are a farmer, your loan will be forgiven for up to 120% of your loan … if you are socially disadvantaged, if you are African American, another minority. But if you are [a] white person, if you are a white woman, no forgiveness. It’s repairs. What does this have to do with COVID? ”Graham asked.

The US bailout has allocated $ 10.4 billion to agriculture and about half will go to disadvantaged farmers, the Washington Post reported, citing Farm Bureau estimates. About a quarter of disadvantaged farmers are black and the funds will go to subsidies, debt relief, education, training and other forms of assistance, according to the Post.

Black farmers have lost over 12 million acres of land in the United States over the past century due to “systemic racism, biased government policies, and social and business practices that have denied African Americans fair access. to markets, ”The Washington Post reported.

As part of the stimulus package, payments of up to 120% would go to “socially disadvantaged” farmers, which a House code defines as those who have been “subject to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity. as members of a group regardless of their individual qualities.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, criticized Graham for his comments on Wednesday.

“Lindsey Graham is originally from South Carolina. He knows the history of South Carolina. He knows what the state of South Carolina and this country have done to black farmers in South Carolina. They didn’t do it to the white farmers. We are trying to save people’s lives and livelihoods. He should be ashamed of himself, ”Clyburn said in an interview with CNN. “I think you should go home and maybe go to church.” Get in touch with his Christianity.

The issue of racial inequality extends far beyond agriculture. In 2016, the average net worth of a white family in the United States was $ 171,000, ten times more than the average net worth of a black family, according to the Brookings Institution, which cited centuries of discriminatory policies. against the black community. for the disparity.

Democrats are expected to pass the back-up plan on Wednesday through the reconciliation process, which allows for a “fast-track review” of spending, tax and debt legislation and allows lawmakers to bypass the 60-vote requirement to do so. advance legislation in the Senate.

The bill, which passed the Senate 50-49, will head to President Joe Biden’s office for signature once the House approves changes to its version – putting Congress on track to implement the legislation before millions of Americans lose their unemployment benefits on March 14. .

Related Stories of The Olympian

Summer Lin is a real-time McClatchy reporter. She graduated from Columbia University School of Journalism and was previously a news and policy writer for Bustle News.

Take Five: Rising Bond Yields Could Be The Real Thing


LONDON (Reuters) –

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York, US October 2, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / File Photo


Rising US Treasury yields have so far done little more than drop stock markets to record highs. That will change if “real” – inflation-adjusted – returns take off.

It was the fall in real yields of the last year that sent liquidity into equities; although expensive, they seemed like a steal compared to actual returns of minus 1%.

But big government spending plans and prospects for an economic reopening have pushed real 30-year Treasury yields to eight-month highs, just 11 basis points below 0%. Ten-year real yields are at five-week highs.

There is little consensus on when returns will become an issue for stocks. But some assets are already seeing an impact – gold, for example, struggles to compete with income-producing investments when yields rise and are down 6% this year.

Graphic: it’s getting real –


The Reserve Bank of New Zealand meeting on Wednesday could tell us whether the first country to reduce COVID-19 cases almost completely will also be the first to consider reducing monetary policy support.

Much has changed since the RBNZ’s policy statement in November. The kiwi economy is beating expectations and the markets are no longer taking negative rates into account.

Governor Adrian Orr will revise his growth and inflation forecasts, but he faces a communications challenge: recognizing the improvement without scaring the markets.

A rate hike could be years away, but the prospect of a slower stimulus is on investors’ minds – 10-year sovereign bond yields are up 50bp this year.

Chart: New Zealand economy rebounds –


Debt relief for low-income economies will be high on the agenda of G20 finance officials when they meet on February 26-27.

They will discuss the idea of ​​expanding IMF financing and the initiative to allow the poorest countries a six-month suspension on certain debt payments, as well as more comprehensive relief. There are also calls for the G20 to lead a global COVID-19 vaccination plan.

This will be the first G20 meeting since Joe Biden took over the presidency of the United States, so the tone may be very different from the Trump years which saw many global alliances broken. This could be a positive change at a time when countries struggle to ensure that the economic recovery is sustained.

Chart: Debt / GDP ratios of DSSI countries with sovereign bonds –

4 / TURNING 140

The British pound has become an unexpected currency market poster for the theme of the COVID-19 recovery.

It marked a milestone by hitting $ 1.40, a nearly three-year high. But just two months ago, he was mired in the risks of Brexit and the worst economic outcome of any major industrialized country.

Since mid-December, the pound sterling has strengthened by around 5.5% against the dollar and 6.5% against the euro, as Britain’s vaccination program got off to a flying start. Hopes of an early end to lockdowns lifted it 2% against the dollar in February.

Some consider the pound to be expensive. A Reuters poll predicted the U.S. economy would return to pre-pandemic levels within a year, but saw Britain take twice that time.

There is also the question of whether the Bank of England might consider interest rates negative. Money markets expect this to be the case, but not until the second half of 2022.

Chart: Best performing GBP on the forex market –


Journalists dig through their puns for ways to describe the deluge of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (PSPCs) that have hit markets over the past year.

SPACs are essentially blank check companies that collect funds during an initial public offering in order to buy a private company and go public.

Already this year, 144 PSPCs have raised $ 45.7 billion, according to data from SPAC Research, often backed by prominent investors and celebrities.

The trend is not without bad press. Investment banks that handle transactions earn commissions for finding a business in PSPC to acquire – within two years. This raises concerns about a lack of due diligence.

Although this is primarily an American phenomenon, PSPCs are also growing in Europe. Former UniCredit CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier and German tycoons Christian Angermayer and Klaus Hommels have announced PSPCs.

SPAC launches are plentiful, but how actual acquisitions – or “deSPACing” – develop will show whether the trend continues.

Graphic: arrow SPAC –

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Karin Strohecker, Saikat Chatterjee and Abhinav Ramranayan in London; compiled by Sujata Rao; edited by Susan Fenton

Catholic agencies urge G20 countries to grant debt relief during pandemic


A multitude of Catholic organizations are renewing their calls for rich countries to cancel their debt and offer financial support to developing countries as they battle massive indebtedness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Lisa Zengarini

Catholic social justice organizations have renewed their call for debt cancellation and financial support for poorer countries in light of the current Covid-19 crisis.

In a statement released ahead of the meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, which took place in a virtual format on Friday, the Catholic International Network for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE) urged key economies of the world to respond to the crisis with cooperation and solidarity.

They underlined the words of Pope Francis that “the debts that have been incurred cannot be expected to be paid at the cost of unbearable sacrifices”.

Breaking point

CIDSE notes that “in addition to the tragic loss of life, Covid-19 has extended health systems in many poor countries beyond the breaking point, left millions of people without jobs or livelihoods, and decimated savings ”.

According to the Catholic network, the crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities “whereby more powerful countries can use their position and power to ensure access to vaccines and support their own economic recovery”. It also “aggravated the challenges for many countries that were grappling with the impacts of climate change.”

The organizations stressed that “the immediate priority for all countries is to save lives and support livelihoods, and debt cancellation is the fastest way to finance this.” They added that in the long run, “permanent debt restructuring and new financing are needed to rebuild societies and economies that put the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable first, take care of our homes. community and fight against the climate crisis “.

“We must act in global solidarity as one human family, moving from a myopic view of what is politically, financially and technically feasible, to focusing on what is needed to save lives and protect our planet for them. current and future generations, ”they say. .

Looking for a permanent solution

CIDSE therefore urges the G-20 to act immediately, namely “to support a new and significant issue of $ 3 trillion of special drawing rights (SDRs) by the IMF, which will allow all countries to respond to the crisis. of Covid and to support a fair, sustainable recovery “and” to extend the debt moratorium through the DSSI (Debt Service Suspension Initiative) for longer (at least 4 years) and to more countries, including climate-vulnerable countries that were already struggling to respond to the additional pressures of climate change. “

The Catholic network is also asking that private creditors – who currently continue to take debt payments from countries struggling to meet the needs of their citizens – be “forced to participate in all restructuring and debt relief.”

Finally, CIDSE calls for “a permanent debt settlement mechanism to ensure swift, comprehensive and equitable debt restructuring to all countries with high and unsustainable debt burdens, without conditionality.”

Janet Yellen’s New Financial Multilateralism by Paola Subacchi


In a recent letter to her G20 colleagues, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for stronger multilateralism to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. By emphasizing governance, flexibility and accessibility, Yellen offers reason to hope for broader action to close the many gaping holes in the current global financial system.

LONDON – The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have intervened in ways that would have been inconceivable barely a year ago. Under former President Donald Trump, the United States – the major shareholder, with veto rights, in both institutions – has done little (beyond causing occasional disruption) to shape their policies. Now, the United States is taking the lead in coordinating its role and helping poor countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Spearheading this approach is US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In a letter to his G20 colleagues last month, Yellen wrote that no country can “declare victory” over the “twin health and economic crisis” caused by the pandemic. “This,” she added, “is a time for action and for multilateralism.”

Yellen’s letter may not mark the start of a new “Bretton Woods moment,” as IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva advocates. But it marks a welcome departure from Trump’s recklessness and neglect. And he is seeking real action that the Trump administration had opposed: strengthening the tools of the IMF and the World Bank, including the Fund’s concessional facilities, and a new allocation of its reserve asset, the rights of special drawings (SDRs), to increase liquidity for low-income countries.

These countries certainly need help, not least because the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically increased many of their indebtedness. To be sure, the G20 has already devised a two-pronged approach to helping heavily indebted countries. First, it provides temporary debt relief – until June, although it can be extended – through the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. Second, it plans to improve debt sustainability through the Common Debt Treatment Framework.

But this support needs to be broadened. Fortunately, now that the United States has abandoned its opposition to a new SDR allocation, the G20 has agreed to allow the IMF to work on it.

The value of the SDR is based on a basket of currencies (the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the Chinese renminbi, and the pound sterling). Although SDRs do not function as a currency, they can be exchanged for freely usable currencies.

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The SDR was not designed to help low-income countries. Instead, it was intended to supplement official reserves of IMF member countries and solve liquidity problems, at a time when the US dollar was directly convertible into gold.

Taking this into account, the share of SDRs that each country receives in a given allocation is determined by its IMF quotas. Under this system, the G20 countries would receive 68% of an SDR allocation, with the United States, the United Kingdom and the largest economies in the European Union claiming 48%. Meanwhile, poor countries would receive only 3.2% of the same allocation.

In other words, SDRs tend to come back to those who need them the least. And low-income countries are more likely to convert the SDRs they receive into freely usable currencies.

Recognizing this, Yellen signaled his willingness to consider potential solutions. For example, G20 countries could channel SDRs they don’t need to support economic recovery in low-income countries. This could pave the way for the creation of funds based on SDRs.

Yet even under the existing allocation system, an SDR allocation equivalent to 100% of current IMF quotas – as advocated by Italy, which currently heads the G20 – would generate around SDR 15.2 billion for the IMF. poorest countries. This is more than the average annual IMF concessional lending through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (SDR 1.25 billion).

In addition, SDRs are not subject to any conditions. So, in advocating their use, Yellen effectively recognized that flexible and unconditional liquidity – not concessional loans – is the ultimate safety net. At the same time, it insists on good governance and the need to establish shared parameters, thus enhancing transparency and accountability in the trading of SDRs.

This brings us to the elephant in the room: How will countries use their SDRs? Should they be allowed to use them, for example, to service bilateral debt? In that case, that multilateral money could end up benefiting bilateral creditors like China – an outcome that Yellen’s predecessor, Steven Mnuchin, warned against.

Answering these questions will require a broader effort to fill the many gaping holes in the current multilateral financial system – holes that have often left financially needy countries with few good options. As a result, low-income countries have often had to turn to expensive bilateral loans and become hostage to private creditors and mixed entities, such as China’s state-owned banks. This has created significant asymmetries between different types of debt and different types of creditors.

To deal with these problems, multilateral financial tools must be made available to countries in need. In addition, the G20 must take stronger action to strengthen debt sustainability, coordinate international action, and negotiate fair debt deals between bilateral creditors, especially China, and low-income debtors.

The good news is that Yellen – with its emphasis on governance, flexibility and availability – seems to recognize the shortcomings of the international financial architecture. It is hoped that it will continue to lead the way towards a new financial multilateralism that addresses them.

What are your options now?


Last month, the US House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a $ 3 trillion stimulus bill that would include additional relief for those with student loan debt. But it is unlikely to be passed by the Senate in its current form. Several Senate Republicans have publicly stated that they will not support the legislation, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).

So what could to be included in the next stimulus bill for student borrowers? And what other options do struggling borrowers have?

Student Loan Debt Relief in the HEROES Act

The HEROES Act that was passed by the House contained several provisions that would provide relief for borrowers from student loans, including student loan forgiveness (although an amendment restricted who could qualify for a loan forgiveness).

The provisions included:

  • $ 10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness for borrowers who are in default, in arrears, or whose loans are deferred due to economic hardship
  • $ 10,000 in private student loan forgiveness for “economically troubled” borrowers
  • An extension of the suspension of payments and interest on federal student loans held by the government until September 2021

But – and this is a big but – there seems little chance that all of this will be included in a further stimulus bill passed by the Senate. Senator McConnell said lawmakers would likely decide by the end of June whether to pass a “fourth and final” stimulus bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic and job losses and the resulting financial instability as a result of the closure of thousands of businesses. But that it will be “tightly designed”. He mentioned the help given to those who are still unemployed, and that there could be additional help for small businesses and for health workers. But it’s unclear to what extent student debt relief could achieve this.

That said, it is still possible to take advantage of the student loan debt relief included in the CARES law, which was enacted in late March. And there are other options for student loan borrowers who are struggling to make their payments.

Student Loan Debt Relief in the CARES Act

If you have a federal student loan, you are probably eligible for relief under the CARES Act. The provisions of the bill generally only apply to direct loans and federal family education loans (FFEL loans) held by the US Department of Education. Neither Perkins loans nor private student loans are covered by the bill. Still, the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Assistance Project estimates that about 9 million federal student loan borrowers have at least one loan covered by the bill.

Student loan borrowers who have qualifying loans enjoy a few benefits under the law:

  1. If you are an eligible federal student loan borrower, you have been automatically placed on forbearance, allowing you to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments (without harming your credit). The suspension of payments began in mid-March and will last until September 30, 2020.
  2. If you qualify but choose to continue making payments, you will be charged 0% interest until the end of September. If you can afford to make payments, this is a great opportunity to pay off your principal and save money overall. “Not only will you stay on track for repayment, but you’ll also pay off your loans faster because interest doesn’t accrue,” says Tim Stobierski, founder of StudentDebtWarriors.com, a resource center for student borrowers.
  3. If your federal student loans are in arrears, the Department of Education will not make collection calls or send letters until September 30. Most importantly, each month during the suspension of collection (until the end of September) will count as one month in which the on-time rehabilitation payment has been made, even if you do not make any payments.
  4. If you have benefited from an income-based repayment plan, the suspended payments are considered eligible payments. And if you are working on the forgiveness of public service loans, you should also have the suspension time factored into your 10 years of qualifying payments.

Other Student Loan Debt Relief Options

If you need extra help or don’t qualify for CARES Student Loan Relief, there are other options. These include:

An income-based repayment plan

If you have federal student loans, you can benefit from a long-term, income-based repayment plan regardless of the CARES provisions. If your income has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic recession, contact your student loan manager to recertify your income. This can drastically reduce your federal student loan payments.

Under available income-based repayment plans, any remaining loan balances are forfeited if your federal student loans are not fully repaid by the end of the repayment period, which is 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan. . If you make payments through an income-based repayment plan and are also working on a loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan forgiveness program (PSLF), you can get a discount on any balance of loan after only 10 years of qualifying payments.

Suspend private student loan payments

Private student loans were not included in the provisions of the CARES Act, but some states have since worked with private lenders to provide student debt relief to borrowers. By early June, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, New York, and the District of Columbia all had deals with lenders to help borrowers. with private university loans and commercially held FFELP loans. The agreement calls on lenders and loan managers to:

  • Offer borrowers the right to suspend forbearance payments for 90 days. You will likely need to call your loan officer to request a forbearance. Make sure to ask that your interest is not accrued during this period, so that you don’t have to pay more after the period ends.
  • Waive late payment fees. While your loan is in arrears, you shouldn’t have to worry about paying late fees on missed payments.
  • Do not issue any negative account reports to the credit bureaus. During forbearance, the agreement states that loan managers must report your account in good standing to the credit bureaus. It’s still a good idea to check. Fortunately, the three major credit bureaus — Equifax

    , Experian and TransUnion

    – now offer free online weekly credit reports.
  • Stay debt collection proceedings for 90 days. This applies to any new trial.

Explore flexible student loan repayment options

If your student loans are private or not eligible for relief under the CARES Act, you can still negotiate lower payments or even a break in payments.

If you lost your job or saw your income decline during this pandemic, call your private student loan department to see what flexible student loan repayment options are available. Even if you don’t live in one of the states that have agreements with private lenders and loan services, you can still temporarily suspend your private student loan payments without incurring late fees or negative consequences on your loan. your credit report.

Student loan refinancing

By refinancing your student loans, you could reduce the interest rate you pay and save hundreds (if not thousands) on your student debt over time. Interest rates are particularly low right now with variable rates as low as 1.99%, as of June 6, 2020, according to Student Loan Hero, which is part of LendingTree.

. To benefit from the best rates, you will generally need a FICO credit score of at least 600.

If you are refinancing private loans, this can be a great opportunity to reduce your monthly payments and the total amount you are paying over time. You can also consolidate loans into one payment. If you are considering refinancing federal loans from a private lender, keep in mind that your loans will no longer have access to federal programs and protections, including the CARES Act loan relief and forgiveness programs. . It is therefore important to weigh the pros and cons.

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Environmental justice activists rally in Washington for moratorium on utility shutdowns


WASHINGTON – A year after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, the DC-based national coalition #NoShutOffs and We Power DC will rally outside the US Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday to call on President Joe Biden and HHS Acting Secretary Nathan Cochran to issue a national moratorium on shutting down public services. The socially distanced action will also prompt local authorities to extend DC’s soon-to-expire moratorium on Pepco disconnects.

What: Rally to urge federal and DC officials to stop utility cuts

When: Saturday March 13 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Or: 330 C St. SW Washington, DC, at the intersection of 4th St SW, outside the US Department of Health and Human Services

Which: Individuals representing the #NoShutOffs Coalition and We Power DC

Why: The COVID-19 federal national health emergency was declared a year ago. Yet no federal relief has been given to stem the public health crisis of power, water and broadband outages, leading millions of households to suffer or at risk of utility outages due to mass unemployment. Public service cuts pose a national threat to public health.

A recent study from Duke University estimated that a national moratorium on public services could have prevented 8.7% of COVID-19 cases and 14.8% of deaths.

Only nine states and DC have moratoria in place. With DC moratoria set to expire soon and no national shutdown protection in place, advocates urge President Biden to use his executive branch to issue a nationwide moratorium on shutting down public services and alleviating utility debt to public services. families.

Biden approaches political victory with House on the cusp of stimulus vote

Biden approaches political victory with House on the cusp of stimulus vote

House set to send $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan to President Joe biden for his signing, providing an economic boost that will last long after the $ 1,400 stimulus checks start rolling into Americans’ accounts this month.

With four days until extra unemployment benefits start to run out, Democratic House leaders are planning a stint on Wednesday. While a Republican MP has delayed the schedule, the final vote is still expected in the afternoon.

The bill is far more important than Wall Street’s initial expectations of what could be accomplished in a tightly divided Congress. It provides a model for a potential longer-term expansion of an American social safety net that has long been much smaller than its European counterparts. Democrats say the nearly $ 110 billion temporary extension of the child tax credit will help cut child poverty in half, while the unemployment benefit tax exemption and unemployment benefit relief student debt will help millions more.

WATCH: An explanation of who qualifies for a $ 1,400 stimulus check and how this round of payments will work.

Source: Quick Take)

Economists this week increased their growth projections to incorporate the impact. Morgan Stanley on Tuesday raised its forecast for economic growth in the United States for 2021 to 7.3% from 6.5%, a pace unmatched since the Korean War boom in 1951. The OECD on the same day over double his own estimate.

Rebound in hiring plans

“It seems like every week we get another reason to increase the forecast,” said Avery shenfeld, Chief Economist at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. “The vaccinations will free up a lot of saved expenses, on top of all the expenses we’re getting from this round of stimulus checks.”

White House press secretary Jen psaki said on Tuesday that the government would not have the checks – amounting to $ 1,400 for each individual, gradually dropping to zero for those earning $ 80,000 or more – printed with Biden’s name, as the Treasury seeks to speed up their distribution.

The IRS is ready to start sending payments within days of signing the invoice, according to a person familiar with the process who is not authorized to comment on the schedule because it is not yet finalized.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that $ 1.1 trillion in relief bill spending would be spent this year, and an additional $ 459 billion in 2022.

Sustained boost

This sustained flow of spending is reflected in the growth forecasts. The median of the estimates compiled by Bloomberg for 2022 is 3.8% – an expansion well above the average of 2.3% over the decade to 2019.

Shenfeld is among economists seeing a return to full employment in the United States next year, with an unemployment rate of 3.8%, although the median projection is 4.6%, above levels of before the pandemic.

“This legislation represents the boldest action taken on behalf of the American people since the Great Depression,” said the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Pete Aguilar from California.

The Senate passed the bill – which includes $ 160 billion for vaccine and testing programs, $ 170 billion to help schools open and more than $ 360 billion in aid to state governments , local and territorial – Saturday in a 50-49 vote. . The House is also expected to pass it without the support of Republicans.

Republican objections

GOP lawmakers have also skyrocketed the price beyond what is needed, given the economy is already rebounding as the coronavirus recedes amid the heightened vaccination campaign. Along with the surge in Treasury yields over the past month, they also point to heightened fears of a surge in inflation, with dangerous results given the heavy indebtedness of the United States.

“You can’t keep adding mountains of debt to hundreds of billions at a time” without consequence, said House Republican Whip Steve scalise of Louisiana, the lawmaker responsible for collecting the GOP votes. He blasted what he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosithe pursuit of a “socialist” agenda and the rejection of talks with “those of us who want to work together to deal with this virus and safely reopen our economy and our schools”.

Republicans have particularly opposed the more than $ 350 billion in state and local government funds provided as many states show no loss of revenue during the pandemic.

“Headline after headline confirms most states are not in financial trouble,” minority House leader said Kevin mccarthy said during Wednesday’s debate. “It just throws money away with no liability.”

A group of 11 Republican senators have proposed a $ 650 billion stimulus bill, with more targeted benefits and a focus on anti-virus efforts. Biden greeted most of the group at the Oval Office to say that the gap between his vision and the GOP was just too big to try to bridge.

The Progressive Perspective

In contrast, the Progressive Democrats had asked for even more than Biden had offered. Pramila Jayapal, who heads their caucus, asked 3 trillion dollars. The Liberals, however, pledged to back the Senate version of the Aid Bill in Wednesday’s vote.

Pelosi said on Tuesday that the relief bill was the most important she has led since Obamacare in 2010. She also predicted that there would be no political backlash from this episode – when Republicans took successfully argued against deficit spending and took control of the House. in the midterm elections.

“The public knows” what is planned in the relief bill, she said. “The public did not know about the Affordable Care Act and the administration did not exactly advertise it.”

Aid is targeted to the lowest paid Americans. A study by the Tax Policy Center found that the incomes of the bottom fifth of earners would increase by 20%, the highest among income groups. This will help accelerate the flow of money into the economy, as those in the lower brackets spend more of their budget on basic household needs, including health care, food. and clothing.

“It will likely hit the accounts before the end of the month,” said Aneta Markowska, Chief Economist at Jefferies LLC. “Not only is this paid for quickly, it is actually spent very quickly. “

(Updates with McCarthy’s comment in the fourth paragraph after the caption “Republicans Object”.)

–With the help of Laura Davison and Carl Riccadonna (economist).

To contact journalists on this story:
Erik Wasson in Washington at [email protected];
Katia Dmitrieva in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Joe sobczyk to [email protected];
Scott Lanman to [email protected]

Christopher Anstey, Kathleen Hunter

© 2021 Bloomberg LP All rights reserved. Used with permission.

US stimulus saga: what could end up in the new COVID-19 relief bill? | Business and Economy News


This is the current long-running US political soap opera: When will the next round of US coronavirus aid be approved, and what will the bill actually contain?

Congressional Democrats – and the administration of US President Donald Trump – have been battling over the topic for months, as millions of struggling American families and small businesses anxiously await much-needed financial help.

Many provisions of April’s $ 2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) law expired at the end of July, and others that protect tenants, student loan borrowers and the unemployed will expire end December.

So what’s the delay in approving more help? Here are the latest news from the ongoing relaunch saga.

Psst, what do we mean by stimulus?

The coronavirus pandemic has closed businesses, disrupted travel and put millions of people out of work, devastating economies around the world, including the United States.

Until there is widespread immunity to the virus, it will not be business as usual for many industries. This is where the government comes in. Lawmakers in the US Congress can boost the economy with money in the form of financial lifelines for small businesses, direct cash payments to households, improved unemployment benefits, debt relief and more measures to help people overcome the pandemic.

Simply put: Throw money on the problem until things get better.

Money rings good. So what’s the big debate?

Republicans and Democrats disagree on what stimulus the US economy needs, what form it should take, and how it should be distributed.

Generally speaking, Democrats want a bigger bill that provides additional federal unemployment benefits to workers – but it would cost $ 2.2 trillion.

Republicans want a clean version. The latest proposal from Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would cost $ 916 billion.

Both proposals mean spending more when the US government already has a budget deficit of $ 3.3 trillion and the pandemic is not yet over.

Democratic leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi call for more stimulus for struggling American families and businesses [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Billions, billions – what would these bills actually do?

Democrats want to extend state unemployment benefits and restart the federal weekly supplement of $ 300 for the unemployed, which expired in late July. They also want to relieve cash-strapped state and local governments and send another round of $ 1,200 stimulus checks to individuals.

What about Trump’s proposal?

Trump’s plan would give individuals stimulus checks of $ 600 – half of what they received in April – but would not include the federal top-up of $ 300 on state unemployment benefits.

It offers no help to state and local governments, which have seen their coffers depleted by the crisis. It would also protect businesses, universities and schools from virus-related lawsuits.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a lean $ 916 billion bill to House Democrats [File: Greg Nash/Pool via Reuters]

Does anyone have any other ideas?

A third group, made up of senators from both parties, is proposing a solution of $ 908 billion. Led by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, this group’s proposal includes pandemic unemployment benefit of $ 300 per week and $ 160 billion for states and local governments, but does not send a check to every American.

When do they all have to come to an agreement?

Strictly speaking, this should have been fixed months ago. Or weeks ago. Or right away.

But seriously, time is running out. On December 9, the House is expected to pass a week-long fundraising bill to give lawmakers more time to reach a deal. Without this measure, the US federal government would enter a shutdown less than two weeks before Christmas.

A government shutdown during a pandemic? This does not sound good.

This is not the case. So Washington had better get down to business – and quickly.

So who owns the decision?

This is the problem – everyone’s problem. The House of Representatives – where Democrats are in the majority – passes the stimulus bill first.

The bill then passes through the Senate, where Republicans currently hold control. And then it will have to be signed by outgoing President Trump, who has less than two months in office.

For his part, Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has made it clear that he wants as much emergency aid as possible – but many struggling businesses and families cannot wait for help until he does take it. his duties on January 20.

It is estimated that 30 to 40 million people could lose their homes if nothing is done before a federal moratorium on evictions expires on December 31 [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]

What’s at stake?

In the balance, more than 10 million Americans are unemployed and the 30 to 40 million who could be evicted when a moratorium expires at the end of the year, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Families have struggled to put food on the table since the start of the pandemic. Feeding America, the country’s largest anti-hunger organization, said its network of national food banks had distributed about 4.2 billion meals since March 1.

So, while politicians are fighting, ordinary people are stuck in limbo. The United States is already seeing an upsurge in COVID-19 infections, and experts warn mass deportations could help spread the coronavirus. If that weren’t enough, a post-vacation default on credit card debt could cause the financial markets to spiral.

If it’s so serious, why can’t politicians be nice?

That’s a great question – and maybe one for Santa Claus.

How to rethink global debt in the coronavirus pandemic?

  • The coronavirus pandemic has sent economic shockwaves around the world.
  • To ensure that developing and emerging countries do not suffer, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff argue that their debt payments should be suspended throughout the crisis.
  • Instead of going to creditors, financial resources should be focused on tackling COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 virus spreads globally, economic paralysis and unemployment follow in its wake. But the economic fallout from the pandemic in most emerging and developing economies will likely be far worse than anything we’ve seen in China, Europe or the United States. Now is not the time to expect them to pay off their debts, whether to private or official creditors.

With inadequate health systems, a limited capacity to provide fiscal or monetary stimulus, and underdeveloped (or nonexistent) social safety nets, the emerging and developing world is on the brink of not only a humanitarian crisis, but also the most serious financial crisis. crisis since at least the 1930s. Capital has been forced out of most of these economies in recent weeks, and a wave of new sovereign defaults seems inevitable.

We have consistently argued for the urgent need for a temporary moratorium on all debt repayments by all emerging and developing sovereign debtors, except the most solvent. The arguments for a moratorium for troubled sovereign borrowers have many similarities to those for households, small businesses and municipalities.

The urgency is underscored by the fact that the quarantine experience is radically different in the developing world. In the sprawling slums of São Paulo, Mumbai or Manila, quarantine can mean living in a small room with ten people, with little food or water and little or no compensation for lost wages. If history is any guide, the supply disruptions that accompany the pandemic could soon be followed by food shortages.

More than 90 countries have already requested emergency funding from the International Monetary Fund’s Rapid Finance Instrument (IFR) and World Bank resources. And in much of the developing world, the worst of the pandemic is not expected until the end of the year.

When this happens, the direct humanitarian and economic impact will be added to the effects of the pandemic on global trade and commodity prices, which are already plaguing many emerging economies. The World Trade Organization expects world trade to decline by 13-32% in 2020. Oil-producing countries (and many other commodity producers) have suffered the consequences of the price war between oil and gas. ‘Saudi Arabia and Russia, causing downgrades in sovereign credit ratings. .

The World Trade Organization expects world trade to decline by 13-32% in 2020.

Image: World Trade Organization

Leaders of the world’s largest economies must recognize that a return to “normalcy” in our globalized world is not possible as long as the pandemic continues on its dark path. It is myopic for creditors, official and private, to wait for debt repayments from countries where these resources should be diverted from the fight against COVID-19.

Deepening and prolonging the global depression is a very risky proposition. At a low in the mid-1980s, emerging and developing economies accounted for around 18% of global GDP (in US dollars); in 2020, this share is 41% (and 60% if adjusted for purchasing power).

We recommend an immediate temporary moratorium on external debt repayments for all “AAA” rated sovereigns. By “external” we mean debt issued under the jurisdiction of foreign courts, generally in New York or London. Debts issued under domestic law would be handled by the countries themselves. For this type of debt relief to be effective, it must encompass, including debts to multilateral lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, sovereign creditors (Paris Club members and China) and private investors.

Ultimately, the debt of many countries will have to be restructured; there will be no alternative to a negotiated partial default. But courts and multilateral lenders are no better at handling default en masse that hospitals cannot withstand operating at ten times their capacity. A temporary moratorium can provide the necessary bridge. At best, it might even prevent some faults.

The World Bank and the IMF have extensive experience in over-indebted countries and in recent years have increasingly recognized that partial default is often the only realistic option, a point we have emphasized in much of our work. previous work on external debt. It is a great tragedy that following the global financial crisis of 2008, the euro area failed to restructure the debts of southern Europe beyond the Greek case – a course of action that we planes strongly advocated at the time. Trying to impose regular debt payments at very irregular times can only lead to deeper and longer-than-necessary recessions.

Of course, a debt moratorium will require the United States, which has an effective veto at the IMF, to commit. But the same is true for China.

Over the past two decades, more and more developing countries have turned to China for loans (which are usually guaranteed and carry market interest rates). Although China is now a major creditor in some 40 countries and a major in dozens more, it has so far refused to join the Paris Club (which coordinates sovereign debt rescheduling) and insists on pursuing its own bilateral approach behind closed doors.

What can be done? The IMF and the World Bank have the capacity and expertise to coordinate a debt moratorium if the United States and other major players conclude that such a move is in their national interest. Private creditors will have relatively little choice but to cooperate in the short term. Many emerging and developing economies will soon stop paying their debts anyway. The world must face the problem.

Mr Wolfensohn made Herculean efforts to alleviate the debt of heavily indebted countries like Guyana


Mr. Editor,

I am writing to pay tribute to Mr. James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank who died at the end of November 2020.

As we in Guyana mourn the loss of many of our compatriots, men and women, who have passed away due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pray that their souls rest in peace, those of us who are always there and know the contribution of men. like Mr. Wolfensohn in Guyana’s fight for debt relief and poverty reduction, must pay tribute to him and praise his Herculean efforts in favor of debt relief for heavily indebted countries like Guyana.

Guyana’s fight for debt relief at that time was led by Dr Cheddi Jagan before and after assuming the presidency of the Republic.

In addition, the struggle for debt relief has dominated President Jagan’s cabinet meetings and his foreign affairs agenda.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, I had the good fortune to accompany the President to many meetings.

In doing so, I got to know Mr. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank and Mr. Michel Camdessus, Managing Director of the IMF, both of whom addressed the heads of government of CARICOM on different occasions.

President Jagan met Mr. Camdessus at the Fifth Intersessional Meeting of Heads of Government in March 1994, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Two years later, between February and March 1996, President Jagan hosted Mr. Wolfensohn who visited Guyana to participate in the seventh intersessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom held in Georgetown. .

On the eve of Wolfensohn’s visit to Guyana, President Jagan wrote him a letter on February 12, 1996 congratulating him on his appointment as President of the World Bank.

In his letter, President Jagan said: “In Guyana, we are grateful for the assistance we have received from the World Bank and in particular from the International Development Association (IDA). However, our enormous debt overhang hinders our ability to grow faster than we do and to alleviate or even eradicate poverty.

President Jagan went on to emphasize; “Our foreign debt payments of about $ 112 million in 1995 were more than all capital inflows. We are caught in a vicious circle.

The President told Wolfensohn that “the World Bank has a crucial role to play, under your able leadership, in eradicating poverty, safeguarding the environment and achieving human development.

I look forward to your meeting with the Heads of Government of Caricom and your solidarity and support for the poor, marginalized, oppressed and oppressed of the world. ‘

During Wolfensohn’s meeting with Caricom Heads in Georgetown, his attention was drawn to; “The persistent serious debt service problem facing some member states and the growing proportion of debt owed to multilateral financial institutions (MFIs), which do not reschedule payments.” Caricom Heads called on the President of the World Bank to ensure that the Bank “deals with heavily indebted countries in a manner designed to help solve the problem of diversification.”

It was Wolfensohn of the World Bank and Camdessus of the IMF who, four years after taking office of the PPP, “launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. At the time, this initiative enabled debt relief for the world’s poorest countries to amount to more than US $ 53 billion.

Guyana was one of a group of 39 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang that were classified as HIPCs allowing them to benefit from special assistance from the IMF and the World Bank.

Due to its classification as a HIPC, Guyana became eligible for debt relief in the form of low interest loans, cancellation or reduction of multilateral debt which, at the time, was difficult. to obtain. Later in 2004, according to “IMF Country Report No. 04/123 on the Enhanced HIPC Completion Point Initiative of May 5, 2004”:

“The IMF and IDA staff consider Guyana’s performance with respect to the conditions for reaching the completion point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country Program as satisfactory.

Twenty-four years have passed since Wolfensohn visited Guyana to meet with President Jagan and his Caricom colleagues, but poverty persists in many Caricom member states and foreign debt still hangs like a sword of Damocles over it. the countries of the region.

But Wolfensohn’s efforts were not in vain. Debt relief by MFIs through the HIPC Initiative has achieved its objective by easing the debt burden of many countries, including Guyana, allowing the use of resources that were once used to service external debt. to be used for public sector investment projects in particular, in the social sector thus allowing a more robust growth rate.

It is in this context that Guyanese must pay tribute to James Wolfensohn, a champion of the poor, marginalized and dispossessed in many developing countries of the world.

Yours faithfully,

Clement J. Rohee

Global public debt and budget deficits to hit record high in FY21: IMF


A senior IMF official warned on Friday that global public debt is expected to exceed 100% of GDP in 2020-2021, and that the average overall budget deficit is expected to reach 14% of GDP in 2020, stressing that public debt and deficits are never ‘grew so high and so fast.

The sharp contraction in production and the resulting drop in income, along with strong discretionary support, led to increased public debt and deficits, Vitor Gaspar, director of the Fund’s fiscal affairs department, told PTI. international monetary policy (IMF).

Global public debt is expected to hit a record high, exceeding 100 percent of GDP in 2020-2021, an increase of nearly 20 percentage points from a year ago, he said, adding that the Debt increase is greatest among advanced economies such as the United States, Japan and those in Europe.

At the same time, the average overall budget deficit is expected to reach 14% of GDP in 2020, 10 percentage points higher than last year. Never have public debt and deficits increased so high and so quickly, he said.

Along with these record levels of global public debt, however, are record levels of nominal interest rates, in both advanced and emerging market economies, Gasper noted.

And they should stay low in the absence of inflationary pressures. In many cases, this opens up considerable room for maneuver, at a time when budget support is needed. In many advanced economies, high debt levels have been accompanied by lower debt servicing costs, he said.

Nonetheless, caution is in order, said Gasper, observing that many advanced economies face long-term fiscal pressures, especially due to population aging, which can weigh on long-term debt sustainability.

Some emerging market economies could face costly debt refinancing if financial conditions tighten again, as they did in March, the IMF official warned.

And the most vulnerable low-income developing economies, many of which were already at high risk of debt distress before the crisis, will need sustained support from the international community to ensure they can respond to the pandemic. and contain rising poverty. and inequality, he said.

Providing debt relief under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative is a good example of successful global coordination, he said.

Responding to a question, Gasper said that in China, the recovery is now well advanced, as national containment measures have been withdrawn and political support has strengthened.

In response to the initial outbreak, the authorities provided timely and targeted budget support to the health sector and the most affected businesses and households, which mitigated the impact of the outbreak on employment, contributing to avoid unnecessary bankruptcies and helped protect the vulnerable, he said.

Overall budget support is expected to amount to around 5.8 percentage points of GDP.

Of course, if the recovery fails, China will have to do more, and it has the fiscal leeway to do so, he said.

Budget support would be more effective if it improves the public health system, strengthens the social safety net, focuses on public investment spending in areas to combat climate change, such as green technologies and transport clean.

As in many other countries, China’s public debt increased during the crisis and policymakers will need to adjust medium-term fiscal policy once the crisis is behind us, he said.

In the United States, Gasper said American policymakers have rightly taken bold steps to protect livelihoods and businesses and minimize the economic damage from the pandemic.

Over the next few months, the United States is expected to use its considerable fiscal space to accelerate economic recovery, improve health preparedness, support the most vulnerable, and facilitate a broader overhaul of the post-pandemic US economy.

It will be important to ensure that the political solutions put in place are simultaneously oriented towards the overhaul of the existing systems of social assistance, education and health care; and investing in green technologies to propel the United States towards a low-carbon future, he said.

With public debt already on an upward trajectory before the Covid-19 epidemic, once the economy is on a much stronger footing, fiscal adjustment will be needed to stabilize debt, the IMF official said.

According to Gasper, in the absence of a vaccine or effective therapy to overcome the health crisis, uncertainty remains on the road to recovery. As such, fiscal policy will need to remain accommodative and flexible to better protect people, support businesses and facilitate the transition to a more resilient digital and green economy.

An earlier than justified exit from targeted support – such as wage subsidies for workers on leave, cash transfers and loan guarantees – could derail the recovery and lead to greater fiscal costs in the future, a- he declared.

Once an effective solution to the health crisis is available in the world and countries emerge safely and sustainably from deep containment, policymakers will need to address the structural weaknesses exposed by the crisis.

International coordination is absolutely necessary to ensure that low-income and developing economies with great development needs and financing constraints have access to bilateral and multilateral finance, including on concessional terms; and poor nations benefit from continued debt relief, Gasper added.

Debt Relief – Journal – DAWN.COM


PAKISTAN is on the verge of receiving debt relief under the G20 plan and, according to an official announcement, the total amount is $ 2 billion. It is possible that this amount will increase if the period of cover is extended beyond December 2020. For the moment, the relief is extended to loans from bilateral creditors, accompanied by a call from the G20 to private creditors to also offer ” terms”. Perhaps the same conditions can also be extended to multilateral creditors.

It was, however, a wise move on the part of the financial adviser to make public his government’s resolution not to go to private creditors for comparable relief. Throughout the period from the announcement of the plan until today, the finance branch of the government and the State Bank have sent confused signals to the private markets regarding their intention to seek debt relief. private creditors. This ambiguity has negatively impacted Pakistan’s credit rating, which has been under review by Moody’s, casting a shadow over the future of the country’s B3 rating. The rating agency explicitly said that the search for debt relief on bilateral loans under the G20 initiative has helped the review, but that such action is unlikely to have helped. ‘Negative impact on the rating because it is an officially sanctioned initiative and is more likely to free up resources than to restrict them. any further. It was the uncertainty over whether or not Pakistan will approach private creditors that appears to have motivated the decision, which appears to have forced the hand of the financial adviser who made it clear that the government did not intend to ask. reparation to private creditors. Now that relief is imminent, it is important to stress that it must be used in a manner consistent with the rationale under which it was offered. The G20 acted at the behest of multilateral creditors, the World Bank and the IMF, and all three have made it clear that the resources they seek to release must be used to fight the coronavirus. Part of that struggle is managing the economic fallout created by the pandemic and the mitigation efforts that flow from it. But to a large extent, resources are needed for social protection and increased investment in health. It is important that the space created by debt relief is used primarily to help fight the pandemic.

Posted in Dawn, le 22 May 2020

World Bank should continue to provide aid and review capital adequacy – Development Committee


FILE PHOTO: A participant stands near a World Bank logo at the International Monetary Fund – World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS / Johannes P. Christo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is expected to continue efforts to provide $ 160 billion in coronavirus aid by June 2021 and explore additional emergency funding and debt relief for developing countries, said Friday the board of directors of the bank.

In a statement, the Joint Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said the “bold and decisive” response should be accompanied by a review of the financial capacity of the World Bank Group beyond l ‘ongoing exercise to ensure that it remains’ sufficiently capitalized to fulfill its mandate.

The statement said the IMF has so far provided some $ 100 billion in aid to more than 80 countries during the pandemic. He also urged the IMF “to deploy all the tools and resources available to help members to emerge sustainably from the crisis while building more resilient and inclusive economies”.

The statement said the World Bank’s support to more than 100 countries has so far totaled $ 45 billion, including $ 11 billion from its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation and $ 2 billion from its agency. multilateral investment guarantee.

On Wednesday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the World Bank to manage its financial resources “wisely and transparently.” He said the bank should prioritize funds for poor countries with the greatest needs, and not those with solid access to market finance, “so as not to overburden shareholders with premature calls for money. new funding, ”Mnuchin said.

World Bank shareholders approved a $ 13 billion capital increase in 2018 that forced the bank to stop lending to richer middle-income countries, like China, in order to shift resources to the richest countries. needy.

The Development Committee, made up of 25 finance ministers and central bank governors representing major World Bank and IMF shareholder countries, including Mnuchin, said the World Bank and other multilateral development banks should “explore additional COVID-19 emergency funding proposals “for the poorest countries.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Daniel Wallis

Muskrat Falls Fiasco: Ottawa Offers NL Debt Relief


Last Thursday, as bills for the overdue and off-budget Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project finally came due, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was deferring $ 844 million in payments from Newfoundland and Labrador. This was good news for Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey, who faced the daunting task of borrowing money in bond markets where the province has not been. able to raise funds last March. In an interview with the allNewfoundlandLabrador economic news publication, Premier Furey said, “It’s a giant anchor around our collective souls. “

What is not clear from the Prime Minister’s remarks is what might accompany the lifeline he threw at the rookie Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. The negotiations, which were previously described as seeking a way to prevent electricity rates from doubling in the province, are now described as work “on the financial restructuring of Muskrat Falls” and on “the next steps to support the Atlantic loop. “

The Atlantic Loop, in case you missed a one-line reference in last September’s Throne Speech, is a grand plan “that will connect surplus clean energy to regions in transition away from coal.” Translated, this means major investments in infrastructure to replace coal-fired electricity in the Maritime provinces with hydroelectricity from Quebec and Labrador. The benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador, other than alleviating the potentially overwhelming costs of the Muskrat Falls project, are uncertain. When asked if there was no Muskrat Falls deal without an Atlantic Loop deal involving the premier of Quebec, Furey said: “Even if they don’t exclude each other not mutually, they are not necessarily in tandem or in parallel, but they exist simultaneously in the same set of negotiations. I’m sure Mr. Dupont and Mr. Paddick will undertake.

Mr. Brendan Paddick is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nalcor, the provincial Crown corporation that owns the Muskrat Falls project, and Mr. Serge Dupont is the federal government negotiator. Mr. Dupont’s appointment signals a transfer of the Muskrat Falls file from the Federal Ministry of Finance to the PMO. It also indicates the weight that the Prime Minister gives to the file.

Serge Dupont is a former Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and former Deputy Minister at the Department of Natural Resources from 2010 to 2014. Since Mr. Dupont was Deputy Minister in 2011 when former Prime Minister Stephen Harper accepted a guarantee loan of $ 6.4 billion. for Muskrat Falls, he knows the project intimately.

The day after the Prime Minister’s announcement, the Bloc Québécois gave a foretaste of what awaits Mr. Dupont. In a press release entitled “Quebec does not have to finance the Muskrat Falls fiasco,” BQ spokesperson for natural resources, Mario Simard, deplored the new financial support for Muskrat Falls by declaring: ” Quebecers should not have to put a penny in this financial abyss designed to compete with Hydro-Quebec.

Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would agree with Mr. Simard that the Muskrat Falls project is a fiasco and, while it may hurt those who think Hydro-Quebec has Unjustly reaped the benefits of the massive, decades-old Churchill Falls hydroelectric project, it is clear that Muskrat Falls electricity is destined for export markets competing with Hydro-Quebec. The BQ’s position is that Ottawa’s support represents “unfair competition with our own money”.

In 2011, Quebec opposed Stephen Harper’s decision to guarantee what was then wrongly planned as a hydroelectric project worth more than $ 6 billion. Mr. Harper later agreed to transfer $ 2.2 billion to Quebec as compensation for the harmonization of the GST 20 years earlier. Of course, some thought it looked like a reward.

Premier Andrew Furey, who is due to call a provincial election in 2021, said: “We have to make sure that we deal with Muskrat Falls first, while creating – I think we can – creating responsibly, we can be a green battery helps remove Atlantic Canada and maybe even eastern Canada from coal and other unclean energy sources. In time, what the Prime Minister may find out is that deferring the initial payment of $ 884 million was the first step and that there is no second step without a much bigger deal with Atlantic. Loop.

Whether negotiations are still in the early stages or advanced, what Andrew Furey faces is part of Confederation realpolitik. Newfoundland and Labrador is negotiating from a position of fiscal weakness and one of the parties in the larger and more ambitious Atlantic Loop talks is powerful and has already played this game skillfully and successfully. .

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