Al Pacino Gets the Squigs Treatment as China Doll Takes Flight

first_imgThe legendary Al Pacino officially opens in David Mamet’s China Doll on December 4. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, the play is running for a limited engagement of 97 performances at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.To celebrate the world premiere of the two-hander, which follows a billionaire who just bought a plane for his fiancé to celebrate his imminent retirement, resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch. There’s Pacino as businessman Mickey Ross, Christopher Denham as his assistant, Carson, and a model of *that* plane… wishes the China Doll team a safe flight and happy opening! View Comments China Doll Related Showscenter_img About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 31, 2016last_img read more

Vermont Yankee Study Identifies Major Environmental and Economic Benefits

first_imgVermont Yankee Study Identifies MajorEnvironmental and Economic BenefitsVermont Energy Partnership Urges Policy Makers andthe Public to Review Independent Expert’s FindingsMontpelier, VT/November 17, 2008 – An independent assessment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant finds that the facility provides major economic and environmental benefits to Vermont and that the consequences of closing it would be significant. In addition, the only potential solution to replace all or the vast majority of its power near term is to construct a combined cycle natural gas plant.The effects of such a plant and the loss of Vermont Yankee include:* Statewide average retail electric prices are estimated to increase by 19 to 39 percent.* Without Vermont Yankee’s power, carbon dioxide emissions, from all sources statewide, would likely increase by two million tons annually, a 100 fold or 10,000 percent increase.* Emissions of nitric oxide, a toxic substance which causes the weakening of the earth’s ozone layer, would increase by 550 tons, a twofold increase from current levels.* The potential costs to Vermonters stemming from the need for pollution allowances could exceed $60 million annually for carbon dioxide and $3 million for nitric oxide. These costs would be in addition to the retail price increases.* The loss of Vermont Yankee would deprive the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund $4-$7 million per year.The study’s author is Dr. Howard Axelrod, president and founder of Energy Strategies, Inc. of Albany, New York. Dr. Axelrod has been a management consultant for over 25 years and has been engaged by a wide range of energy clients, state and federal regulatory agencies, and large industrial users of energy.Dr. Axelrod evaluated various alternatives to Vermont Yankee and the feasibility of having these power sources online by March 2012, when Vermont Yankee’s current license expires.With respect to renewable resources, Dr. Axelrod found, “There is no question that wind energy and other renewable resources will play a vital role in meeting Vermont’s growing energy needs. However, it is highly unrealistic to assume that between the end of 2009 when the NRC [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission] is expected to rule on the Vermont Yankee relicensing application, and 2012, when the original operating license expires, Vermont could add the necessary magnitude of renewable generation.”In fact, there are formidable challenges to bringing large amounts of renewable power online, especially near term. Dr. Axelrod’s study found the following.* Wind power. “To replace Vermont Yankee …. with an equivalent number of wind-derived electricity would require the installation of more than 1,500 wind generators. Given that the largest wind farms install only a few hundred generators, the addition of 1,500 generations with the associated transmission lines needed to connect to the Vermont network, 2012 is an unrealistic completion date.”* Solar. “The equivalent number of solar collectors (to replace Vermont Yankee) would require over 2,000 acres of dedicated space just for the solar collectors. To maximize exposure to the sun, an untold amount of land will have to be cleared in order to capture as much sun energy as possible.”* Wood. “The amount of wood and waste wood materials needed to produce the same amounts of electricity as from Vermont Yankee would exceed two million tons of bond-dry wood per year … a Vermont Yankee biofuel replacement would require over 200,000 acres of woodlands to be cultivated each year, which represents nearly five percent of Vermont total geographic space.”Dr. Axelrod does find, “There is one alternative to Vermont Yankee that might meet the tight time schedule, namely the installation of 620 MW (megawatts) of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT).”He adds, “Unfortunately, CCGTs require large volumes of natural gas and will produce significantly more nitric oxide and carbon dioxide, the latter a major source of global warming. From a cost perspective, a new CCGT will be twice as expensive and significantly more uncertain as the price of natural gas represents more than 70 percent of a CCGT’s operating costs.”Dr. Axelrod emphasized, “It should not be misconstrued, solar, wind and biofuels can and should all contribute to Vermont’s portfolio of energy resources, but to assume that 620 MW of Vermont Yankee power can be replaced by 2013 is unrealistic.”In fact, the expanded use of renewable electricity power sources longer term will help reduce Vermont’s carbon footprint further. Currently, automobiles account for 46 percent of the state’s carbon footprint, almost twice the national average of 25 percent. With the electrification of automobiles expected to become more popular in the near future, there will be even more need for clean sources of electricity.Commenting on the study, Brad Ferland, President of the Vermont Energy Partnership said, “There are many intriguing findings in this study that should be part of the discussion not only about Vermont Yankee but of Vermont’s overall energy future. At a time when it is critical to keep and expand clean sources of power, Vermont Yankee has a paramount role to play in Vermont’s energy and economic infrastructure. We look forward to discussing the findings and ramifications with policy makers.”Jennifer Clancy, an environmentalist and board member of the Vermont Energy Partnership said, “While there is no silver bullet to Vermont’s vast and growing energy challenges, a combination of Vermont Yankee and expanded use of renewable sources are central to the state’s energy future. This report shows the respective roles, and time frame, that these sources can and should play in the coming years.”To view a full copy of the study, “An Independent Assessment of the Environmental and Economic Impacts Associated with the Closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant,” visit is external). For more information on Energy Strategies, Inc. visit is external) .The Vermont Energy Partnership ( is external)) is a diverse group of more than 95 business, labor, and community leaders committed to finding clean, affordable and reliable electricity solutions. Its mission is to educate policy makers, the media, businesses, and the general public about why electricity is imperative for prosperity, and about the optimal solutions to preserve and expand our electricity network. Entergy, owner of Vermont Yankee, is a member of the Vermont Energy Partnership.last_img read more

Bikers Guide to the Laurel Highlands

first_img Cool off at Idlewild & SoakZone, named the “Best Children’s Park” in the world, featuring classic amusement park rides and a giant outdoor waterpark. Spend all day ziplining, horseback riding, and swimming at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Standup paddle board on Laurel Hill Lake or Youghiogheny Lake. If you’re looking for a long-distance excursion, hike 70 miles on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail that runs along the ridge. After a long day of playing, fuel up with food and drinks at one of the many hot spots in the area. Falls City Pub and Restaurant is the place to go in Ohiopyle State Park, featuring an extensive beer menu and live music. Hop off the Great Allegheny Passage for a drink, or two, from Bloom Brew. If you’re riding in the state forest, take your pick of libations from Helltown Brewing, Christian W. Klay Winery, and Ridge Runner Distillery. Head to Ohiopyle State Park for a variety of singletrack, cross country, and rugged mountain biking trails. Beginners and experts alike will have fun playing on the big climbs and downhills while taking in the stunning landscape. Take a short hike to visit Ohiopyle and Cucumber Falls, boulder at one of the several climbing areas hop on the natural waterslides in Meadow Run, and run the Youghiogheny River with a whitewater rafting or float trip. The Laurel Highlands, home to Pennsylvania’s highest pointand deepest gorge, features diverse terrain that cyclists of all types willenjoy. Home to eight state parks, two state forests, and five national parksites, this region is a recreation mecca. From bike packing trips to a downhillcourse built for speed, miles of roads and trails will keep you entertained fordays. While in town, the folks at Wilderness Voyageurs canhook you up with rentals, maintenance services, and shuttles for a full day ofriding in Ohiopyle. At Route 31 Bike, Board, and Ski, you’ll find thetop brands the industry has to offer. Confluence Cyclery and WestNewton Bicycle Shop are conveniently located along the Great AlleghenyPassage for riders in need of repairs, rentals, or parts. Demo a bike or join agroup ride with Flat Tire Co. center_img Stay Awhile The area is home to five national park sites, including the Flight93 National Memorial and Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and fourFrank Lloyd Wright houses, including Fallingwater which was recentlynamed an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s always something to do when you visit Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Check out the recently opened, machine-built Quenahoning Trails which offers flowy single-track rides around a mountain reservoir. Pedal the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile rail trail for multiple days of riding through the countryside. Connect with other trails, like the C&O Canal Towpath, to extend your ride from the Laurel Highlands to Washington, D.C. Round out your trip to Laurel Highlands with a mixture ofoutdoor adventures, culture, food, and drinks. Stop by Seven Springs Mountain Resort for the only downhill rated course in the region. Test your skills on black diamonds, rock gardens, table tops, and everything in between. Two high-speed chair lifts will take you back to the top to do it all over again. Rent a bike and protective gear or take a lesson to get started on the trails. Technical riders will appreciate Laurel Mountain’s extensive trail network and unique rock garden features. Connect with miles of gravel roads through Forbes State Forest to make the most out of your day in the saddle. Choose from several routes varying in length for great views, swimming holes, and blooming mountain laurel in June. last_img read more

Registration Opens for Pisgah Hiking Challenge

first_imgOn April 11th, a 3-mile guided walk on the paved trails of the Cradle of Forestry will kick off the Pisgah Challenge. Staff will showcase the site and begin discussions on beginner outdoor safety. Other hikes during the Challenge will include, in order, Pink Beds Loop (May 16), North Slope Trail (June 13), Daniel Ridge Loop (July 11), Buck Spring Trail (August 15). The hike up Looking Glass Rock (September 12) offers the biggest challenge for the best view in Pisgah! Participants are strongly encouraged to register for all six hikes, which begin promptly at 9:00am. The community is invited to test themselves this spring in the Pisgah Challenge, a series of six free guided hikes of increasing difficulty in Pisgah National Forest. The Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) is a 47-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit with headquarters in Pisgah Forest, NC, at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. CFAIA’s mission promotes educational, recreational and interpretive opportunities about forest and water resources, natural history, and the Cradle of Forestry in America. CFAIA manages campgrounds and recreation areas in North Carolina, Georgia and Indiana; offers to the public environmental education programs and forest-related gifts, educational books and other resources; and provides support to the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site. The Cradle is the birthplace of modern forestry in America. Registration for the Challenge opens February 12 and runs through March 12. Space is limited to 15. Inquiries or registrations must be made by calling DeWitte at 828-884-3443. “Our goal for the Challenge is to remove barriers that keep people from enjoying recreational opportunities on public lands in western NC,” DeWitte said. On each hike, CFAIA guides will share instruction on trail safety, pre-hike planning, basic map reading, appropriate clothing, and trail etiquette. To learn more about CFAIA, visit or follow us on Facebook. “Let us share with you the tools you need to become a stronger, fitter hiker and learn about our public lands at the same time. Join the Challenge,” DeWitte concluded. Upon completion of the entire Pisgah Challenge, participants will receive a specialized patch commemorating the event. A celebratory happy hour social will be held at Ecusta Brewing in Pisgah Forest. “The Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) is launching the Pisgah Challenge to inspire our community, especially inexperienced hikers, to get outside, get fit and enjoy the wild areas at our own back door,” Director of Education Adam DeWitte said. About the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association last_img read more

How to manage today’s multiple disruptions within the credit union space with CU Engage

first_imgTRAILER: How to Manage Today’s Tempest of Multiple Disruptions within the Credit Union Space… from CUbroadcast on Vimeo. The word disruption in today’s credit union space is becoming as commonplace as Apple Pay headlines, Final Four predictions, and crying teenage girls over Zayn Malik leaving One Direction. Oh, the horror. But, seriously, what exactly does it mean and how are credit unions impacted by the ever-changing financial services landscape.To get to the bottom of all this, we invited a couple savvy credit union pros, CU Engage Co-founders Jennifer Addabbo and James Guild. They walk us through many of today’s disruptions such as core changes, payments upheaval, EMV deadline, outside threats (Google, Amazon, PayPal), etc. and show us where credit unions stand amidst this storm. There’s a lot going on of which credit unions need to be aware.Instead of running for the hills when come to these pressing issues and items, Jennifer and James say credit unions need to engage this disruption head on to remain relevant and enhance their current success. So if any of these items affect you, enjoy this very candid conversation about the state of today’s industry and what can be done to keep moving forward overcoming these obstacles toward new, favorable pathways.Click here to see the entire interview and post. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Ex-NY Yankee Rusty Torres Gets 3 Years in Prison for Child Sex Abuse

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Ex-New York Yankees baseball player Rosendo “Rusty” Torres was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl while working as a local youth instructor two years ago.A Nassau County jury had convicted the 65-year-old in July of five counts of first-degree sexual abuse and had acquitted him of abusing a second girl, who was younger than 11. Judge Tammy Robbins also sentenced him to 10 years of post-release supervision.Prosecutors have said that Torres sexually abused the victim while working as a youth baseball coach for the Town of Oyster Bay during baseball practice sessions in Plainview from April to May of 2012.Police arrested Torres at his Massapequa home on May 8, 2012 after the victim reported the abuse to her parents. At the time of his arrest, police said Torres and the victim were alone, but “there were several other children in the general area.”His attorneys have said they plan to appeal the verdict, which they said followed deliberations that included jury misconduct, although a Nassau judge rejected a motion by the defense to set aside the conviction based on those allegations.Torres, who batted .212 during his nine-year MLB career, which included stints with Cleveland, the then-California Angels, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, made a living as a baseball instructor on Long Island for more than a dozen years.Torres, who was anemic at the plate during his playing days, is perhaps best known for his inclusion in a trade that brought Graig Nettles to the Bronx.—With Rashed Mianlast_img read more

Venice will tax one-day tourist visits from next summer

first_imgThe council has not ruled on the penalties that will apply to tourists who do not pay the fee, although authorities proposed in February that the fine be up to 450 euros. The collection of the tax, which the Venice Council calls a “contribution for accession”, will take effect on July 1, 2020. This move has been announced for almost a year, but the introduction of the tax has been postponed several times because city officials have been considering ways to impose it, reports The Telegraph. The goal of this move by the Venetian government is to enable the millions of travelers who visit the city every day to contribute financially to the maintenance of the lagoon city. “The goal is to improve the quality of life of the population”, Said Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of Venice earlier this year. “We didn’t decide on this move to make money.” When the system is launched, tourists will pay 3 euros to enter the city in the pre- and post-season, 8 euros in the season and 10 euros during critical periods of the season, such as summer weekends, when the number of visitors reaches excessive levels. The charge will also apply to islands in the Venetian lagoon such as Murano, which is known for its glass-blowing workshops. “The tax will not apply to locals or people visiting the city for study or work”, Explained Michele Zuin, city official. The tax will apply to tourists coming by bus, cruise ship, water taxi, plane and train. “It will be charged through vending machines that will be installed at strategic points of the city and cards through the online store, City officials said. Source / photo: The Telegraph; Pixabay The tax revenue will be used to cover the high fees residents pay for public services such as cleanliness, which is quite high due to city canals. Also, by 2022, tourists will, in addition to paying taxes, have to make an online reservation to enter Venice.last_img read more

Switzerland’s lower chamber amends AV2020 pension reform plan

first_imgOne of the major points where MPs disagreed with members of the Ständerat was on how to account for the 12% drop in future second-pillar pensions resulting from lowering the conversion rate.While the Ständerat wants to increase first-pillar pensions from the state AHV/AVS system, the conservative majority in the larger chamber voted against this.Conservative politicians referred to the public’s recent rejection of a state pension hike in a referendum on the AHV-plus on Sunday.Instead, conservatives want second-pillar pension cuts to be offset solely within workplace pensions.One change would be to slash the so-called Koordinationsabzug, used to calculate contributions into the second pillar by cross-referencing them with first-pillar pensions.If it is cut, lower-income earners will have to pay into the second pillar, increasing pension spending for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but also giving more people the opportunity to save.The Nationalrat’s social committee added a new proposal to “de-politicise” technical parameters like the conversion rate or the minimum interest rate.It wants to introduce automatic calculation algorithms rather than have these rates set by commissions and politicians.The Nationalrat also surprised many with a new proposal to help finance the first-pillar AHV.It wants to introduce an automatic mechanism that would increase the pension age to 67 in lock-step with VAT, should the AHV lack the necessary funds.In contrast to the Ständerat and the Swiss government (the Bundesrat), which had drafted the first reform proposal more than two years ago, the Nationalrat only wants to raise VAT by 60 basis points to help fund the AHV.The Ständerat proposed an increase of 100bps, the government, 150bps.The Nationalrat agreed with the Ständerat to raise the statutory retirement age for women to that of men (65), and retirement will be made more flexible between the ages of 62 and 70.The new draft will now be sent back to the Ständerat before it returns to the Nationalrat for the lower chamber’s December session.For more on Swiss pension reform, see the November issue of IPE magazine The minimum conversion rate (Umwandlungssatz) in Switzerland’s mandatory second-pillar pension system is set to be cut from 6.8% to 6% over the next years after the move was approved in the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday.This part of the draft for the Altersvorsorge 2020 (AV2020) pension reform package – presented to the Nationalrat, the larger house of Parliament, by the Ständerat, the upper chamber, a few months ago – enjoyed majority support among MPs.The debate on Wednesday was briefer than many analysts expected, but it brought some amendments to the draft, which the Ständerat must now discuss again.Interior minister Alain Berset, however, said the draft “still needs work”, while Switzerland’s unions have argued that the Nationalrat’s proposal would fail to win a majority, “as workers cannot accept it”.last_img read more

Implementation of renovation and expansion of State House Project to continue

first_img Tweet LocalNews Implementation of renovation and expansion of State House Project to continue by: – June 30, 2011 Share Photo of State House before renovation and expansion works began. Photo credit: Flicker.comPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that the implementation of the renovation and expansion of the State House Project will continue.During his 2011/2012 National Budget address on Wednesday Mr. Skerrit described the implementation project as necessary to assist in the hosting of international events, as well as to create a new image for Dominica.According to the Prime Minister construction work is scheduled to begin this fiscal year, and will include the following components;1. Renovation of the Exisiting State House Building,2. Construction of a new residence for the President,3. Construction of a building to provide offices for the Public and Police Service Commissions, and the Integrity Commission,4. Utility Building,5. Beautification and landscaping of the grounds, parking and construction of a new road,6. Conference room with a capacity of 200 personsMr. Skerrit also explained that the implementation project should not be categorized as a luxury as it has been, but rather one of absolute necessity.“Madam Speaker, modern State Houses cannot be seen in the year 2011/2012 as a luxury. They are an absolute necessity and this government has absolutely no apology for moving with speed to bring Dominica into the 21st century in this regard. Those with limited or blurred vision will eventually come around to appreciate the importance and necessity of this project. In the meantime, however, work must continue. We cannot wait on them to finally see the light.”Mr. Skerrit also described the project as one which will create and provide a new image for Dominica, as well as for the convenience of visitors who increasingly find Dominica as an ideal conference and retreat destination, but which, unfortunately has lagged behind over the years in regard to basic amenities.Meantime Citizens Awareness Program (CAP) earlier this year launched a campaign to stop the construction of what they refer to as the “State Malice” referring to the implementation project as a waste of state funds. They have also erected several banners and posters indicating the same.However, the Prime Minister referred to this campaign as “a misguided few who have unsuccessfully attempted to misrepresent the scope of the project. Such irresponsible labeling, reflects a poor recognition of, and appreciation for the need of Dominica, to step forwards and up to the plate, in respect of its capacity to host events of an international nature, improved housing and roads in the city of Roseau and advanced tertiary education.”Dominica Vibes News 236 Views no discussionscenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Gene Sparks, 57, Osgood

first_imgGene Sparks, 57, of Osgood passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He was born at the Margaret Mary Hospital in Batesville on September 10, 1962 the son of Fred and Clarice Johnson Sparks. Survivors include his father Fred Sparks of Versailles; one brother Steve (Candy) Feller of Guilford; three sisters Joyce Sutton of New Marion, Sharon (Dean) Bonta of Columbus, and Karen (Tom) Poole of Dillsboro; nieces and nephews Bridget Feller, Holly Leach, Dee Dee McAdams, Jason and Derek Bonta, Crystal Moon, and Tommy, Jeff, and Alex Poole, along with several great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother Clarice Sparks Elston and his brother-in-law Richard Sutton. Mr. Sparks attended South Ripley and graduated from high school in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1981. He was a former employee of Delta Faucet and was currently employed with Honda in Greensburg. Gene loved to travel and took several vacations with family members who have fond memories of the good times they shared with him. He enjoyed playing cards and outdoor family gatherings. Gene also loved technology, enjoying many happy hours on his computer. Gene’s wishes were to be cremated and funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family with Bro. Tom Holt officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery. If you would like to have a Hugs from Home card given to Gene’s family to express condolences in your absence, please contact the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles at 812-689-1171. Memorials may be given to the Hope Baptist Church in care of the funeral home.last_img read more