The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND wrapped up their ninth annual Wanee Festival this past weekend in Live Oak, FL (April 18-20) and have announced a short select late summer tour, launching with two “evening with” nights in Chicago August 20-21, following their August 16-17 performances at their second annual Peach Festival in northeast Pennsylvania. The group will be joined by GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Saturday, September 7th. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 26th at 10AM here.Tour DatesFri8/16Scranton, PAPeach Music Festival @ Montage Mtn.Sat8/17Scranton, PAPeach Music Festival @ Montage Mtn.Tue8/20Chicago, ILChicago TheatreWed8/21Chicago, ILChicago TheatreFri8/23Darien Ctr, NYDarien Lakes Perf. Arts Ctr.w/Steve WinwoodSat8/24Hartford, CTComcast Theatrew/Steve WinwoodTue8/27Gilford, NHMeadowbrookw/Steve WinwoodWed8/28Saratoga Springs, NYSaratoga Perf. Arts Ctr.w/Steve WinwoodFri8/30Raleigh, NCTime Warner Cable Music Pavilionw/Steve WinwoodSat8/31Charlotte, NCVerizon Wireless Amph.w/Steve WinwoodMon9/2Alpharetta, GAVerizon Wireless Amph @ Encore Parkw/Grace Potter & The NocturnalsWed9/4Virginia Beach, VAFarm Bureau Livew/Grace Potter & The NocturnalsFri9/6Mansfield, MAComcast Ctr.w/Grace Potter & The NocturnalsSat 9/7 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater w/Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Johnson County Community College.Lenexa Rep. Cindy Holscher used the occasion of Betsy DeVos’s visit to Johnson County Community College on Thursday to hand deliver a selection of letters from area education advocates opposing the “school choice” efforts favored by the U.S. Secretary of Education.At a reception inside JCCC, Holscher approached DeVos and gave her a folder with letters from the MainStream Coalition, Education First Shawnee Mission, Stand Up Blue Valley and Game on for Kansas Schools.Here’s the update Holscher posted on her Facebook page about the exchange:This evening I was invited to attend a reception for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at JCCC. To say Sec. DeVos and I are are on different pages regarding our views on education would be an understatement. DeVos favors charter schools, vouchers and privatization. I oppose those measures and believe we must invest in ALL children through our public schools.I took the opportunity tonight to present her with an envelope containing my written statement (outlining the importance of investing in public schools) along with similar statements from local education advocacy groups. I also invited her to come visit one of our award winning public schools.We will keep making our voices heard at every opportunity!!!!Below is copy from the letter submitted by Education First Shawnee Mission:Dear Secretary DeVos,As public education advocates and mothers, we are proud to support our Kansas public schools. Our organization has worked hard to get pro-public school candidates elected to our school board and state legislature, because we believe every American child should have access to an excellent education. We are extremely dismayed by the proposed changes your Department of Education may make that will affect our children, teachers and communities.We reject the notion that “school choice” in the form of vouchers, which allow individuals to use public funds to pay for private schools, is beneficial for our kids. This essentially reduces public school funding in favor of private schools. There is a growing body of evidence-based research that shows these programs do not work. The research shows that moving more children into private school would not improve American children’s education outcomes. It would, however, almost certainly defund public schools and cripple our education system.We encourage you to reconsider your position on public school funding and ask you to commit to providing public school students, teachers and staff the funding they need to ensure every American child gets an exemplary education.Regards,The Members of Education First Shawnee Mission
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re shifting our Shawnee Mission Faces to focus on folks in roles that have been profoundly effected by the virus and response: What life is like now with social distancing, a stay-at-home mandate and the need for essential workers.While most segments of the economy shuddered to a halt during the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, many essential workers continued business, though not as usual. Though trash and recycling pickup services often go unnoticed, these companies were no exception. For Tom Coffman, a municipal representative with WCA, a trash/recycling pickup company that serves parts of Johnson County, things have certainly changed for his fellow coworkers working their pickup routes. A lifelong baseball and Royals fan, Coffman is close to publishing a book he co-authored with a friend, Pat O’Neill of Kansas City, Missouri, a biography of Ted Sullivan, an Irish-American immigrant and one of the first people to organize minor league baseball. Coffman lives in Mission with his wife, Patti Peters, and their dog, Mick, and two cats, Chopper and Frank. Tom and Patti have a son who lives with his wife in Houston.Our perfect world is people put their stuff out on their trash day, they leave the house, they come home at night, it’s gone, they don’t even think about it. They don’t think about us, and we’re just part of the atmosphere, that’s fine.You might not see us, and we’re glad you don’t see us, and we’re glad that our essential service is something that you don’t have to worry about, but our job’s been a lot harder. But we don’t make a big deal out of it. We just do our job and go forward.Since the scale of this pandemic became apparent, and then particularly since the stay-at-home order and the shutdown orders became in effect, all of a sudden we had 300-plus WCA employees, and we’re having the same concerns and anxieties as everybody else. Like what’s this mean? What are we going to do? How are we going to do our job?Trash still has to get picked up, doesn’t it? How do we do that safely, and then go home and keep our families safe?We wanted to remain committed to keeping an uninterrupted service if we could, and we’ve been able to do that, and we’re actually pretty proud of that.But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been challenging, it hasn’t been stressful and there hasn’t been some anxiety associated with it. But the company, from the very beginning, from the first minute, stressed employee safety. So they gave us all the tools we needed, and that means the ability and the equipment you needed to work from home for people who could, and then the eye protection, the gloves, the hand sanitizer, the masks, whatever people in the field needed so they can work safely and complete their daily routes and be safe when they get home.At least initially, we were just taking whatever was out, and that made the days a lot longer, and in the initial weeks… you didn’t know. I mean, there was talk that you’re handling this stuff, and perhaps that could enhance your likeliness of getting infected. But they’re doing it anyway because there’s a lot of stuff outside the cart that you just grab and go.It’s an individual thing, how tolerant are you of risk. The work is harder, and there’s more anxiety around all of that work, that’s for sure. But again, those guys step up, and whatever uncertainty or anxiety they deal with, they put it aside and they do their job.They don’t get to congregate together like they always did. It used to be they’d meet in a group in the morning and receive their route sheets and and whatever information they needed for that day. Now they just go straight to their trucks and receive that individually from the supervisor, and then they go out and work their routes safely and completely.That continues to be the case, and it’s going to be for the foreseeable future. I mean, you’re used to doing your job with your guys and a certain level of camaraderie, and that’s not really there anymore. You can’t make those personal connections as readily as you used to be able to.And we have all of our dispatchers and customer service people, right? Call volumes are way up, residential trash volumes are way up with everybody at home. But they’ve got kids at home they’re supposed to home school, and now they’re not in summer programs. Sometimes voicemail boxes get filled and you’ve got way more emails to return than you’re used to, and then people get frustrated.But still, they work as a team, and they generally have pretty good spirits. They haven’t gotten down yet. And so I really think that’s a testament to their professionalism. We’re proud of them, and we’re really proud of the guys who are out in the field on the routes, because they’re dealing with these greater volumes.And every once in a while, something happens. Not long ago, guys were running a residential route, and there were two little boys standing at the end of their driveway waiting for them. These little fellas had some baked goods and drinks for them and told them how much they appreciated them coming out, being an essential service and all that. These were guys like 6 and 8 years old.Everybody’s seen the video of it now, in the company, and everybody’s like that’s really cool, it gives everybody a little bump. It just reminds you that people appreciate it, so that helps.
Read about the latest research in the APS flagship journal. Automated Study Challenges the Existence of a Foundational Statistical-Learning Ability in Newborn ChicksSamantha M. W. Wood, Scott P. Johnson, and Justin N. Wood Poverty and Puberty: A Neurocognitive Study of Inhibitory Control in the Transition to AdolescenceKirby Deater-Deckard, Mengjiao Li, Jacob Lee, Brooks King-Casas, and Jungmeen Kim-Spoon Visually Entrained Theta Oscillations Increase for Unexpected Events in the Infant BrainMoritz Köster, Miriam Langeloh, and Stefanie Hoehl To test how unexpected events are processed in the infant brain, Köster and colleagues used rhythmic visual brain stimulation in 9-month-olds while presenting events with expected and unexpected outcomes. Rhythmic visual brain stimulation can be manipulated by the rhythm of flickering images— a flicker rate of 6 Hz and a flicker rate of 4 Hz stimulate infants’ alpha and theta brain frequencies, respectively. The researchers collected electroencephalographic data while infants viewed images presented at theta or alpha frequencies of events such as a ball hitting a wall (expected outcome) or a ball passing through to the other side of a wall (unexpected outcome). Results indicated that the brain synchronization with the theta waves sharply increased for unexpected outcomes, but alpha oscillations did not differ between unexpected and expected outcomes. Because increases in theta oscillations usually accompany the processing of novel information and are involved in learning processes, Köster and colleagues propose that infants might integrate novel information provided by unexpected outcomes to learn and refine basic representations. Köster and colleagues highlight the importance of visual brain-stimulation techniques as new ways to investigate neuronal oscillation and synchronization in early brain development. Puberty is usually associated with a shift toward more risky decision-making accompanied by a slowly developing ability to exercise inhibitory control over one’s impulses. To test whether low-income environments in combination with early pubertal timing accentuate less mature inhibitory control, Deater-Deckard and colleagues tested a sample of 14-year-olds with diverse household incomes. Participants reported their pubertal development status (e.g., facial hair growth, menarche) and performed a multisource-inference (MSIT) task, in which they saw sets of three digits and pressed a button to indicate which of the digits was different. In this task, the different digit could be congruent with its location (e.g., “3” in the third position) or incongruent with its location (e.g., “3” in the second position). The researchers used the times participants took to make their decisions, their intraindividual standard deviations, and their accuracy in incongruent and congruent trials to calculate a score of inhibitory control. There were no differences in MSIT task performance for any participants. However, among participants from lower-income households, those who were more advanced in puberty had higher neural-activity scores (measured by fMRI), indicative of poorer inhibitory control. These findings are congruent with the effects of resource availability on brain development. Deater-Deckard and colleagues suggest that prevention and intervention tools to address the effects of poverty on brain development might benefit from considering the interplay of household poverty levels and pubertal development on potential deficits in inhibitory control. Researchers have reported that newborn chicks use statistical learning to encode the transitional probabilities (TPs) of shapes in a sequence (i.e., complex probabilities in a sequence in which one shape does not depend on the previous shape). This finding would suggest that newborn chicks have more powerful statistical-learning abilities than newborn humans, who fail to encode TPs until 5 months of age. However, Wood and colleagues show that this might not be the case when an automated experiment is used and when experimenter bias and possible error are eliminated. They exposed newborn chicks to an imprinting sequence of four animated shapes presented in an order defined by the TPs between shapes. In their second week of life, the chicks were forced to “choose” between two sequences presented on opposite walls. One sequence was defined by the same TPs as the imprinting sequence, and the other one was not. Wood and colleagues also manipulated whether the test sequences had the same shapes as the imprinting sequence. To measure chicks’ choices, the researchers calculated how much time chicks spent at each wall. Chicks spent more time at a wall when the sequence had new shapes, but the TPs did not influence the time spent at a wall. These findings were replicated in a second experiment that was a closer replication of the prior studies that had shown TP learning in newborn chicks. None of the chicks showed the ability to learn TPs between sequentially presented shapes, which challenges the claim that TP-based statistical learning is present in newborn brains.
New Mexico Delegation News:ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small joined the conservation community in New Mexico for a virtual celebration of the Great American Outdoors Act being signed into law.VIDEO: N.M. Delegation Celebrates Great American Outdoors Act Becoming Law [DOWNLOAD LINK HERE]The delegation participated in a panel discussion moderated by New Mexico Wild Executive Director Mark Allison and highlighted the incredible efforts and contributions of members from New Mexico Wild, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, the Partnership for Responsible Business, The Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy, New Mexico Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Audubon New Mexico, Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, the Trust for Public Land, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, Trout Unlimited, and Defenders of Wildlife.The Great American Outdoors Act is bipartisan, bicameral legislation cosponsored by the entire New Mexico delegation that fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and makes record investments in the infrastructure that improves public lands access and visitor experience and will grow New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy.“The Great American Outdoors Act is a momentous conservation victory for New Mexico and for the entire nation,” Udall said. “But it was only possible because of overwhelming public support for conservation, and years of dedication from a tireless coalition of conservation champions, sportsmen, community leaders, Native leaders, and their allies in Congress. The full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund will finally allow us to realize the promise of our nation’s most successful conservation program – the promise envisioned by my father Stewart, when he helped create the LWCF decades ago. Meanwhile, the substantial down-payment this bill makes to repair and clean up our national parks and public lands will help safeguard these precious places for decades to come, while providing a boost for New Mexico’s outdoor economy at a time of need. This law is a model for how conservation and economic recovery can go hand in hand. And it can help us achieve the urgent national goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. Let’s build on this success so that we can face down the crises threatening our planet and chart a better future for our children.”“Amid the significant challenges we face as a nation, I am proud to recognize all of the New Mexicans who worked for years to make this enormous, bipartisan victory for the places we all love possible. This historic new law will make the greatest investment in our lifetime in America’s public lands and outdoor spaces,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The Great American Outdoors Act will create new opportunities for Americans all across the country to get outside. I am so grateful to the broad coalition of sportsmen, conservationists, veterans, outdoor industry business owners, and many others in New Mexico and across the country who value our public lands and want to protect them for future generations to enjoy.”“New Mexicans know that our breathtaking landscapes and natural resources are a blessing. That’s why we saw broad support for the Great American Outdoors Act in our state,” Luján said. “From conservationists and sportsmen to local mayors, county commissioners, and business owners, New Mexicans were key to getting this legislation across the finish line. I am grateful for their unwavering commitment to this effort, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to protect New Mexico’s natural treasures.”“We have an obligation to future generations to protect our earth. As leaders, when we have the opportunity to move a bill like the Great American Outdoors Act forward, we jump at that chance. Today’s Great American Outdoors Act celebration is a testament to ensuring these places and future outdoor spaces are supported for families well into the future. Plus, we will now be able to create jobs by aggressively addressing deferred maintenance, improve visitor services, and support tribal communities in places like Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Parks, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and El Malpais National Monument. Our delegation has been a dream team to get this done for New Mexico,” said Haaland, Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee.“The Great American Outdoors Act is an incredible achievement, one we could only have accomplished through working together. This legislation is the result of decades of hard work, with New Mexicans from across the state fighting hard to push this bill over the finish line,” Torres Small said. “I am honored to have worked with Republicans, Democrats and President Trump on this years-long effort to get the Great American Outdoors Act signed into law. As we continue to deal with impacts of COVID-19, permanent and full funding of LWCF will help put New Mexico on the path to economic recovery and protect our public lands and shared heritage for generations to come.”
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COSLPROSPECTOR, the fourth deep water semi-submersible drilling rig constructed by Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Limited (CIMC Raffles) on behalf of COSL Drilling Europe AS, accomplished the mating milestone today.Semi-submersible drilling rigs are generally fabricated in a shipyard drydock by stacking unit blocks sequentially from the lower to upper level. The problem with this method is that the extended use of a drydock can cause schedule and cost problems. To overcome the disadvantages of a sequential block stacking method, and meet tight delivery schedules, CIMC Raffles decided to use the so called “onshore deck mating method” and applied it to the fabrication of the COSLPROSPECTOR.COSLPROSPECTOR is a DP3 vessel with an operating depth of 1,500 metres, drilling depth of 7,600 metres and is designed to operate in temperatures of -20°C. Classed by DNV and with basic design provided by the Grenland Group, the COSLPROSPECTOR meets the requirements of the PSA and NORSOK.Delivery of COSLPROSPECTOR is scheduled for the third quarter of 2014.[mappress]Press Release, September 27, 2013
The new head of London’s Crown Prosecution Service has announced it will recruit 42 new lawyers in a bid to improve service following a review that found performance in over a third of the capital’s boroughs was ‘poor’. The report of Her Majesty’s CPS Inspectorate on the performance of 20 of the 32 London boroughs assessed the performance of 12 as ‘poor’, seven as ‘fair’ and one as ‘good’. Overall, the review found the main failings were in Crown court casework, disclosure, magistrates’ court casework, service to victims and witnesses, and the handling of serious violent and sexual offences, which were all rated as ‘poor’ across the boroughs. However, the inspectors said the Complex Casework Unit, which handles murders and other serious and sensitive cases, performs well, and the management of custody time limits across the boroughs has improved. London chief Crown prosecutor Alison Saunders said the service is recruiting 42 more lawyers and increasing the number of paralegal assistants in Crown courts.
The Law Society and Judicial Appointments Commission [JAC] will today launch a joint plan to support solicitors who want to become judges, after an analysis of the appointment of solicitors as judges over the past 10 years. A study by the JAC and Ministry of Justice showed little difference in the proportion of solicitor applicants for most judicial posts pre- and post-2006/07, when the JAC took over the selection process from the then Department for Constitutional Affairs. It suggested solicitors are performing better than before in selection exercises for entry- and middle-ranking posts under the JAC, while appointments to more senior positions have fallen. The joint plan will see a series of outreach events tailored to the 2011/12 selection programme, with feedback on the process from solicitors and a revision of the JAC application form to benefit solicitors. The Law Society will also run workshops to support aspiring solicitor judges. Law Society president Linda Lee said the JAC process was more objective than the previous system, but more work is still needed because Society research shows many solicitors are still deterred from applying for judicial appointments.
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