May 2

Group representing 85K landlords joins suit to stop CDC eviction ban

National Apartment Association CEO Bob Pinnegar and Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar (NAA; Getty)A group representing 85,000 property owners who control 10 million apartments joined a lawsuit that seeks to stop the federal eviction ban.The National Apartment Association joined the suit, which is trying to invalidate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction ban. The action was filed Sept. 9 in the federal court in Georgia.It names the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the acting chief of staff of the CDC as defendants. The plaintiffs filed a separate motion for a temporary restraining order of the ban.“Eviction moratoria saddle the apartment industry solely with the responsibility of offering a service without compensation, all while operating at a potential deficit,” Bob Pinnegar, CEO of the National Apartment Association, said in a press release.The plaintiffs argue the federal eviction ban — announced Sept. 1 — places an unfair burden on landlords, who leased their properties with the understanding they could evict tenants who didn’t pay rent and recover control of their properties.The lawsuit contends the eviction order deprived Richard Lee Brown, a Virginia landlord, of the sole avenue to evict his nonpaying tenant, who owes $8,092 in rent for her $925-a-month apartment.The suit also alleges the CDC does not have the authority to make laws or issue an eviction order — and that doing so amounts to a constitutional violation.“CDC’s actions are not authorized by statute or regulation,” the complaint reads. “But even if they were, they are unprecedented in our history and are an affront to core constitutional limits on federal power.”The lawsuit is the latest seeking to dismantle an eviction moratorium meant to protect tenants hit hard by the pandemic. In numerous states, landlord groups have made similar arguments to combat the eviction bans, but have met with little success.In the wake of the CDC’s eviction moratorium — which President Donald Trump called for — evictions in 16 cities immediately plummeted, a Princeton University study found. The ban does not prevent evictions for reasons other than nonpayment, such as nonrenewal of lease, or for violating other terms of the lease. The ban, which lasts through the end of the year, also does not preclude states from passing stricter eviction rules of their own. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now read more

March 3

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, TAUK and BIG Something Create The Ultimate Triple-Billing

first_imgPigeons Playing Ping Pong, TAUK and BIG Something joined forces for a fantastic night of music at the Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore, MD. Walking in to the venue, the first thing I saw was a huge cutout pigeon, swinging gently above the disco ball – the first good omen, portending a night of boogie bliss.North Carolina’s BIG Something are a powerhouse. The band opens up musical space with sweeping choruses and massive hooks, giving each other the perfect amount of time for hot solos. “UFOs Are Real” is a barnburner, built on an irresistible beat and huge melodies and filled out by guitarist Jesse Hensley, who is a true virtuoso. They also gave plenty of room to Casey Crawford, woodwind guru, alternating between saxophone and EWI multiple times within even a single song and delivering rapid-fire licks without fail.After including crowd favorite “Pinky’s Ride” along with cuts off their new album Megalodon, they ended their formidable set with a cover of Lettuce’s “Blast Off,” getting such strong approval from the crowd that it matched the volume of their final ringing riffs.Next up was TAUK. They’ve come as close to mastering their material as anyone can come to master any piece of written music. They aren’t just playing for us – they’re having fun, toying with time signatures and interweaving harmonies on top of already-intricate riffs, grinning widely the entire time.The four members also proved themselves well in tune with one another, communicating wordlessly, giving each other space and time to step up and take control in a seamless montage of groupthink musicianship. It was impossible not to watch drummer Isaac Teel absolutely destroy the entire venue with his ferocious and seemingly effortless playing. In short, TAUK is unstoppable. If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.Pigeons finally took the stage to crazy applause, eliciting huge smiles well before they played a single note. Faced with the task of reigniting the energy of a crowd that had just danced through three hours of funk, they went the only way they could – up – and they delivered hard. They brought a two-hour set of unrelenting funk, built as much on fan favorites like “Melting Lights” and “Funk E Zekiel” as on irresistible covers like “Psycho Killer.”The beautiful thing about Pigeons is that they draw their energy from the crowd. They were clearly happy to be home, playing to friendly faces old and new. After bringing on brass extraordinaires Danny Davis and Mario D’Ambrosio (of Yellow Dubmarine), they sliced and diced through an epic building jam until they broke through with “F.U.,” garnering a huge reaction and group singing from the audience. Not ones to miss an opportunity to nod to their roots, Pigeons also brought on guest guitarist Cris Jacobs, a longtime Maryland friend and jam partner, for the epic slow-burner “Poseidon.” We also got the addition of TAUK keyboardist A.C. Carter on “Bad For You,” adding another layer of depth to an already-impeccably groovy song.People kept grooving hard all the way til 1:30am, when Pigeons came back out after the crowd demanded an encore. Cutting right into the less played and particularly danceable “E-G Chord,” they were gearing up for the last song to go the hardest when they realized they had to cut off their set because they had run out of time. They graciously winked and thanked the crowd, roaring their approval at a band that had filled their night with nearly six hours of music.“We’ll be back soon!” they promised, and after a show like that, there was no way not to believe them, and no way not to be excited.last_img read more

March 2

Statistics captures unpredictability of real world

first_imgHarvard’s small but active statistics department celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. There were two days of lectures and panels Oct. 26-27 at the Gutman Conference Center, and a noisy, social, and musical banquet at the Harvard Club of Boston.The statistics faculty wants the rest of us to know how useful their science is in a world of proliferating information. Having a lot of data requires a scientific way to organize and analyze it to make informed decisions.They also want us to know how far statistics has come since 1957 — that its methods are better than ever at capturing the complexity and unpredictability of the real world.And they want us to know how widely employed statistics are at Harvard — in virtually every academic division, said Statistics Department Chair Xiao-Li Meng. He and his colleagues are assisting biologists, physicians, chemists, engineers — and even historians.Meng likes to quote the late John Tukey, a statistics pioneer at Princeton: “We get to play in everybody’s backyard.”On Feb. 12, 1957, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences formally voted to approve Harvard’s new Department of Statistics. There were just two minutes of discussion.It was among the first such university departments, preceded by Stanford, Berkeley, and a few others. In the United States, the University of Iowa established the first college department of statistics — to analyze data about farm crops.Since 1957, Harvard’s statistics faculty members have played an increasingly hub-like interdisciplinary role, collecting and interpreting data for a wide variety of disciplines.With only 9.5 positions presently, Harvard’s statistics faculty also reached more than 1,200 undergraduates in a variety of courses last year, and projects higher figures for the future. They also teach or provide technical support in medicine, law, business, economics, and in the life, physical, and social sciences.Every scholar collects information, and then has to make decisions. That means dealing with both the information and the uncertainties it engenders.In turn, statisticians provide a mathematical language to deal with uncertainties, said Meng. They create models to uncover patterns in the data — “mathematical indicators of real phenomena,” he said.Meng himself is providing statistical insight to projects on the regional effects of global warming, astrophysics, and visual signal processing. He’s also designing a way to inferentially estimate missing data in a large-scale mental health survey.Academic statisticians elsewhere work on models that will help judge musical compositions, analyze literature, and simulate textures in video.At Harvard, Samuel Kou, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences in the Statistics Department, is helping investigate the biophysics of a single-molecule protein — breakthrough work featured in one of the conference’s dozen research posters.At the celebratory conference, there were technical talks that looked at statistical inference, Bayesian computation, and the EM algorithm.Other talks provided historical perspective on statistics since the days of the Eisenhower White House and Sputnik, when Harvard’s experts were holed up in the old Reliance Bank building on Dunster Street.There were retrospectives on two of the original five faculty members who have since passed away, William Cochran and Frederick Mosteller. (It was Mosteller’s veiled threat to move on to the University of Chicago that prompted action on forming a department at Harvard.)During the conference, there were also frequent expressions of how widely useful statistics is to both intellectual pursuits and practical applications.Statistics scholars are at their best “when solving real-world problems,” said one-time federal litigator D. James Greiner II, who earned a Harvard Ph.D. in statistics this year, and is now an assistant professor of law at Harvard Law School and a Statistics Department affiliate.“Statistics makes chemists better chemists,” he said. “It also makes lawyers better lawyers.”Statistics can also make real contributions in the humanities.In 1966, Mosteller and University of Chicago statistician David Wallace published a groundbreaking statistical study of literary provenance in the journal Biometrics. They used complex mathematical statistics and the theory of inference to investigate the disputed authorship of 12 of the 85 Revolutionary War-era Federalist Papers. (The real author, they proved, was James Madison.)Harvard President Drew Faust, Lincoln Professor of History, visited the celebration the first morning. She called statistics “a very important milestone … in the history of ideas” — and one that allowed “the animating spirit of trespassing freely across intellectual boundaries.”Faust’s sixth book, “This Republic of Suffering” — due out next year — describes how Americans coped with a death toll of 620,000 from the Civil War, 2 percent of the nation’s population. “They turned to numbers,” she said, “as a way of trying to understand.”Attendees at the anniversary conference — about 240 — also heard from Jeremy Bloxham, dean for the physical sciences and acting dean for the life sciences at Harvard. (He is also Harvard College Professor, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics, and a professor of computational science at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.)Bloxham praised the Department for its “intellectual diversity,” and for being central to the “broad intellectual landscape” of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.Mosteller, who died last year, typified the polymaths statisticians can be. He applied statistical techniques to medicine, business, education, and many more fields of inquiry. After statistics, he went on to chair three other departments at Harvard, a feat unmatched since.Mosteller “felt he could have a foothold in any arena,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology computational scientist Emery Brown, a physician who earned a Ph.D. in statistics at Harvard in 1988 and now also teaches anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. “Fred started [interdisciplinary work] before it was a buzzword.”Today, statistics has an important role to play in shaping the new general education curriculum for undergraduates, said Bloxham. Students will leave Harvard not only with good qualitative critical skills, but “capable of good qualitative criticism,” he said — “an ability to see through [any] statistical arguments being made.”Stephen Blyth agreed that is important. He earned a statistics Ph.D. in 1992 and is now a visiting scholar in the department, as well as vice president for the international fixed-income portfolio at the Harvard Management Company. To understand risk, said Blyth, one needs to be able to “reason about uncertainty.”Most departments at Harvard want to double in size, said Bloxham. “In the case of statistics, I don’t think we need to think very hard about that,” he said. “It needs to grow, and grow very substantially.”last_img read more

December 31

Vermont homes sales up over last year

first_imgThe RE/MAX of New England September Monthly Housing Report shows Vermont experienced a boost in total transactions, up 29.7 percent (highest transaction % in New England), while median price decreased slightly, at -1.9 percent year-over-year. Pending sales were up 20.4 percent year-over-year.Across New England, there was an uptick of 17.7 percent in home sales year-over-year, and a seasonal decrease of 23.2 percent month-over-month across the region. Pending home sales are up on average 31.2 percent over September 2012. Every state reported on in New England, except for Rhode Island, experienced an increase in available inventory over August’s numbers.‘The New England housing market is reflecting a normal seasonal slowdown,’ said Dan Breault, EVP/Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England. ‘I’m encouraged that home sales are up over last year and pending sales are also up 31.2 percent over this time last year. As mortgage rates tic down, first-time homebuyers will continue to be an active segment of the market.’last_img read more

December 31

Robert De Cormier, 1922-2017

first_imgRobert De Cormier was a composer, musician and arranger of choral music and worked with groups such as Peter, Paul and Mary and Harry Belafonte. He lived in Vermont for decades and passed away Tuesday.(link is external)VPR/file(link is external)Counterpoint Vocal Ensemble Dear Friends: We mourn the passing Tuesday of Robert De Cormier, and we celebrate his indelible legacy. His vision guided and continues to guide the music we sing and how we sing it. Robert founded Counterpoint in 1999. After forming the ensemble, he led it with an extraordinary passion and artistry that sought to access the communal meanings of the music we sang, both for and with our audiences.His lifelong commitment to using choral music to address pressing social issues remains at the core of our mission. We are grateful beyond measure for the legacy of music and engaged performance that he has bequeathed to us, to the world of choral singing, and to all of humanity.~~ Walk together children, shout together children, sing together children ~~To hear a moving tribute to Robert from Vermont Public Radio, click here(link is external).VPR: Robert De Cormier, Composer And Renowned Music Director, Dies at 95(link is external)last_img read more

December 20

Proposed JCCC emergency exit through Stoll Park has neighbors organizing

first_imgA group of neighbors organized to opposed the proposed land swap in 2004 that would have transferred the Stoll Park land to JCCC. Photo credit Johnson County Park and Recreation District.Johnson County Community College says it’s only a low-impact emergency exit, but a plan to route people through Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park in case of catastrophe has brought back unpleasant memories of a 2004 dispute between nearby neighbors and the college.They fear that the plan is only a first step toward a cut-through street that will flood their neighborhoods with event traffic from the college. And, as in 2004, they plan to fight it.Residents of the Oak Tree Meadows and Scenic Woods neighborhoods near the park will renew a campaign to save the park that has been dormant since the college backed away from a plan to take over the park in 2004.Back then, the school was working on a deal with Johnson County, the park’s owner. The park would be turned over to the school and the school would provide the county with a different parcel of parkland in return.This time, the plan is only for an exit that would take people south from JCCC in the event of a major emergency like a tornado, utility explosion or active shooter. An existing footpath would be used, so the most noticeable change would be new of posts and locks at the entrance, said Chris Gray, the college’s spokesman. Since the exit would be so rarely used, impact on the park would be minimal, he said.Here’s a look at the planned path in an image provided by the college:But residents who remember 2004 are skeptical. Around 20 of them met Thursday to discuss strategies to get word out and try to change minds at JCCC and the county park and recreation district boards. Their aim is to fight just as hard this time as 14 years ago.“Everybody knows that JCCC wants to take the park over,” said Enrique Chaves, who lives nearby. “It’s been in their agenda for 10 or 15 years. They know they’re going to get it, but we have to put up a fight.”Chaves was one of the neighbors who walked with placards in 2004 to the college to protest the land swap. Neighbors eventually won out when the school backed off of plans to acquire the park at 12500 W. 119th Street in Overland Park for the time being. The county park board later voted to preserve the 80 acres as a park.That experience has made neighbors suspicious of motives in creating the emergency egress. During the previous battle, it was discovered through an open records request that parks and school officials had been working quietly on a deal for years before it came to light.Amanda Vehlewald, president of the Oak Tree Meadows homeowners association and organizer of the latest effort, said she doubts the emergency exit is really needed. If people need to leave the campus quickly, they can already do it by just driving over the grass and south through the park. Having a gate to unlock could slow things down, she said. In any case, students would need to be in lockdown or tornado shelters for some types of emergencies, she added.Vehlewald and others at the gathering speculated that the school is really looking for a foot in the door toward building an exit via 116th Street to Pflumm Road, or south through the park to 119th Street. JCCC does not have entrances from either of those major roads.They see the college’s new building master plan as validation of those concerns. An expanded college will need more ways to access the school, they said.The added traffic could pose a danger to residents with small children, Vehlewald said. “We feel like it would be a major, major hazard to have college kids rushing through our neighborhood trying to get to class. Someone’s eventually going to get hurt,” she said.Chaves said the park is a respite in the middle of the suburbs. “This is an oasis for us,” he said. “Afternoons I walk through the park and see all the activities, the bicycle riding, people walking with dogs, soccer players. That’s sacred ground. Really sacred ground.”But the school says it is a necessary improvement for safety. “This is emergency only and with the minimal intrusion to anything in the park. We feel this action is hard to argue with in the eyes of safety and emergencies for both JCCC and for the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District,” Gray said. The college has tried to let homeowners know it is intended as a safety measure for all, he said.The school and park officials will hold a listening session on the topic at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at Room 233 of JCCC’s General Education Building. The park district board meeting is the following night, but the agenda has not yet been posted.last_img read more

December 18

Firms asked to nominate reporters for Bar workshop

first_img Firms asked to nominate reporters for Bar workshop Florida media outlets and law firms are invited to nominate a participant for this year’s Florida Bar Reporters’ Workshop.Sponsored by the Bar’s Media & Communications Law Committee, 24 journalists – 12 broadcast and 12 print – are selected each year to participate in the annual workshop to be held in Tallahassee, November 30 and December 1.The program is a two-day workshop for journalists new to the courts and legal beats. Reporters will learn the basics in legal reporting from lawyers, judges, and experienced journalists. This year’s program includes sessions at the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar’s headquarters, and a dinner reception at the Capitol with the Florida Supreme Court justices. The Media & Communications Law Committee, The Florida Bar Foundation, media outlets, and law firms provide scholarships that include one night’s hotel accommodations for the evening of November 30 and all meals for participants. Participants must make their own travel arrangements and pay for additional hotel nights.To nominate a reporter, please submit the reporter’s name, telephone and fax number, e-mail address, and background information along with a description of the beat he or she is covering. Send the nominations on the nominating organization’s letterhead to Zannah Lyle by fax, (850) 561-5733, or e-mail, [email protected] For more information, contact Lyle at (850) 561-5669. Firms asked to nominate reporters for Bar workshop November 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

November 20

Croatia Airlines welcomes the millionth passenger this year tomorrow

first_imgCroatia Airlines on Friday, July 15, 2016, will record the millionth passenger this year.CA reports that this year’s jubilee passenger will land tomorrow at 13.40 pm at Zagreb Airport when a plane is scheduled to land on a regular flight from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, and the millionth passenger will be greeted and rewarded by Croatia Airlines representatives.This year’s millionth passenger is expected to be the earliest in the company’s history, three days before the millionth passenger recorded so far (July 18, 2012) and even 12 days before last year.last_img

September 29

Back to school

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

September 29

FOX Brasil on the boil

first_imgFOX initially organised the movement of the oversize boiler from Ferrysburg, Michigan to the Port of Norfolk in Virginia.Although the fastest route would have been to direct the shipment through Ohio and Maryland, FOX explained that Ohio denied permission for the heavy haul.Therefore, the Brazilian company was required to route the consignment through the states of Indiana and Kentucky, which added several miles and significant time to the journey.On arrival in Norfolk, the boiler was loaded onto the deck of a containership and shipped to Brazil’s Port of Salvador, where it was unloaded and transported 60 km to the job site.  www.foxbrasil.comlast_img