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Texas Two-Step, Part One: Dead & Company Cover The Beatles & Bob Dylan In Dallas [Photos/Videos/Audio]

first_imgLoad remaining images Texas has remained one of the most colorful states in the US from the time it joined the union in 1845 and rejoined in 1865 after the Civil War. If it were to secede now, it’d be the 10th largest economy in the world and the sixth largest oil producer in the world. Texas was based on the Caddo word Tejas, meaning “friends” or “allies”. And while Texas has long conjured up images of prairies, cowboys, windmills, tornados and wheat fields, Texas was whacked hard twice last century by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. However, Texas transitioned into an urban, industrialized state in the mid-20th century, fueled in no small part by the oil industry and–no city reflected the state’s new image to the world more than Dallas from the late 70s onwards, via the glitzy portrayals of the city in the TV series of the same name and the success of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.While Dallas-Fort Worth is now the 4th largest city in the United States, the city (and Texas in general), never quite hosted as many Grateful Dead shows as one might have expected, and the post-GD iterations of the band have also remained light on the visits to the state. For an excellently-researched piece on why this was the case, click here. (TL/DR: long mileage for traveling fans and loss of promoter relationships, but not heavy-handed law enforcement.)Arriving at the American Airlines Center an hour before showtime found a strangely quiet scene outside, with no real parking lot scene to speak of and no lines to get in at any door. At 6:30 there were only a couple thousand people inside a most, and at that point it was looking like a very bad night for the promoter. But somehow an additional 10,000 people from nearby skyscrapers and bars made their way into the arena over the next hour, and it was business as usual after all. “Shakedown Street” served as a most fitting opener given the location and the late-arriving crowd; it felt just right with all the glitz and glamour outside. Rhythm guitarist and band leader Bob Weir knocked out the vocals on a solid version that allowed the band and crowd to relax and get comfortable over the space of its 12 minutes.Watch the set one opener below, courtesy of the band.“Brown-Eyed Women” immediately took the set’s vibe from downtown to way outside town, and lead guitarist John Mayer’s delivery of the homespun lyrics also took on a decidedly different feel in Texas, though this was missed by the dozens of late arrivals and various other well-oiled folks carrying on on loud conversations that would quickly be shushed at Shoreline. Fortunately, the hotly-anticipated appearance of unofficial local anthem “Deep Elem Blues” came early and served to get the entire arena fully involved with the music–there were loud singalongs on every chorus and a corresponding drop in crowd chatter. The band had fun with it too, as the song ran for nearly ten minutes while band members traded verses and smiles, with bassist Oteil Burbridge’s turn at the microphone garnering the loudest cheer. “Friend Of The Devil” followed, in fast-version, electric form, and it continued the rustic, country-tinged vibe, as did a spirited trot through the Marty Robbins classic “El Paso”, the first of the tour. This song has been a staple in Bob Weir’s repertoire throughout his life, and he was visibly enjoying its performance.After a brief tease of “Ramble On Rose”, the band instead went for the reggae-infused groove of “They Love Each Other”, and while it was well-played it felt a bit out of place given what had preceded it. However, things quickly moved on with “The Music Never Stopped” returning to its normal Grateful Dead-era placement as a first-set closer, and the song proceeded normally enough and the jazzy jam in 6/8 gathered an enjoyable bit of steam before Bob led the change back into the song’s main riff and closing jam.But then a funny thing happened on the way to intermission. Bob started playing chords that were clearly sparking a transition into another song. Another minute or so passed before Bob started singing, and amidst people asking each other what song it was, “Easy Answers” became the 8th breakout on the fall tour. This Weir song, from the Grateful Dead’s final era, wasn’t one that many saw coming, and even with co-writing help from Robert Hunter, Vince Welnick, and Bob Bralove, the song divided fans from its inception at Giants Stadium in June 1993. However, something felt different and more comfortable about it in the Dead & Company setting here, partly due to John and Oteil being virtuoso musicians who can nimbly negotiate the most of Weir’s complex arrangements. Tonight the band took their time exploring the song’s possibilities and at times it almost a felt like it was a public rehearsal, but that’s fun to watch too and this song may find its wings in the Dead & Company setting. The band detoured back into “The Music Never Stopped” to finish off the set, stretching things out to a full 75 minutes before Bob announced the break.The second set was all about the Garcia/Hunter catalog, with a couple songs from young upstarts Lennon/McCartney and some whippersnapper named Bob Dylan. As was so often the case when the Grateful Dead played areas where country and western music is predominant, the first set was a vehicle to ease people into things via songs that are recognizable and palatable to locals and first timers. Then once everyone is comfortable and warmed up, the second set became the vehicle to blast the crowd into deep space. Dead & Company did exactly that tonight, with the use of four consecutive monoliths of the Garcia/Hunter song catalog.“Here Comes Sunshine” is another song that fits John Mayer’s sound and style unusually well, and its upbeat, optimistic lyrics felt like a continuation of the rural, rustic vibe. Like the “Shakedown Street” opener in the first set, it was light and airy and enjoyable, but it was essentially a ten-minute plus warmup for what happened next.Watch the set two opener below, courtesy of the band.Bob strummed a few quiet stealth chords to lead the band into “Scarlet Begonias”, and once the crowd recognized the song, a huge cheer went up and the energy level spiked instantly. The band clearly heard it, felt it, and responded in kind, delivering an equally energetic version of the song. Bob belted out the verses and John’s mid-song solo was pure fire, as it inspired Bob to signal for an extra go-round while he struck his current-day star pose and nailed those only-Weir power chords. The jam into “Fire On The Mountain” was relatively short, but as has been the case since Oteil began singing Fire, the song has new life and new energy. John’s solos went way off into rock n roll fireworks territory, to the point where one flurry of guitar gunslinger moves in the song’s final solo actually made Bob stop playing for a few seconds to look over at John’s fret hand with a “what is that boy DOING?” look on his face, which was priceless.Upward momentum continued with “Eyes Of The World”, which was the highlight of the night. John’s solo after the first verse had much more of a rock ‘n’ roll feel as opposed to a jazz feel, and he was out in front of things while staying in the pocket. However, John and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti’s I’ll-see-you-and-raise-you duet after the second verse was the peak moment of the show, and the sight of the two of them grinning as they went back and forth recalled visions of Jerry Garcia and Brent Mydland doing the very same thing on Grateful Dead stages. Meanwhile Oteil, whose bass was curiously lower in the mix for much of the night, took his usual bass solo after the final verse, and at one point his fingers on both hands were flying so quickly it almost looked like two five-legged spiders trying to out-dance each other.After a rousing cheer of appreciation, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart were given the stage for their nightly Drums excursion, and they read the mood of the show well and skillfully opted for an unusually subtle and reflective journey that relied heavily on electronics and felt almost calm and meditative after the peaks of the previous 45 minutes. As he is known to do, Oteil came out at the end and joined them amidst the racks of drums for the last few minutes of the passage. Once Mickey gently raked the beam and then the frontline musicians returned for Space, they too offered up a non-traditional, almost structured version, while Oteil played a repeating bass line with a gentle tempo that served as an anchor for what everyone else was doing. John in particular came up with some nice riffing and noodling to help generate one of the better Drums/Space segments of the tour.Space began “Dear Prudence”, the first non-Garcia Hunter song of the set, but given that it was one of John Lennon’s most psychedelic songs, it slotted in nicely. This also has contained a searing solo from John that generated a bigger peak than normal, given that Dead & Company renderings usually opt for a spacey, more ethereal approach. And then it was straight back to the Garcia/Hunter catalog with “The Wheel”, with this version set apart by Jeff’s powerful, Hornsby-esque piano chords during the mid-song break–once again providing extra power to a song that’s usually rendered more delicately. The set closed with “Casey Jones”, one of the “hits” from the Garcia/Hunter catalog. The energy continued and the crowd sang along, but then the closing choruses caught fire to the point where John stopped singing and just started soloing wildly. Bob looked over and knew a good thing when he saw it, and sight of both of them jumping up and down together, Mayer style, in-unison, was the knockout punch and showed a band who was clearly having a great time doing what they do.The “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” encore was relaxing and brought the crowd back down to earth, and even if it’s not from the Garcia/Hunter catalog, there was never a time when Bob Dylan’s songs were far away from Jerry Garcia. John channeled Garcia’s style with his solo, where the notes just tumbled out of the guitar in that loose, easy manner.All in all, it was a Texas-sized trip, from the city to the country to deep space and back home again.Listen to the full audio below, courtesy of Taper_Friendly:Check out the full setlist below, as well as the gallery provided by photographer Erik Kabik.Setlist: Dead & Company | American Airlines Center | Dallas, TX | 12/1/17I: Shakedown Street, Brown-Eyed Women, Deep Elem Blues, Friend of the Devil, El Paso, They Love Each Other, The Music Never Stopped > Easy Answers > The Music Never StoppedII: Here Comes Sunshine, Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Eyes of the World, Drums, Space, Dear Prudence, The Wheel / Stay, Casey JonesE: Knockin’ On Heaven’s DoorDead & Company | American Airlines Center | Dallas, TX | 12/1/17 | Photos by Erik Kabiklast_img read more

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Finally, hope for a young patient

first_imgBrenden Whittaker woke in his room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, drenched in sweat.It was 3 a.m., and his mother, Becky Whittaker, watched as the nurse tried to take his temperature with an electronic thermometer, then left to fetch an old-style mercury one that registered higher.It read 105.“I really thought, ‘We’re going to lose him to this disease,’” Becky recalled. “‘He’s 16 years old, and he’s going to be one of the statistics.’ … He was so, so sick.”The nurse helped Brenden change out of his sweat-soaked clothes before leaving the two alone in the dark of that too-early morning. Becky settled into the rocking chair next to the bed.“He started talking to me about planning his funeral, where he wanted to be buried, what kind of funeral he wanted,” Becky said. “He said, ‘Mom, if you think I’m going to die, will you tell me? I’m begging you — you have to tell me if you think I’m going to die, if I’m not going to get better.’“I looked at him and I said, ‘It’s going to rip me apart, but, yes, I’ll tell you. … I don’t think we’re there now.’”That night in the fall of 2009 was a new low in the course of Brenden’s disease, a rare immune disorder called chronic granulomatous disease, or CGD. The condition affects a key component of the immune system, a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil that engulfs and kills invading bacteria and fungi.Since his diagnosis as a baby, Brenden had taken regular preventive antibiotics to fight off infections before they started, gotten thrice-weekly interferon shots to boost his weakened immune system, and avoided activities that might bring him into contact with troublesome microbes. Despite that care, he’d been hospitalized repeatedly for surgeries to drain abscesses and for intravenous antibiotics to fight infections.“[Over the years], I’ve had hundreds of procedures,” Brenden said. “I’ve had lung biopsies, bronchoscopies, endoscopies, had ingrown toenails removed. I’ve had all kinds of stuff like that.”Despite his fears in the hospital that night, Brenden recovered, but it cost him the infected portion of his lung, which doctors removed, and his junior year in high school. Even then, the recovery wasn’t permanent. His next downward spiral began in 2014, and in April 2015 he had the left lobe of his liver removed, before spending most of August at Nationwide Children’s to treat another lung infection.Today, though, Brenden’s lungs are clear and, for the first time in his life, roughly half of his neutrophils are functioning — enough, doctors say, to keep him well. Now 23, he is working again, part time at a golf course near his home in Ohio, and cautiously looking forward to college in 2017 — if his health holds out.The sea change came after Brenden received an experimental gene therapy treatment in December at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a collaboration of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This phase I trial, intended to test the procedure’s safety, is being conducted at three centers around the country and is led in Boston by David Williams, the Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), chief of hematology/oncology and director of clinical and translational research at Boston Children’s, and president of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Williams has worked in the gene-therapy field since he was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early ’80s.“I’m thrilled we were able to get the trial opened so quickly and enroll our first patient,” Williams said. “I’m very thrilled everything has gone well so far.”The trial is designed to progress in stages, so Brenden’s improved health cleared the way for a second patient to begin the same treatment, this time at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. If all goes well with both patients, a third will undergo the procedure at the University of California at Los Angeles, where Donald Kohn is the chief investigator for the overall study. These three early patients will be closely monitored and, if there are no complications, more will be treated with the aim of moving to a broader, phase II trial. The ultimate goal is to create a new CGD treatment, which would be among the vanguard of new therapies based on altering a patient’s genetic code.Where’s the bleach?When chronic granulomatous disease was first recognized in 1950, little could be done to control the infections that plagued its sufferers, who rarely lived past 10.“The disease was first called ‘fatal granulomatous disease,’ which gave a good impression of what happened. Prior to good antibiotics … the disease was fatal,” said Stuart Orkin, the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at HMS and who is affiliated with the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Orkin has studied the genetics of CGD for decades.Over time, doctors learned the lesson they would apply in Brenden’s case: that the way to keep someone with CGD alive is not to let them get sick in the first place.Though modern antibiotics have made CGD a manageable disease, control can be imperfect. Life with CGD is marked by repeated infections, large and small, and regular inpatient hospital stays to fight the worst flare-ups. Patients develop granulomas — the body’s efforts to wall off infections it cannot defeat — which cause problems of their own, blocking digestive tracts and other critical passages.CGD affects about 1,500 people nationwide and has two major variants. A patient can inherit both copies of a defective gene from his or her parents or, as in Brenden’s case, because the defective gene is carried on a mother’s X chromosome, and boys have only one X chromosome, only one copy can cause disease.In the body, the defective gene upsets the killing chemistry that occurs inside healthy neutrophils. These white blood cells engulf bacteria or fungi, triggering a series of chemical reactions that ultimately produce hypochlorite, the active ingredient in common household bleach. The hypochlorite, produced in tiny quantities, kills the engulfed invader.In the 1960s, a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at Boston Children’s named Robert Baehner devised the first diagnostic test for CGD. Baehner went on to become a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, where part of his continued impact on the field was training the leader of Brenden’s current gene therapy trial, Williams.“I’m here today because I had such a wonderful mentoring experience with Dr. Baehner when I was a medical student,” Williams said. “I hadn’t done research before that, so this completely changed my career.”Baehner also returned to Children’s years later on sabbatical to work with Orkin, bringing with him a tissue sample from a CGD sufferer.In 1986, Orkin, working with colleagues searching for the muscular dystrophy gene — thought to be near CGD’s gene — used that sample to identify the CGD gene, pioneering a technique called positional cloning.“Working together [with collaborators], we did a number of … things, using some logic, a little luck, good reagents,” Orkin said. “It was very challenging. The extent of what we knew about the genome … was like the Stone Age compared to today.”Baby bluesBrenden Whittaker’s CGD revealed itself only gradually.After a family trip to the beach at age 1, Brenden developed a grape-sized swelling on the right side of his face. Routine antibiotics didn’t work, and a mumps test came back negative, so the doctor drained the infection and sent a sample to the lab for testing.Results brought more questions than answers. The infection was caused by a bacterium common in dirty water, Serratia marcescens, but one that a healthy immune system should be able to handle. That fall, when Brenden developed a strange, acne-like bump on his chin also caused by Serratia marcescens, it was apparent there was an ongoing problem.The doctor quizzed Becky about her family history, looking for signs of immune dysfunction: Had anyone died young, died of infection?“At first you’re like, ‘Well, no way this could be it. I can’t think of any child in my family with any issues or any problems like this,’” Becky said. “I grew up on a farm, shoveling out stalls with manure and whatnot, and I was never sick. But half of my white cells work.”A DNA test of Becky’s blood was positive for CGD. So she and Brenden traveled to the National Institutes of Health, and saw Harry Malech, a CGD expert. He counseled them about Brenden’s careful way forward.“It’s a really hard disease for a boy to have because, statistically speaking, more boys would prefer to be dirty than not,” Becky said.Despite periodic trips to the hospital, Brenden was able to live an active life. His mother’s work as a transplant nurse ensured that someone knowledgeable about health and the health care system watched over him.He played soccer and ice hockey, avoiding baseball, football, and their bacteria-laden dirt, dust, and grass. He backpacked with the Boy Scouts, packing all his water to avoid questionable sources on the trail. He demonstrated canoe and kayak skills in a pool’s clean waters.But infection and illness were never far away. Pneumonia forced him to start kindergarten late and with an IV for antibiotics. In second grade, his small intestine was almost blocked by a granuloma, which stubbornly persisted until a cocktail of antibiotics, high-dose steroids, and other drugs did the trick. In sixth grade, he was back in the hospital with an ankle infection.Whittaker discusses his progress with Pediatric Oncology RN Brenda MacKinnon. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerBut it was during 11th grade that things really went south. The “rip-roaring infection,” as Becky described it, settled in his lungs in September and held on. For months, the Nocardia bacteria shrugged off antibiotics until, finally, in March, surgeons removed the upper and part of the middle lobe of his right lung.“The doctor who did the surgery brought the tissue out into the waiting room and showed it to us. He had developed a big granuloma around the Nocardia infection so the antibiotics were not going to get to it. They weren’t ever going to take care of the infection with no white cells to help them work,” Becky said. “[The year] 2009–10 was a terrible, terrible period of time. … You can’t just keep chopping away essential body parts when new infections occur.”Brenden recovered, but had missed so much school that he repeated his junior year. By late 2014, he had graduated and started at a local community college when he got sick again. He would fight infections through much of 2015.“I probably spent nine of 12 months of the year in the hospital. I had a granuloma in my urethra in January. I had the liver stuff kind of February through May. I had some recurring pneumonia in my right lung, or, actually, in both of my lungs,” Brenden said. “I spent the Fourth of July in the hospital and was discharged before my birthday in July. I was in the hospital by Aug. 2. I had a lung biopsy that started to bleed. I spent a week in the ICU in August, then I was admitted to the regular inpatient floor for three weeks following that, so I was in the hospital all of August. They assumed it was a fungal infection in my lungs. They never figured out what it was.”Brenden’s doctor at Nationwide Children’s told them what had become apparent: Brenden was getting too many infections, having too many surgeries and, with so much antibiotic use, risking drug-resistant infections. They needed to explore other options.Bone-marrow transplants can provide a source of healthy immune cells for CGD sufferers, but tests of family members and unrelated donors turned up no good matches. Finally, a specialist who had heard of Williams’ gene-therapy trial at Boston Children’s thought Brenden might be a good candidate.“I had been so sick last year, I was willing to do anything not to be that sick anymore,” Brenden said.Gene therapyAfter a sputtering start, gene therapy has gathered momentum. Its promise was illustrated in 1990 when a 4-year-old girl named Ashanti DeSilva became the world’s first successful gene-therapy patient. The treatment did not cure the near-total immune dysfunction that Ashanti suffered, but nonetheless it pulled her out of danger, allowed her to enroll in school, and illustrated the merit of treating genetic diseases at their most basic level.Progress stalled in 1999, when 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger became the first person to die in a gene-therapy trial. Gelsinger, who had a genetic liver disease, had a massive immune reaction to the virus, called a vector, that was used to shuttle the corrected gene for his condition into his DNA.“Gene therapy has had a number of setbacks along the way,” Orkin said. “Those setbacks probably have delayed things somewhat. … Each one of those steps takes five years to recover from … so it’s taken a long time.”In 2008, researchers successfully treated Leber’s congenital amaurosis, which causes blindness. In 2010, a French patient was treated for beta-thalassemia major, a blood disease. In 2013 and 2014, children were treated for ADA-SCID, or “bubble boy syndrome.” Other trials have targeted hemophilia, the inherited eye disease choroideremia, HIV, sickle cell disease, and cancer.Venture capital firms have taken notice of the progress, and money has flowed into gene therapy-based startups, a good sign, according to Williams — who, with colleagues at Boston Children’s and three other academic institutions in the United States and United Kingdom, recently started a gene therapy company — since such firms expect short-term returns that flow from clinical success.“I think things are progressing,” Williams said. “You get a sense of that by the number of trials that are open, and you get a sense of that by the number of new companies that are starting.”Though Brenden later admitted some apprehension at being the first to undergo the procedure, he agreed to the trial and traveled to Boston last November for screening tests. Physicians also extracted blood stem cells to freeze as backup in case the procedure went awry.In early December, Brenden returned so doctors could take more blood stem cells, this time to be engineered for the trial at a cell-manufacturing facility run by Dana-Farber.There, the cells were isolated and mixed with a virus containing a functioning copy of Brenden’s malfunctioning gene. The virus inserted the working gene into the cells’ DNA, creating a population of Brenden’s own stem cells with an extra gene. The hope was that these stem cells, which would be infused back into Brenden later that month, would develop into properly functioning white blood cells.On Dec. 13, Brenden returned to Boston and the next day began a three-day, six-dose course of chemotherapy, which killed cells in his bone marrow to clear space for the new, engineered cells to take hold. On the 18th, the corrected stem cells were infused into his blood to begin their migration to the marrow.Brenden doesn’t remember much of his nearly month-long stay, little of Christmas or college football’s Bowl season. The nausea after chemo was unforgettable, though, as were the sores in his mouth and the hair that was falling out.Ohio State beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. “I have been told I watched the game in my hospital room, and I asked a few days later when they were supposed to play,” Brenden said. “I didn’t know it was the new year for a week.”He was discharged in early January, but stayed in Boston for outpatient checkups until the end of the month. At home in Ohio, he had three more months of forced inactivity while his immune system rebooted.“I was definitely apprehensive about it before,” Brenden said. “Looking back now, I’m glad that I did it.”In the months since, Brenden has resumed his old job at the local golf course, gone running, and played some golf himself. He’s also gotten regular checkups and taken periodic trips back to Boston.The results have been encouraging, with one spring follow-up test showing nearly half of Brenden’s neutrophils working properly. That level is well above the trial’s target of 10 percent and enough for researchers to go ahead with a second patient.“At 10 percent, our expectation is it will provide the person protection to make them essentially normal,” Williams said. “We’re not looking for partial protection, we’re looking for full protection. We think that will be the case.”No promisesGene therapy’s ultimate goal is to make a one-time fix, correct a genetic disease’s underlying cause, and let people get on with their lives.In this case, however, Williams said it’s too early to talk about a widespread CGD cure. Though promising, this therapy is at the proof-of-concept stage. If it succeeds in additional trials, initially it would be reserved for the sickest patients — like Brenden — who are having difficulty managing their illness and aren’t good candidates for bone-marrow transplants. If the therapy proves itself over time, its use could expand to aid patients before serious complications develop.“It’s very, very early, of course,” Williams said. “It’ll be an evolution with time, of a broadening indication, if everything goes well.”For Brenden, if all goes well he’ll be back in school in January. He plans to return to community college with an eye to transferring to Ohio State, and perhaps medical school after that.For his mother, each encouraging neutrophil count is exciting, but experience has taught her caution.“I don’t think Brenden and I are under any illusions that this is a cure,” Becky said. “People ask what I’ll do with the time [if Brenden stays healthy]. There are things I’d like to do, but I’m cautious about starting them because part of me is wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and what it will be when it does.“I tried to think about how I’d feel if at some point this isn’t working, the cells reverting to their defective ways. I can’t predict how I’ll feel when that happens, so I just dwell on each measurement and, OK, this is just another period of time when the measurement is good. Let’s just go about what we’re doing. I think that’s just about all we can do.”last_img read more

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Club presents film on war in Uganda

first_img “Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war,” Kristen Metzger, senior, president and founder of the club, said. “We are young activists working to restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity.”  The organization believes in providing education to kids of northern Uganda who have lost hope in their own futures. Amelang said the three things we can do to help are to buy their merchandise, participate in the “Schools for Schools” program and commit to the Legacy scholarship fund which involves donating $35 a month to cover all school expenses for one child.  Ocaya’s mentor, Richard, helped him to find hope again and graduate high school. As Amelang explained in her lecture, this is a touching story that is sadly not the future for 93 percent of the youth in Uganda. Metzger said anyone in the tri-campus community are welcome. She also plans on opening events up to the entire South Bend community. Saint Mary’s Invisible Children club, which helps raise awareness of child soldiers in war-torn Uganda, hosted members on tour from the national Invisible Children organization in Carroll Auditorium Tuesday.  Through Invisible Children’s “Schools for Schools” program, students have raised $1.2 million towards the reconstruction of educational facilities destroyed by rebel militia, according to national member Terra Amelang.  Kids featured in the screening of “Go” had won the opportunity to go to Uganda and witness first hand what goes on in the lives of the people who live there. “We were taken into captivity for two weeks before we were rescued by the American government,” Ugandan citizen and former war captive, Jimmy Ocaya said. “I was tied with a rope to two other boys.” The event featured a screening of an update on the organization’s progress called “Go.” presented by two men directly involved with Invisible Children in Uganda.  “The people of Uganda are asking for a future beyond the conflict, and their pleas have inspired this organization,” Metzger said. “Our main goal is enable children to take responsibility for their destiny and the fate of their country.” “It takes sacrifice to give what nobody can steal,” native Ugandan and Invisible Children mentor Richard Mark Ochaka said.last_img read more

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Governor signs senior protection and financial services law

first_imgOn Monday, June 1, at the Waterbury Area Senior Center, Governor Jim Douglas signed into law H.222, An Act Relating to Senior Protection and Financial Services.  It contains several provisions to protect older Vermonters who purchase certain types of lending and insurance products.  The Governor was joined by area seniors, Administration officials, aging issues advocates, and representatives from the American Council of Life Insurers, the Vermont Mortgage Bankers Association and the Vermont Bankers Association, among others.Governor Douglas said, “As we all know, these are difficult economic times.  Life can be especially difficult for senior citizens on fixed incomes and reduced retirement savings.  It’s unfortunate that during economic turndowns we often see a rise in predatory and exploitive practices by a few bad apples.  This bill helps protect the financial resources of older Vermonters by prohibiting opportunistic and unscrupulous practices that take advantage of seniors’ financial fears and circumstances.  It also helps ensure that those conducting legitimate financial business with seniors are held to the highest professional standards and can offer products in a fair and regulatedmarket…”last_img read more

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Trail Mix – Travis Book & Jon Stickley Live at The Down Home

first_imgSeven years ago this month, I covered The Infamous Stringdusters when the band played The Down Home, one of the South’s most venerable music rooms, in Johnson City, Tennessee.While working on my review, I chatted with bass player Travis Book. His take on the room has stuck with me ever since, and I am reminded of it every time I step through The Down Home’s doors.“There’s a lot of history, a lot of good times had,” said Book. “It’s kind of like playing inside a Martin D-28.”Travis Book returns to The Down Home tomorrow night with long time friend – and guitar wizard – Jon Stickley. Both of these guys are long time friends of Trail Mix and have been well chronicled here; I chatted with Stickley about his latest record in October, and I last caught up with Book when he was putting together what might be the most epic weekend ever.In between tours with their respective bands – Book with The Infamous Stringdusters and Stickley with his trio – Stickley and Book have taken to playing duo shows. Drawing from their respective catalogs and a collection of tunes purposed specifically for these shows, the duo has crafted a show that allows their individual talents to compliment each other wonderfully, with Book’s baritone and rhythm guitar work allowing Stickley to roam with abandon around his fretboard.I have heard nothing but great things about two recent performances in Brevard and Asheville. I found that praise well warranted after checking out videos for “Long and Lonesome Day” and “Della’s Walk.”The kinship and connection between these two is obvious.Says Book, “Few things make me happier than listening to Jon play the guitar and standing on stage with him is a joy. His love of the music and exploratory spirit are contagious, and he always brings out the best in the people he plays with.”Trail Mix would like to give you the chance to check out what Stickley and Book can get up to when they put their musical heads together. Take a shot at the trivia question down below. A winner of two tickets to the show will be chosen from all answers received by noon tomorrow (Thursday, January 21st).Question . . . . Both Travis Book and Jon Stickley play Martin guitars. Whose Martin is older?You have a 50/50 shot!!!Good luck.Tickets for Thursday’s show are $14 and will available at the door. Music starts at 8:00.Featured image by David Simchock.[divider]More from Trail Mix[/divider]last_img read more

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Black Dog and Cat Syndrome Awareness Month

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Press pets Maxx and Pepper ConfortiFebruary is Black Dog and Cat Syndrome Awareness Month, an issue close to my heart.Many animal rescuers say that black cats and dogs are less likely to be adopted than other shelter pets.Why? There’s no set reason, and the people who look over black pets likely do so subconsciously. One reason could be because lighter animals generally photograph better, which can sway people who use adoption websites.Personally, I feel like black cats have it the hardest (I mean, a black dog did just win Westminster Best in Show). A lot of people associate black cats with witches and other ridiculous superstitions. One time I was telling someone about Herbie, and when I finally showed a picture of his handsomeness, I was shocked at his response.“Oh, he’s a BLACK cat?”The fact that Herb is missing an eye didn’t faze this self-proclaimed cat lover, but the color of his fur caused him to react in a tone that was almost one of disgust and disappointment.What makes it even worse is the fact that Herbie isn’t even an all-black cat. He is a tuxedo cat, which means his underside and the tips of his paws are white (think Sylvester from Sylvester and Tweety or Felix the cat). If this guy were so turned off by a tuxedo cat, what would his response to an all-black cat be?In a post on old RCD website I listed the “Top 10” reasons to adopt a black cat. I feel like this list needs to be repeated.TOP TEN REASONS TO ADOPT A BLACK CAT10. You’ll save money on their Halloween costumes9. You can always find them in the snow8. Holding a black cat is very slimming7. Black cats will match any decor6. A lint brush isn’t required for a black-tie affair5. When you love a black cat luck is on your side4. Black cats are like onyx—a beautiful gem.3. They don’t care what color you are!2. Some research suggests black cats are friendlierAnd the number 1 reason:They are the least likely to be adopted.last_img read more

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Combatting stress in your life

first_img 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Stress: A very common feeling in today’s world. Stress can originate from all kinds of sources – technology, long commutes, conflicts with coworkers, family and a lack of a work/life balance.But we do not have to succumb to the chaos. An article by Robin Madell in U.S. News gives five “expert-approved strategies to knock out work stress, boost energy and become a top performer.” They are:1. “Decide if you want more or less of certain activities.” What in your daily routine gives you energy and makes you feel more balanced? Do more of it. The opposite is true too. If something you do causes you grief, do it less often.2. “Think about what you should start or stop.” Taking No. 1 a step further, are there certain “feel good” activities that aren’t in your current schedule that that should be? Are there activities that should be cut out completely? continue reading »last_img read more

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Houston Open: Sam Burns leads as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson impress | Golf News

first_imgSam Burns holds halfway lead at the Houston Open, with Jason Day, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson among golfers in contention in final event before The Masters. Watch live throughout the weekend on Sky Sports Golf. By Ali StaffordLast Updated: 07/11/20 12:06am Live PGA Tour Golf November 7, 2020, 2:30pmLive on Jason Day is two off the halfway lead at the Vivint Houston Open – Advertisement – – Advertisement – “I just need the reps before next week,” Johnson said. “I’m pleased with where I’m at. If I can go out and shoot a good score tomorrow I’m going to have a chance come Sunday. Obviously I’m just looking to get a little better each day and yeah, I’m happy with where I’m at.” Johnson – making his first start since testing positive for coronavirus – finished his second round with back-to-back birdies, while former major champions Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry also head into the weekend on two under.Only 25 players are under par at the halfway stage, with Tyrrell Hatton in the group on one over and Brooks Koepka making the cut on two over after finishing his level-par 70 with two birdies over his final four holes. Day opened with five straight pars before cancelling out a bogey at the sixth by holing a five-foot birdie at the eighth, with the Australian then draining a 20-footer at the 14th and picking up a shot from 10 feet at the 16th to close out a bogey-free back nine. Jason Day remained within two strokes of the lead at the halfway stage of the Vivint Houston Open, as Dustin Johnson moved back into contention. Day followed an opening-round 67 with a two-under 68 at Memorial Park to get to five under and sit in a share of second alongside Carlos Ortiz, as Sam Burns carded a round-of-the-day 65 to jump top of the leaderboard.Overnight leader Brandt Snedeker is one of five players in tied-fourth after a one-over 73 and former Masters champion Adam Scott is in the group behind, while Johnson is within five of the lead after bouncing back from an opening-round 72 to card a four-under 66.- Advertisement –center_img  Dustin Johnson could lose his world No 1 ranking this week  Dustin Johnson could lose his world No 1 ranking this week

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Hospitals must treat, not discharge addicts

first_imgNew York state passed a law that allows for a 72-hour hold that is requested by the family of a patient brought in from an overdose. The state attorney general’s office has taken on the insurance companies, and this must be paid for. Insurance requirements for ambulatory detox services aren’t mandatory if those services aren’t readily available. If an ambulatory detox can’t be located for the patient, then the hospital stay will be covered by insurance.We are told that heroin detox isn’t a medical necessity because it’s not life threatening. Since when must a disease be life threatening to qualify for treatment? Tell this to the families of Tori Herr, David Stojcevski, Madison Jensen and others who died of the dehydration caused by unassisted withdrawal. Tell the families of patients who were refused treatment that became victims of a suicide or accidental overdose that their children were not a danger to themselves or others.We need detox in every hospital. The people who wish to be treated aren’t failing at treatment. The health care system is failing these sick and desperate individuals.Sue E. MartinSaratoga SpringsThe writer is a pharmacist, person in Long term recovery, Advocate with RAIS (Recovery Advocates In Saratoga). Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAttention all hospitals: We have a national and statewide health care emergency. It’s an addiction epidemic, primarily an opiate crisis. We need you to take action. We need you to admit and treat, not discharge, the willing patients who arrive in your emergency rooms and hospitals in active withdrawal from opiates or dying from an overdose.I understand many hospitals’ protocol is to stabilize and discharge. The patient is referred to an outpatient treatment facility. But most of these programs don’t treat the withdrawal. I consider this practice to be wrong. Your patients are often returning to your care in a worse condition. They’re dying while waiting for a bed or seeking treatment. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

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An immaculate Hamptons-inspired family home

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHampton inspired home for sale01:60Designed and built by a talented pair of builders, this impeccable home in Coorparoo is all about effortless and enjoyable family living.34 Jerome Street in Coorparoo brings a touch of the Hamptons to Brisbane. Picture: realestate.com/buySpread over an expansive allotment, with a rear northern aspect and lovely panoramic views, this newly built residence oozes Hamptons style and sophistication, both inside and out.Fusing beauty and function, this stunning Queensland home also boasts plenty of space and inviting, airy open-plan living spaces.The stone wall adds texture to an otherwise sleek, modern interior. Picture: realestate.com/buyThe ground level features impressive 3.6-metre-high coffered ceilings and a soaring void at its core. Huge architectural windows fill the home with natural light, while the floor-to-ceiling stone feature wall makes a statement.A large kitchen island is handy for informal drinks and dining. Picture: realestate.com/buyPositioned and kitted out with busy families and entertaining in mind, the sleek designer kitchen features a premium Statuario Venato stone benchtop island, a butler’s pantry and array of Miele appliances.A floating fireplace is a nice touch – and just look at those views. Picture: realstate.com.au/buyEntertaining outdoors is a breezy affair thanks to sliding French doors, which open out on to a rear alfresco deck replete with an integrated stone-top kitchen, BBQ and double wine fridge.It looks tempting but it’s probably best to not dive off the balcony… Picture: realstate.com.au/buyMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoNot forgetting the gorgeous saltwater swimming pool and the sizeable lawn areas set amid a private tree-lined yard.The abundance of space, inside and out, is impressive. Picture: realstate.com.au/buyThe home’s upper level is the best spot to enjoy the incredible city views and retreat to for some peace and quiet. There’s a large lounge and a rumpus/theatre room, which can either be closed off from the rest of the house or integrated within the vast entertaining terrace.Benefitting from a great location, this flawless home is within walking distance of good coffee shops, excellent eateries and decent transport links.Price by negotiation.last_img read more

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