A shared responsibility’

first_imgIn response to an increase in pedestrian-vehicle accidents and near misses on campus and surrounding roads, the University will fund the installation of a new crosswalk system at the intersection of Vaness and Tywckenham Roads on the eastern edge of campus. The first HAWK crosswalk system in St. Joseph County will be installed at the intersection during the spring semester. Mike Seamon, associate vice president of campus safety, called the HAWK system both “smart” and “dynamic.” “Once the system is engaged or activated, it makes it clear to both pedestrians and vehicles what they are supposed to do,” he said. “It takes out any ambiguity.” Currently, pedestrians must press a button to activate a flashing yellow light that warns drivers of traffic in the crosswalk. Students often bypass the button or cross into the street before cars might have seen them, Seamon said. Under the HAWK system, a motion detector will sense the pedestrian traffic approaching the crosswalk and automatically activate a flashing yellow light for motorists. The light will then turn red, indicating drivers should stop at the intersection. A sign for pedestrians will also change to a walking figure when it is safe to cross or indicate with a hand signal that they should remain on the curb. “I think going forward if we look to say, ‘How do we best address this?’, we have to readily admit it’s a shared responsibility amongst all people and all parties,” Seamon said. “We cannot expect that one of those entities yields all the burden of this.” Tim Sexton, associate vice president of State and Local Affairs, said the HAWK system is over 95 percent effective in managing crosswalks and preventing accidents. The University will fund the installation of the system, for which Sexton said he does not yet know an estimated cost. Sexton said the project is a collaboration between the University administration, student government and St. Joseph County. “When you look at all those different players that are touching this too, everyone is passionate,” Sexton said. The HAWK system will be the first of its kind in the county, but the University would plan to install two further systems in a proposed realignment of Douglas Road next summer. The plans for that realignment will be subject to vote by the County Council on Dec. 4, Sexton said. “I think one of the things that this Douglas Road rerouting and this issue down at Twyckenham and Vaness is giving us opportunity [to do is] to put in some very, very effective pedestrian crossings,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse.” This intersection, located on the eastern edge of campus, has been a particular point of concern in recent weeks. Two students, both crossing Twyckenham on bikes, were involved in accidents within one week of each other. Neither student suffered severe injuries. On Nov. 1, senior Ramon Yip was biking across the street around 9:30 p.m. in darkness when a bus hit him in the crosswalk. “It was kind of my fault because I didn’t see the bus until I was crossing the intersection already,” he said. “As soon as I saw the bus, I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could and the bus driver swerved, so that helped. … It could have been a lot worse.” A passing police officer stopped to help Yip, and he was treated for a minor injury to his elbow at the hospital. Less than a week later on Nov. 7, a car hit senior Monica O’Hearn as she cycled across the same crosswalk. She also suffered only minor injuries from the crash, but her roommate, senior Karen Allen, began to circulate a student petition to install a stoplight at the intersection. Yip signed the petition when he found a link to it on Facebook. “I didn’t know that multiple accidents have nearly happened or have happened there,” he said. “I didn’t know until I saw the petition.” While Yip said the HAWK system seems to be an improvement, he hopes to see better lighting on the road in the future as well. Seamon cited accidents more serious than the most recent incidents as sparks for the University’s concern. In October 2011, a female student suffered injuries from a car crash on campus near the A15 parking lot as she jogged across the road. Just over one month ago, Saint Mary’s sophomore Ziqi Zhang was killed in a car accident as she biked across State Route 933 near the entrance of the College. While the intersection at Vaness and Twyckenham will be the location of the new HAWK system, Seamon said pedestrian safety on an around campus continues to be a priority for the administration. “This is an issue that’s always been there,” Seamon said. “It’s not new, but it seems like we have a new focus and resolve because there’s just a lot of incidents that are happening so we’re trying to put everyone together to say, ‘Let’s strategize on how best to address this.’” County engineer Jessica Clark said in an email interview Monday this particular intersection proposed a number of challenges for pedestrians and vehicles alike as its surrounding neighborhood continues to grow. One particular challenge at this location is sight distance, or the ability for a driver or pedestrian to sufficiently see one another and other vehicles in order to react, both looking from Vaness and when traveling south on Twyckenham from Bulla Road, she said. “The roadway profile elevation and curvature play a part in evaluating the intersection at Vaness,” Clark said. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have found the HAWK system and other similar systems to be “statistically significant” in reducing crashes, Clark said, and the new system was the next logical step up from the marked crosswalk and refuge islands currently at the intersection. “The pedestrian-activated flashing beacons and additional warning signage installed a few years back were installed to enhance safety,” she said. “With the increase in pedestrian traffic at this location, the HAWK system provides a more protected environment for pedestrians to cross the road.” Senior Michael Masi, director of the department of University affairs in student government, said students have come to him since the start of his term in May to complain about the intersection. Student government will look to educate students and drivers about this new system in the months before its installation. “I brought it up to [student body president Brett Rocheleau and student body vice president Katie Rose], and they’ve been totally on board with this idea,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out a way that we can also communicate this information to students, to be more open about the process.” Masi echoed the administration’s call to both drivers and students to work together to improve safety on and around campus. “It is a shared responsibility,” he said. “Students have to use what is put in place. There’s only so much we can advocate for. They’re going to put in this HAWK system that is top of the line but students have to utilize it.”last_img read more

Justice Education Department Discusses Domestic Violence

first_imgSaint Mary’s professors and students discussed the complexity of domestic violence in a lecture titled “Why Don’t Women Just Leave,” held in the Student Center on Tuesday.The discussion was sponsored by the Justice Education Department and led by Dr. Adrienne Lyles-Chockley, associate professor of communications Marne Austin, and Saint Mary’s senior Meredith Mersits alongside YWCA advocate Mary Smith and YWCA victim services attorney Kristine Burggraf. The five women discussed the complications of leaving an abusive relationship.Smith, a YWCA advocate for victims of domestic abuse, said leaving an abusive situation is a process which can take months or years due to the emotional dependency formed during the relationship.“We develop what we call co-dependency, meaning we become the caregiver,” Smith said. “We are living through that person. We don’t know — we don’t care about ourselves anymore. We breathe, we eat, we think, we love them.”Smith said the disengagement process requires that victims overcome their fear of the unknown in order to escape.“We have the fear of not being able to make it because you don’t believe in your potential,” she said. “Because you have been somebody else’s, you have lost yourself. You don’t believe in the potential. You don’t believe in what you are capable of doing.”Smith said ending an abusive relationship gives victims freedom and endless opportunities“‘What if?’ there are many ‘what-if’s’ in life, but if you make the courage to do it, and you get the support you need to, you will be able to make it,” Smith said. “It is a beautiful thing to learn who you are and what you want in life.”Mersits, a survivor of an abusive relationship, said she remained in the relationship because she was in denial and felt she needed to stay.“I continued to rationalize my experience,” Mersits said.Mersits said she convinced herself that her situation did not compare to the stories of others who had endured relationship abuse.“I would continue to say, ‘Oh that’s not our relationship. He loves me. If it was like that, I would definitely be getting out. I’m strong enough to do that.’ But no, I wasn’t until I was actually able to get out,” Mersits said. “It is just not what you think. It’s way harder then saying, ‘I’m going to get up and leave.’ … I felt like I was confined to this relationship.”Austin said she struggled to leave an abusive relationship because she could not see the abuse for what it was.“There is a particular term called ‘gas lighting,’ which is when you are in a situation, you think that you are crazy — you literally think you are going crazy — because things that an abusive partner says to you, that negates what you see as your reality,” Austin said.Burggraf, YWCA victim services attorney, said there are many reasons why women do not leave, including familial ties, lack of financial support or simply not being ready.“Our program is awesome, but our domestic violence program is 45 days,” Burggraf said. “That’s not enough time to get [victims] out of that situation and back on their feet so they can survive. A situation may be horrific, and some of them are, but they feel they have no other option. And then, sometimes we get where the women just aren’t ready to leave. They’re just not there.”Mersits said as personal as relationship abuse is, more people need to get involved to provide support and resources for potential survivors.“I know this conversation is us telling our personal stories, but it’s not really about me,” Mersits said. “It is not about Marne; it is not about Adrienne. It is about all the women out there and what you can do — what we all can do.The Justice Education Department plans to continue the discussion of domestic violence with a day-long event in Rice Commons on Nov. 20 titled “A Symposium on Domestic Violence and Intersectionality.”Tags: co-dependency, domestic abuse, domestic violence, gas lighting, Justice Education Department, Why Don’t Women Just Leave, YWCAlast_img read more

Panel communicates sexual violence resources

first_imgIn honor of the Gender Relations Center’s (GRC) Sexual Violence Awareness Month, a discussion panel titled “Know Your IX: Resources for Care and Support,” presented information about the options available for those who are victims of sexual violence on Wednesday in the Notre Dame Room of LaFortune Student Center.“The goal of the panel is to show students that after an instance of sexual violence, they have multiple choices and avenues to pursue support, whether that be physical medical care, emotional care, counseling, or spiritual support in terms of talking to someone from campus ministry,” said Regina Gesicki, assistant director of GRC. “They can do those things simultaneously or separate[ly], and there’s a lot of resources on campus and in the community that are ready and waiting and available for students to help them heal from instances of violence.”Among the panelists were members of the GRC, the University Health Center, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, the Office of Community Standards and NDSP.Melissa Lindley, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, said she wants to ensure Notre Dame is foremost a safe community.“My number one priority is to make sure that were in compliance with the Office of Civil Rights and really, just to make sure that our campus is a healthy, safe place free from discrimination and harassment,” Lindley said.Although students sometimes feel the process of reporting instances of sexual violence is daunting, Lindley said, Notre Dame works very hard to make the process a streamlined one so that the complainant does not have to repeat the story many times.“[The complainants] have a lot of control in the process,” Lindley said. “I think that is one common misperception. Students often feel like the situation is out of their hands … Sometimes they do feel like it is too much [work to complete the process] and after the investigation, they say that they don’t want to move on, and we do try to respect their wishes. The only time when we would have to maybe go against their wishes would be if there is a major threat to campus safety.”Dave Chapman, the associate director and deputy chief of NDSP, addressed the e-mails that are sent out at times of reports of sexual misconduct.“We try to make it as vague as possible because we don’t want the victim to be identified; we just want the community to know that this happened on our campus,” Chapman said.Heather Ryan, assistant director of the Office of Community Standards, said issues of sexual violence are treated very seriously at Notre Dame.“If someone is found responsible for sexual misconduct, specifically non-consensual penetration, they would likely be permanently dismissed,” Ryan said. “We do take it very seriously, as something that is very important and that we have to protect our community.”Sophomore and GRC event facilitator Katie Benz said it is important for students to know that they are not alone.“The GRC is very open to students for not only advice for themselves but for other students as well,” Benz said. “The GRC is very adamant about promoting gender relations on campus, so that everyone feels welcome.”Tags: deputy title IX coordinator, Gender Relations Center, GRC, know your IX, resources for sexual violence, Sexual Violence Awareness Monthlast_img read more

Observer elects next Editor-in-Chief for upcoming term

first_imgThe Observer General Board elected current News Editor Courtney Becker as Editor-in-Chief for the 2018-2019 term Saturday.Becker, a junior living in Pasquerilla West Hall, is currently pursuing a major in Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) with a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy (JED).“Courtney has been one of the most talented reporters at The Observer over the last three years, and she has shown herself to be an excellent leader as News Editor this year,” outgoing Editor-in-Chief Ben Padanilam said. “Her commitment to and passion for The Observer is unparalleled, and I am excited to see what she will accomplish next year.”A New York City native, Becker has led the News department since March 2017. Throughout her time in the News department, Becker has written extensively about the University’s various expansion projects and how national politics affect the political climate on campus.“I am so excited and honored to lead The Observer for the next year,” Becker said. “The Observer has taken plenty of great strides forward since I joined it during my freshman year, and I have learned so much from the people with whom I’ve worked. I hope to continue that progress from this year’s Editorial Board moving forward, and I am looking forward to covering the issues that affect campus in new ways.”Becker will begin her term as Editor-in-Chief on March 4.Tags: Editor-in-Chieflast_img read more

Student treated for tuberculosis-like symptoms

first_imgAn email signed by University Health Services (UHS) director Sharon McMullen announced Wednesday to the Notre Dame student body that a “graduate student/professional school student” was recently treated for “symptoms associated with tuberculosis (TB).”“The student has been tested at a local hospital and the results are pending,” the email said.Due to privacy concerns, the UHS is not releasing the student’s name or “identifying information” at this time.“Due to the public health implications of this disease and out of an abundance of caution, UHS staff members are working closely with the St. Joseph County Health Department to identify others who may have come in contact with this individual,” the email said.According to the email, individuals who are determined to have been “close contacts” with the patient will be able to take a TB test in the coming days. Students will be able to take the test at UHS in St. Liam Hall; faculty and staff will be able to take the test at the University Wellness Center.The email explained that individuals can contract TB from “prolonged, direct contact” with the “respiratory droplets” of a person suffering from the “active” TB. Although TB has the potential to be serious, it can be treated and is unlikely to be life threatening so long as patients receive appropriate medical care.“The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is of paramount importance, and our prayers are with the individual who is experiencing symptoms of the disease. We appreciate the guidance provided by the staff of the St. Joseph County Health Department and will continue to work closely with them,” the email said.Tags: health, St. Joseph County Health Department, tuberculosis, University Health Serviceslast_img read more

Student group hosts programming to foster student engagement with the Snite

first_imgStop by the Snite Museum of Art this Friday for the “The Professor’s Pick,” sponsored by the Snite Student Programing Committee (Snite SPC) and featuring professor and Irish scholar Diarmuid Ó Giolláin.The free event will run from 1-2:00 p.m. and is one of several events the Snite SPC organizes to foster student engagement with the Snite. Rachel Heisler, the assistant curator of education and academic programs at the Snite, said she recently reformed how Snite has been run to increase its outreach to students.“We’re broadening our reach … you don’t need to know anything about art to be involved,” she said.The Snite SPC is run through the museum and is composed of 20-25 students devoted to helping connect students to the plethora of opportunities the museum has to offer, Heisler said.“We have 90-100% attendance for every meeting,” Heisler said. “The members [of Snite SPC] are creative. They think about how to use space and objects as a way to get people to engage and use them in new ways. They have a passion to connect and bring the museum beyond its role as a museum.”The Snite SPC is composed of students from diverse majors, backgrounds and years, Heisler said. They meet every Tuesday to brainstorm new ways to get students involved or improve past events.Sophomore Marie Latham, one of the two SPC coordinators for the group, has been involved in Snite SPC since her freshman year. As a coordinator, she helps lead weekly meetings and handle logistics of SPC events. In her time in SPC, Latham said she has seen how the committee has successfully increased student engagement with the museum.“The ‘Anyone Can Art: Bob Ross’ event has been our most successful event so far,” she said. “… We gave people free reign of the event and let people design their own experience.”Latham said the “DIY” art event, inspired by painter and television host Bob Ross, recently attracted approximately 300 visitors to Snite in September.Latham and the committee are in the midst of planning “Snite Fright,” the group’s signature and most popular event, she said, scheduled for Oct. 31 — Halloween night. The night’s activities will include screen printing, a Halloween-themed tour and a “mystery-themed game.”Senior Scott Somers, a member of SPC for three years, said he is also excited about the committee and its members.“It helps that the group is so diverse,” he said. “We have a lot of art majors but a wide array of others like physics, business, english and anthropology.”Before becoming an active member of the Snite SPC, Somers said he was not aware of all the opportunities Snite had to offer.“I wanted to learn more about it,” he said. “One thing led to another, and I have been involved ever since. Give the Snite a chance.”Tags: Snite Fright, Snite Museum of Art, Snite Student Programming Committeelast_img read more

Congressman Reed To Join County Chamber Of Commerce Call On Monday

first_imgJAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is inviting all local businesses to join them each Monday at 3:30 p.m. for a weekly conference call via web or phone, and this Monday’s guest will be Congressman Tom Reed.Congressman Reed will discuss the federal legislative packages that have been approved to help the business community during the COVID-19 pandemic and additional legislation that may be pending.Reed previously told WNYNewsNow that a “Phase Four” stimulus package should address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Any business or organization is welcome to join these meetings. They can do so by visiting: www.chautauquachamber.org/covid-19-and-the-workplace.html. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

New York Governor Raises Alarm About New Virus Hot Spots

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised alarm Monday about the emergence of a handful of coronavirus hot spots in New York, saying just 10 ZIP codes represented more than a quarter of the state’s new infections in recent testing.New York has reported just over 11,500 new COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks, according to state figures.A disproportionate number of new cases have come from a handful of communities in New York City and its northern suburbs that are home to many Orthodox Jews, who on Monday were marking the high holiday of Yom Kippur.Of the 834 new cases reported Sunday, 27% were in a group of 10 ZIP codes that included several Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens and in several Hasidic communities in Rockland County. The state also reported an unusual number of positive tests in an area north of Binghamton in New York’s Southern Tier, a region Cuomo has warned is seeing clusters stemming from a Steuben County nursing home, a church gathering in Chemung County and a pub in Broome County.Health officials in the city and in Rockland and Orange counties have previously raised concerns about rising rates in Hasidic communities, which saw students at religious schools return to in-person learning in early September. Public schools in the city are rolling out in-person learning this week.Cuomo declined to single out any particular group for the spike.“Whatever the population, the answer’s going to be the same — it’s compliance,” Cuomo told reporters Monday afternoon.He urged school leaders to put in requests now for rapid testing machines, which Cuomo said have a 15 minute turnaround for results. The governor said the state has 200 rapid testing machines available for those communities.“The key with these clusters is to jump on them quickly, attack on all sides,” he said.Cuomo also called on local government officials to better enforce COVID-19 restrictions in bars, restaurants and other gatherings.New York City health officials have said they are considering re-imposing restrictions on gatherings in select city neighborhoods where the virus was spreading.Cuomo acknowledged people are getting sick of wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart, but cautioned, “You’ll offend them even more deeply if you start doing close-downs, and that’s what’s going to happen.”Statewide, about 1.5% of people who sought COVID-19 tests wound up testing positive in results reported Sunday. Cuomo warned though that in a handful of ZIP codes, that rate is now up over 20%.Cuomo warned his administration could close schools in areas where too many people are testing positive for the virus.Still, New York’s rate of new infections is far lower than many states: the state reported about four new cases per 100,000 New Yorkers over the past week. That seven-day average reached nearly 50 in April.New York hospitals reported 543 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, the most since Aug. 18 but only a fraction of the nearly 19,000 who were in the hospital at the pandemic’s April peak.last_img read more

Pfizer: New Vaccine Results-Safe, 95% Effective

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Pixabay Stock Image.NEW YORK – The final analysis of Pfizer’s new Coronavirus vaccine confirms that it is 95-percent effective with no safety concerns.An independent group monitoring the phase three clinical trial says the vaccine even proved effective in higher risk, older adults.The 95-percent efficacy rate came after only eight of the thousands of vaccinated patients caught Coronavirus.162 of the patients in the study who contracted COVID-19 received the placebo. The only side effect reported from the vaccination was fatigue, which was reported in fewer than four percent of patients after the second dose.Pfizer and its collaborator BioNTech will seek emergency use authorization from the FDA within days.last_img read more

Same Old Browns? Hardly. Cleveland Drills Steelers 48-37

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Matt Starkey / ClevelandBrowns.com.PITTSBURGH (AP) — So much for the weight of history. Or practicing. Or having your head coach on the sideline. Or an emotional leader on the field.The Cleveland Browns overcame all of it. The burden of carrying the mantle of a franchise that’s long been a punchline. A schedule ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak. A rival that for years has treated them like a harmless little brother.All of that’s over. For now. And maybe for good.The Browns dismantled the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in the wild-card round Sunday night, picking up the franchise’s first postseason victory in more than a quarter-century and earning a trip to Kansas City next Sunday to face the defending Super Bowl champions. “We believe in the people in the room no matter what’s going on,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “We knew that everybody was counting us out. There was no extra pressure or anything. No one believed in us besides us.”Playing with first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and top cornerback Denzel Ward back in Cleveland after all tested positive for COVID-19, Cleveland (12-5) raced to the biggest first half by a road team in NFL playoff history then held on.Mayfield threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, including a screen pass that Nick Chubb turned into a 40-yard score that halted Pittsburgh’s momentum after the Steelers pulled within 12. Kareem Hunt added 48 yards and two TDs on the ground while Cleveland’s defense forced five turnovers to hand the Steelers (12-5) a staggering loss.The victory was the Browns’ first postseason triumph of any kind since beating New England on New Year’s Day 1995 — three months before Mayfield was born — and their first playoff win on the road since Dec. 28, 1969.The significance wasn’t lost on special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, a Cleveland native who found himself filling in when Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19.“I grew up (a Browns fan), so I know what this means,” Priefer said.Cleveland did it despite practicing just once over the last two weeks and having lost 17 straight at Heinz Field. The Browns did it with efficiency and swagger. And they did it with Priefer at the controls and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt taking over the play-calling duties as Stefanski watched in his basement back in Ohio.“We have a resilient team,” Mayfield said. “Defense played great in the first half and we kind of stalled out and let them climb back in the game, but that’s a great team win right there — guys stepping up all over the board. I’m proud of these guys.”The Steelers certainly helped, ending a season in which they started 11-0 with a thud that could reverberate for years. Ben Roethlisberger ended his comeback season by throwing for 501 yards on an NFL-record 47 completions with four touchdowns and four interceptions.“I don’t have any magical answers,” Roethlisberger said. “We just didn’t put it together. Tonight, the glaring issues is we turned the ball over.”And over. And over. And the NFL’s third-ranked defense could do little to stem the tide. The Steelers led the NFL in sacks but failed to get to Mayfield. Cleveland’s 48 points were the most Pittsburgh has given up in the playoffs, surpassing the 45 to Jacksonville in the 2017 playoffs.Pittsburgh’s problems started on the first play from scrimmage when center Maurkice Pouncey’s snap sailed by Roethlisberger into the end zone. Cleveland’s Karl Joseph fell on it for a touchdown. Roethlisberger threw three first-half interceptions, two of which led directly to Browns scores.By the time the Steelers found their footing, they were down 28-0. Even when they did get it going on a 1-yard touchdown run by James Conner with 1:44 to go in the half, the Browns stormed right back. Mayfield capped a cathartic opening half with a masterful 64-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard toss to Austin Hooper with 34 seconds remaining. Pittsburgh countered with a field goal in the closing seconds but trailed 35-10 at the break.Pittsburgh tried to claw back in it. The Steelers pulled within 35-23 at the end of the third quarter. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Pittsburgh 46 on the first play of the fourth, Tomlin opted to punt.“I wanted to pin them down and maybe provide a short field for their offense,” Tomlin said. “I just wanted to keep the momentum going in terms of field positioning.”It didn’t work out. The kick bounced into the end zone for a touchback and Mayfield calmly took Cleveland 80 yards in six plays. The sideline erupted as Chubb streaked into the end zone.So much for the Browns being the Browns, a winking assessment Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made about Cleveland in the middle of the week. Regardless of the intent — Smith-Schuster said after the game he didn’t regret it — Mayfield and All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett took it to heart.Then, in front of a mostly empty stadium and a national audience so accustomed to seeing them stumble, the Browns, who didn’t win a game in Garrett’s first season, took out their frustration by landing one haymaker after another.“We’re the Cleveland Browns,” Garrett said with a smirk. “Same old Cleveland Browns.”Not so much anymore.INJURIESBrowns: All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin was cleared to play after being listed as questionable with an “illness” on Friday. His return didn’t last long. He exited in the first half with a hamstring injury. Guard Michael Dunn, stepping in for Bitonio, left in the fourth quarter with a calf issue.Steelers: Rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith sustained a high ankle sprain in the second half and did not return.UP NEXTBrowns: Will make their first divisional-round appearance since the 1994 playoffs when they face the Chiefs.Steelers: Head into what will be a busy offseason. Several high-profile players, including Smith-Schuster and outside linebacker Bud Dupree, will become free agents. The 38-year-old Roethlisberger will also have to decide whether he wants to return for an 18th season.last_img read more

Marco Zunino Will Play Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway

first_imgMarco Zunino is set to Razzle Dazzle ‘em in Chicago on Broadway! The Latin-American star will play Billy Flynn for 16 performances June 1 through June 14 at the Ambassador Theatre.Zunino made his Broadway debut as Flynn back in 2012. His additional theater credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Rent, Cabaret and The Boy from Oz. Following his stint on the Great White Way, Zunino will reprise his performance in Chicago for the seven-week English language engagement at The National Theater of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, June 20 through August 8. 2015.Chicago currently stars Brandy Norwood as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, John Dossett as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. Chicago Related Shows View Comments from $49.50last_img read more

Daniel Craig Reveals: ‘I Don’t Want to Do B’way Anymore’

first_img View Comments We’re shaken and stirred with this news—Daniel Craig will not be coming back to the Great White Way. “I’ve done Broadway and I was happy with that, but I don’t want to do Broadway anymore,” the current James Bond told DuJour.Happily, Craig is not ruling out a return to the Big Apple stage entirely, saying: “I’d like to do some theater in New York,” apparently within the next two years. He has appeared on the Great White Way twice, making his Main Stem debut in 2009’s A Steady Rain, before returning in 2013 to star opposite his wife, Rachel Weisz, in a sold-out run of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.Craig is best known for his role as James Bond in Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale and the upcoming Spectre. His other film credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Defiance, The Golden Compass, Munich, Layer Cake and Road to Perdition.One thing we know for sure about Craig’s return to the boards? It will definitely not be in a James Bond musical…last_img read more

An American in Paris’ Robert Fairchild Will Briefly Return to City Ballet

first_imgTony nominee Robert Fairchild is temporarily going back to his roots, which, fortunately, are only a few blocks up from his current Broadway show. The An American in Paris star will return to the New York City Ballet, where he is a Principal Dancer, for three Broadway-themed performances this fall, the New York Times reports.Fairchild will first appear in a revival of “Thou Swell,” choreographed by Peter Martins and featuring music by Richard Rodgers. The revival is part of NYCB’s Fall Fashion Gala, set for September 30. It will feature vocals from fellow Tony nominees Norm Lewis and Rebecca Luker.On the afternoon of October 3 and evening of October 7, Fairchild will dance in George Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” the dance sequence that appears at the climax of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical On Your Toes. All three performances are set for the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.Fairchild currently stars as Jerry Mulligan in An American in Paris, which marks his Broadway debut. He has appeared as a soloist with NYCB since 2007 and as a Principal Dance since 2009.Fairchild will maintain his current schedule in An American in Paris; Garen Scribner regularly performs the role of Jerry on Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 9, 2016 An American in Paris Related Showslast_img read more

Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda Visits Something Rotten! Star Brian d’Arcy James

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017 View Comments Star Files Two wildly talented individuals. Two hit musicals. One crown. Hmmm. Hamilton mastermind and star Lin-Manuel Miranda visited his former King George (in Hamilton’s off-Broadway production at the Public Theater), Something Rotten! headliner Brian d’Arcy James and his castmates at the St. James Theatre. We can only assume Miranda whispered, “You’ll be back” to d’Arcy James after we snapped this shot. Then again, how can d’Arcy James ever walk away from bringing down the house nightly in a hit musical comedy about a couple of brothers, the Bard and some eggs. (P.S. That’s not the official description.)   Something Rotten! Related Shows Lin-Manuel Mirandalast_img read more

London Curious Incident Star Joseph Ayre on Meeting Alex Sharp, Playing a Teen & More

first_imgJoseph Ayre & the cast of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'(Photo: Brinkhoff-Mögenburg) View Comments Joseph Ayre only recently graduated from drama school and has already landed the leading role of Christopher, the mathematically gifted, socially challenged 15-year-old at the bruising heart of Simon Stephens’s hit play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre. Ayre is following where Olivier winner Luke Treadaway and Tony winner Alex Sharp first led, so those names were among the topics ripe for discussion when Broadway.com chatted with the ebullient young actor.How does it feel to make your professional stage debut in one of the most acclaimed plays of recent years?It’s been a trial by fire. For the first three weeks, I was absolutely convinced something had gone wrong or that they had the wrong guy, but I’m now in my fourth week, so I guess not. I’m quite chuffed. I gather you had a visit backstage the other night from the role’s Broadway originator, Alex Sharp. That was really awesome. I only found out at the end of the performance which was good because if they had told me before that he was in [the audience], I would have been an absolute mess. He’s such a nice, sweet guy and it was really nice to meet someone who had gone through it. He knew what it took to do [the part] onstage, and you could tell he was really empathizing with what I had done.Did he have any advice for you?Well, I don’t think he wanted to be overbearing with his presence. It was more a matter of being complimentary and sympathetic. We stood there agreeing that the role’s a bugger: he could not have been more down to earth. Had you seen the production prior to taking on the part of Christopher?Actually, I made a point of not doing that. I decided it would be better to do it as if the part had just started with me rather than looking to see if, for example, someone got a laugh on a certain line and then I started trying myself to get the same laugh. You’re not doing all eight shows, so now you can see your alternate in the part.That’s right, I do five shows and Tom [actor Thomas Dennis] does three, which means that I have been able a few times to see him and also watch the play unfold. What’s interesting is that the play seems a much smaller thing when you’re in it, but watching someone else do it, you realize the enormity and scope of the entire thing, which really helps. Did you know the original Mark Haddon novel before this all came along?I’d heard of the book but I’d not read it before, so the first thing I did when I got this was read the book and it was just amazing. Actually, I have two copies in my dressing room. I got one proper copy as a gift from my girlfriend and then a second copy to scribble in which has my notes in it and is a bit of a mess. One of the books is next to a bottle of gin someone bought me: my dressing room is like a bohemian paradise!Why do you think the play has had such prolonged success?I’m biased, obviously, but I think it has to do with how well the character of Christopher is written. He’s so lovable that you can’t help but love him by the end of the show, and in the book, it’s even more so. The script also allows a marriage between the text and physical work that is itself so interesting and unique that the result is like a once-in-a-lifetime lightning in a bottle.Christopher is quite the whiz at math, is that true of you?That’s not my strong suit at all so that part of things is quite a challenge. The thing with Christopher is that he thinks 10 times faster than I do and speaks 10 times faster, so my task is to get up to speed with his thought. It’s about taking the air out of it but without rushing: you’ve got to get his pace of thought.  The character also exists on the autistic spectrum.He does although Mark Haddon writes that he is not an expert on autism and really wishes in a sense that people would see the play as a show about difference rather than disability. The point is, this isn’t a realistic representation of autism, it’s an artistic one, so I’ve got to keep all that in mind while honoring Christopher and who he is and doing that justice. I haven’t got any bottles thrown at me yet. And you have to play someone who’s 15.Right, when I will be 23 in February! The funny thing is at drama school, I tended to play older, not younger, so playing someone that young was quite daunting. What I realized early on was that it wasn’t about aging down and putting on funny voices. The play is strong enough that you just need to be truthful and the audience will go along with it. It’s more about how he reacts to things that scare him that maybe wouldn’t scare someone who was older. There’s a lot in the play about Christopher’s journey to London, which you have had to make yourself, since you come from the Yorkshire city of Hull, several hours north of London. Absolutely, the difference being that it’s so easy for me to pack my suitcase and get on the train to come down to London whereas the second act of the play is really Christopher’s odyssey to get to his mum’s house in London, and I think it takes a lot of determination and grit for him to get there. Every time I go home on the tube [subway], I have a flash of Christopher, who would be so terrified in that moment but I’m not—so I have a lot of sympathy for him. Is there any friendly competition or rivalry between you and the alternate Christopher?Well, Tom is 19, so he’s closer in age to the part than I am. In fact, we’ve just bought a chess board so we can play Christopher vs. Christopher chess, and Tom is winning so far. I have a sneaky suspicion he may be smarter than me but we’ll see. last_img read more

Okra: Historical, Versatile

first_imgOkra shines in the garden.You’ve probably seen pictures of Hawaiian girls with large hibiscus blossoms tuckedbehind their ears. Well, okra blossoms aren’t quite as showy as those, but they’re in thehibiscus family.They’re among the most beautiful blooms in the vegetable garden, too. They’re ivory tocreamy yellow with deep reddish-purple throats.They bloom for only a day. By sundown, okra flowers are wilted, whether or not they’vebeen pollinated.If it’s sunny and good bee-buzzing weather, you’ll see tiny okra pods underneath thewilted flowers. Not all will be pollinated, but since okra will blossom for a long time,you should get a sizeable harvest.Asia — central to southern, to the best of my research — gave us okra. It grows wildin the upper Nile region, too, and was used in northern Africa for centuries. In fact,okra is an African word.Trading ships brought okra to this country, and it quickly found favor as a crop and aningredient in French and Creole cooking in Louisiana.Okra is a tasty, important ingredient in many foods, especially Creole dishes.I would never think of making shrimp gumbo without adding okra about 30 minutes beforeserving. Gumbo, from the word “gombo,” means okra, a natural thickener for soupsand stews.Okra is often stewed with tomatoes, deep-fried, pickled, boiled or steamed and servedwith butter, as well as eaten raw, fresh from the garden.Some folks don’t like the gummy quality okra has when it’s boiled or steamed. It seemsmore popular when combined with other vegetables, fried or pickled.I’ve made coffee out of okra seeds. Just let some pods ripen on the plant, collect theseeds when the pod ribs have opened, and roast and grind the seeds.Perk this “coffee,” using more of the ground okra than you would regularcoffee. Although I’ll never see “Okra Java” at a trendy coffee house, whoknows….For history buffs, okra coffee was used during the Late Unpleasantness with the Northwhen blockades were in place and coffee wasn’t available. W.N. White, in Gardening forthe South (1858), said, “I think it is not very likely to supersede.”Still other people take advantage of the versatile okra by grinding the dried seeds andmixing them with cornmeal to make bread.Because okra grows best in hot climates, it’s one of those vegetables considered a”Southern” crop. It is true that the southern parts of our country have thelong, hot growing seasons okra needs to bear really well, but you can grow it anywhere.Because okra can’t tolerate frost and doesn’t like cool weather, north Georgia yieldsmay not be as high as from plants grown farther south. But you can make up for that bysimply growing a few extra plants.Some gardeners prefer to either buy transplants or start their own indoors to plantoutside when the weather and ground have warmed enough.Okra has a reputation for being hard to transplant. It has a very long tap root, andwhen it’s broken, the plant doesn’t recover.Most gardeners sow their okra seeds right in the ground at the proper time. The propertime is after the soil is warm. Really warm. Okra will just sit there and may rot in coldsoils. Remember — it is tropical.But if you want to, and are willing to take a little extra care of the long tap, youcan successfully transplant okra.All your efforts can be ruined by “damping off,” a fungus disease thatattacks emerging seedlings, if you don’t take steps to prevent it.To prevent damping off, treat seeds with a fungicide you can buy at a garden supplystore. Follow the directions on the package.last_img read more

Ancient Tree Flowers

first_imgSurrounded by trees, it’s easy to overlook their value. It’s also easy to ignore theirgreat biological history. But deep in the past, the story of trees contains many lessons. The wind was left behind in the forest top, along with the many wind-pollinatedflowers of other tree species. Long ago on a continent far away was a warm, humid forest. In it were many kinds ofplants, each locked into fierce competition to collect and control resources. Thesuccessful ones could grow, defend themselves and reproduce. Only successful plantssurvived. The showy tree flowers we see today are from this lineage. Their bright colors are astop sign for animals to explore, maybe receive a treat — and fertilize the tree bycarrying pollen. To succeed, a tree had to reproduce. One successful reproduction system was “conebearing.” Early in tree history, many forms of spirally designed cones were producedon branches and along trunks for seed production. These trees also produced small, fragile cones that held pollen. When these conesmature, they rupture and release millions of pollen grains. For creatures that use sight and smell, tree flowers can be great attractants and anecessity. Trees have come a long way from a simple, small, magnolia-like flower inthe bottom of a forest to the widely diverse tree-borne flowers we see outside ourwindows. Large, woody cones held seeds where the tree could nourish the embryos, and wherethe wind could catch seed edges and wings for distribution across the forest. Georgia’s trees tell many stories of success and failure, an ecological heritage that hassheltered humans from climate and poverty. One day among the dinosaurs, a genetic experiment was set up. A small tree, growingbeneath much larger and taller brethren, generated a flower. It wasn’t derived, as coneswere, from woody twigs but from modified leaves.center_img Warm, sunny days with low relative humidity help release pollen. The air around thesmall cones buoyed up the pollen as the wind swirled it around the canopy tops. The forests, savannahs and prairies of Earth are covered with wind-borne pollenproducers. From some perspectives, showy flowers are relics of a genetic experimentthat failed. People have been able to extract great value from these showy-floweredspecies. This tree flower was designed not for the wind, but to attract insects, birds and smallmammals. Only those trees whose crowns were up in the wind could distribute pollen and seedssuccessfully to new sites. Young trees had to survive for years beneath taller light- andwind-blocking trees for their place in the sun. Across the plant kingdom, the showy flowers have been successful in many places. Butthe miniaturized wind-pollinated flowers have become even more successful. In this experiment, all the tree traits (and all the resources required for these traits)needed to use wind power for reproduction could now be used instead to induceanimals to move pollen. This required new parts and designs. Trees generated newcolors, shapes and smells as enticements. For little trees, the dungeons or understories of these forests were hard to escape beforecompetition and pests eliminated them. The spring you see and smell had its roots in an ancient forest.last_img read more


first_imgDespite recent rains, Georgia is still in a four-year drought, says state climatologist David Stooksbury. Many areas remain under and odd-even outdoor watering rotation.No one can predict how much rain the summer will bring. But it’s likely that your outdoor water use will be rationed or banned entirely this summer. So to avoid a sudden panic when this happens, start droughtproofing your landscape now.First, check out your current water use patterns to see what parts of your landscape get the most water.Typically, turf areas get the most irrigation. After all, turf is often used as a welcome mat to the home. A lush, green carpet adds to the home’s curb appeal.Drought-tolerant TurfHowever, some turf grasses are more drought-tolerant than others. Bermuda, for instance, ranks high. It will actually go dormant during drought, then bounce back when rain resumes. Fescue, on the other hand, may die if it’s not watered when rainfall is limited.Along coastal Georgia, a new drought-tolerant grass called seashore paspalum is being widely used. Depending on your current grass species, changing over to a more drought-tolerant grass may significantly reduce your landscape’s water demand.Another option would be to replace an irrigated turf area with a drought-tolerant ground cover. Use plants such as liriope or mondo grass in shaded areas. And plant Asiatic jasmine, variegated liriope or a low-growing, horizontal juniper such as Blue Rug or Prince of Wales in full-sun sites.Once established, these plants require little to no irrigation. Check with local nurseries about ordering bare-root or “liner” plants (rooted cuttings in 2-inch pots). This is an economical way to plant a large area. Many groundcover nurseries in Georgia sell bare-root and liner plants.Annual Flowers DemandingMost annual flowers demand lots of water. Consider placing these plants in one or two large containers near the entrance to your home, rather than in big ground beds.Plastic pots may be a better choice than terra cotta, which lose moisture through their sides and dry out faster. Use as large a container as you can for the space. The larger soil volume will allow more root growth and won’t dry out as fast as a small pot.Two to three sheets of newspaper on the surface of the container before planting will help prevent water loss. Then add a layer of pine bark mulch or pine straw after planting as another barrier to moisture loss.Just Say MulchChanging landscapes to save water doesn’t have to cost a lot. For instance, a natural mulch area can replace an irrigated area.Many cities and counties supply wood mulch to local citizens at low cost to keep yard waste out of the landfill. An added layer of mulch around established ornamental plants will help prevent evaporative water loss, too. It will keep the soil moist for a longer time.Still another water saver may be simply to irrigate fewer plants or less often. Maybe you’re watering plants that don’t need as much water as you’re giving them. Most well-established ornamental shrubs and trees can survive weeks without irrigation.’Listen’ to PlantsPlants will tell you when they need water by turning gray-green or wilting. Use a hand-held hose with a water breaker to apply water slowly, targeting plants that need water. Let the water soak in slowly to avoid runoff.If you can’t water at all due to local bans, prune back wilted plants to reduce their foliar demand for water and help them through a dry time.To learn more about water-wise landscaping and water conservation, visit this University of Georgia Web site: http://interests.caes.uga.edu/drought/articles/restrictinfo.htm. Or contact your county UGA Extension Service office for publications and recommendations for your area.last_img read more

Raindrop life lessons

first_imgBy Wade HutchesonUniversity of GeorgiaWhat if raindrops had personalities? What if they got to knoweach other in the clouds before bailing out? Can you imagine theconversations?”Hey Ralph, you ready to go?””Yeah, Morty. Just give me a minute.””We’re over the fields in 30 seconds. Remember what you saidhappened the last time you were late. You landed in town.Heh-heh.”They bail out of the cloud, Ralph first, with Morty close behind.”Ball up tight,” Morty yells. “You’ll stay together better, andthe spin is incredible!”They land a mile apart, and only one is smiling.Ralph hits a hayfield and is immediately absorbed by the soil andgrabbed by grass roots. He will wait there until plant processesare completed and transpiration releases him back into the air.Morty, though, lands in town, in a well-watered, manicured yardthat’s just been fertilized and treated with herbicide. Theherbicide has chemically bonded to the soil, but the raindiminishes its effect. Most of the fertilizer runs off with thecollected raindrops into a pond, making the algae and other weedsflourish so the owner will have to use herbicides. Are you helping or hurting the water quality problem?Yes, my imagination ran wild. But the point is this: What we do,or allow to happen, in our landscape affects water quality. Waterruns downhill, and we all live downhill from somebody. Do yourbest to be part of the water quality solution and not theproblem.The solution isn’t always a pesticide or more fertilizer. Infact, if a gardener does his homework first, he can preventmany problems and save time and money.The best way to avoid plant pest and disease problems is startwith a healthy plant. That means matching the site and soilwith the right plant, properly planted, watered and fertilized.After that, make regular inspections. Get out and enjoy thelandscape at least once a week to know what’s going on with yourplants.By the time most people detect a disease problem, fungicidesaren’t going to help. Most bug problems don’t require apesticide, and there are other ways to handle weeds.The solution isn’t always a chemical. Did you ever stop to thinkthat something you did or didn’t do when that plant was plantedmight be the problem?I’m not saying never use chemicals. They’re one tool in thetoolbox. When you use them wisely, according to the label, theycan accomplish the desired result.But take the time to identify the problem, research your controloptions and take the route best suited to achieve control withthe least negative impact on our environment. And if the labelsays 1 ounce per gallon, 2 ounces per gallon won’t kill it anydeader.Again, I’m not saying chemicals cause all the water qualityproblems, but I’m writing to gardeners now, and many gardenersreach for a chemical first, no questions asked. Silt and sediment are the big culpritsThe biggest cause of water quality problems is silt and sedimentstemming from erosion. Like it or not, even our pets are a partof the problem. So are all the things, from cans to cars, thatpeople throw away, often into creeks and rivers.But we left Morty in the middle of the pond. The fertilizer wasall gone by the time he got there, but it was feeding weeds.Morty found his way into the pond’s spillway and then the creek,river and ocean. It took a while, but eventually he rejoined theclouds and was ready for another trip. He and Ralph, though, wereseparated forever. That happens when you’re a raindrop.That’s all I know about Ralph and Morty. To learn more about howyour gardening practices can contribute to improved waterquality, though, contact your county office of the University ofGeorgia Extension Service.last_img read more

Manure management

first_imgThe term “small farm” brings to mind anything from a couple of horses on several acres to a family dairy or feedlot. Despite the varying definitions, all small farms share the common challenge to properly manage a common problem – manure. Specialists from across the United States have scheduled an information session to help small farmers manage manure problems. The hour-long seminar will cover challenges for small farmers, environmental issues and how to develop a nutrient management plan. The national Webcast session is set for Friday, June 20 beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The session will be led by University of Nebraska Extension engineer Chris Henry, North Carolina State University waste management extension specialist Mark Rice, University of New Jersey animal scientist Michael Westendorf and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service specialist Fred Kelly.The seminar is hosted by the Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center, part of eXtension, an educational partnership of land-grant colleges across the nation.The Webcast can be accessed at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/lpelc/ on June 20. The session will officially begin at 2:30 p.m. EDT, but participants can log on as early as 2:15 p.m. EDT.For more information about small farm environmental issues, see the national eXtension Web site at http://www.extension.org/pages/Small_Farm_Environmental_Issues_Articles.last_img read more

Drought Tolerant Sorghum

first_imgWhen University of Georgia plant geneticist Andrew Paterson began searching for lines of sorghum that might survive in some of the most parched places in the world, he didn’t plant trials in the desert.He started out by researching which plants could survive a winter in Georgia.“We don’t see a lot of correlation between surviving cold and surviving drought,” Paterson said.But when sorghum that could withstand a Georgia winter was planted half a world away, the results were stunning: 48 percent survived eight months without rain in the north African nation of Mali.Paterson, a Regents Professor in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, heads up the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Climate-Resilient Sorghum. The $4.98 million U.S. Agency for International Development Feed the Future project is aimed at creating varieties of sorghum that can survive extreme drought and appeal to those who eat the cereal as part of their traditional diet.Sorghum – a crop sometimes called the “camel of cereals” because of its ability to withstand drought – requires about one-third less water than wheat and half of the water maize needs. It is a native plant and traditional staple crop in some African countries where climate change is exacerbating food insecurity, so providing farmers with an even more drought-resilient sorghum could give them a crop to count on, even in the driest years.In the U.S., sorghum is used mostly for animal feed and fuel. It’s also a component in syrup and gluten-free versions of otherwise starchy products (like beer), but it’s not a major food crop.“It’s just not part of our culture,” Paterson said. “But sorghum is an important food in parts of Africa, where some people may receive 30 percent of their daily calories from it. It may be compared to rice in some Asian cultures.” In its third year, the climate-resilient sorghum project has made progress in its mission to use genomics tools to create even hardier varieties of sorghum, all the while promoting sustainable farming by preserving and restoring soil and water resources.The work started in Georgia when Paterson began to look for sorghum lines that could grow perennially.Like most cereal grains, sorghum is an annual, producing seeds and dying at the end of each growing season, only to start again from seeds in the next season. This requires farmers to till and replant each year, disturbing the soil each time. Minimizing that soil disruption can curtail erosion and keep topsoil in place.Growing trials in Georgia and coordinating with The Land Institute’s Stan Cox in Kansas, Paterson started to see which lines of sorghum could survive the cold of winter, a first step to see which lines might live weeks without rain.“We had many genotypes that could overwinter in Georgia and even a few that could overwinter in Kansas,” he said.A student working with Paterson and Cox, Wenqian Kong, chose about 100 lines that had favorable yield and other properties, and a collaborator in Mali, Eva Weltzien with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), took over.“She planted the lines about June, and they went through their normal growing season. Then, they had an eight-month period with absolutely no rainfall. About 48 percent of the lines had some survival,” Paterson said.Now, Paterson and colleagues are looking for diagnostic DNA markers in those survivors that might help them select for the resiliency trait without enduring another eight-month dry season.The ability to survive both cold and drought is connected to the plant’s ability to make rhizomes, underground shoots that may seem like roots, but are actually stems that can store energy for the plant and grow into an above-ground stem.Its ability to grow rhizomes led Paterson to another plant that might lend some of its resiliency to sorghum: Johnsongrass.Considered by farmers and gardeners to be a noxious weed, Johnsongrass is prolific at growing rhizomes, spreading itself into fields and garden plots and pastures throughout the U.S. Looking to give a small portion of that ability to sorghum, Paterson used “backcrossing,” a traditional breeding process that repeatedly introduces a desired trait into a cross between two plants.“We made a backcross to sorghum, so the progeny are 75-percent sorghum, 25-percent Johnsongrass,” he said.The progeny flowered at the wrong time for Africa, but proved the concept that the Johnsongrass trait could be transferred into sorghum.The discovery couldn’t come at a better time.The countries of sub-Saharan Africa – where sorghum is a traditional crop – are some of the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. Drought has always been a concern, but now prolonged and extreme drought has become the worry.In 2015, Ethiopia was gripped in a drought so intense that Paterson’s partners there couldn’t test drought tolerance of new varieties.“They had no irrigation, so they were dependent on rainfall that they just weren’t getting. They made a judgment call that they didn’t want to lose the seed, so they didn’t plant that year,” he said. “They had enough rain this year, and the experiment is going well. It is sort of ironic that it is a challenge to study drought in certain places because drought has gotten so bad that even sorghum isn’t going to make it.”By the end of the project in 2018, plant breeders in Mali, Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa will have adapted lines of sorghum that are based on their local varieties, but with new mechanisms of drought resiliency bred into them.“That will be the biggest single deliverable of the project,” Paterson said. “It is also important that we were able to get the perennial lines through both cold seasons and dry seasons. Our African partners will continue to work toward creating perennial lines that can get multiple crops from a single planting.”Paterson, who also heads UGA’s Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, started working with sorghum 25 years ago as a junior faculty member at Texas A&M University.The plant’s simplicity attracted him. Its potential keeps him intrigued.“Among cereals, sorghum has a relatively small genome, which was useful for genomics studies,” he said. “But it has some interesting features, including climate resilience.“Drought tolerance is only going to become more important over time.”last_img read more

Smart Speakers

first_img“Hey Alexa, why do trees have leaves?”“Assistant, add 50 boxes of Oreos to my shopping cart.”“Siri, play ‘Scarface’ on TV.”Kids say the darnedest things, and with the advent of smart speakers, what they say can have some unforeseen consequences.Smart speakers can make busy parents’ lives easier while providing an opportunity for curious kids to learn to carry out simple tasks, like adding items to the grocery list or turning off their light at night with their voice. But smart speakers also present parents with new challenges, said Associate Professor Diane Bales, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension human development specialist.Questions remain, but smart speakers do have potentialSmart speakers present an opportunity for kids to find answers on any topic, like space or animals, but they also present an opportunity for chaos. Questions remain about the impact of smart speakers on children’s social and psychological well-being. The jury is still out on what those effects may be, if any, according to Bales.“We don’t know yet,” Bales said. “They’re so new that there hasn’t been time to research them.”“Overuse of technology, in general, is not a good thing for kids,” she said.On the other hand, smart speakers can spark a child’s desire to learn about new topics and get kids into the habit of investigating their world.“The speakers give children easy access to information in ways that even younger kids can understand,” she said. “Kids understand asking a question and getting an answer, so the speakers can be good tools for those kinds of things.”Companies are catching onThat said, there are lots of things parents don’t want their kids learning from a smart speaker.The best way to monitor a child’s smart speaker use is by being cautious, paying attention and monitoring their physical use. Bales suggests keeping the speaker in a public place in the home, outside of your child’s bedroom, and using the smart speaker’s parental controls.“One good thing about smart speakers is that you have to do things out loud, which limits what kids can access without their parents’ knowledge,” Bales said.Companies have instituted a number of parental controls in their speakers to take the monitoring burden off of parents.Amazon recently launched a kid-friendly Echo smart speaker. Other companies, like Google Assistant, have launched kid-friendly tools, such as Pretty Please, which requires children to use a polite tone of voice and say “Please” and “Thank you.”The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a colorful, protective case and uses Amazon’s FreeTime subscription service to block content, read Audible books aloud, set time limits, pause Alexa, and many other features that allow parents to control what their child accesses through Alexa.For more research-backed answers to questions about children and technology, visit www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/early-childhood.last_img read more

Fletcher Allen Health Care Names Interim COO

first_imgFletcher Allen Health Care announced that it has named John K. Evans as interim chief operating officer.Evans, 47, a 1977 graduate of the University of Vermont, brings 25 years of health care administration experience to Fletcher Allen having held a series of executive level positions at hospitals in the Connecticut area over the last 15 years and having spent 10 years in health care administration in the U.S. Army medical department.In his role at Fletcher Allen, Evans will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization and will report directly to Edwin Colodny, interim chief executive officer. He is scheduled to begin work on January 13.”I am delighted that we have been able to bring John Evans to Fletcher Allen,” said Ed Colodny. “John is an experienced health care administrator with strong ties to Vermont. He has extensive experience coordinating the operations of large hospitals in support of patient care.””I am looking forward to working closely with the physicians, nurses and staff at Fletcher Allen,” Evans said. “My style is to get out on the floors and use hands-on leadership as a way of improving systems and effecting positive change in the organization. I believe it’s the best approach to understanding the issues faced by those who provide the care.”Evans served as the senior vice president of medical center operations at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, CT, from 1996 to 2001, and as executive vice president/chief operating officer at St. Joseph Medical Center in Stamford from 1993 to 1996. St. Vincent’s is a 410-bed tertiary level acute care teaching hospital of the Ascension Health System and an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. St. Joseph is a 260-bed community teaching hospital that was purchased by St. Vincent’s and Stamford Health System as part of a new strategic alliance. Evans also served as vice president of Ambulatory Services at St. Joseph from 1987-89.In addition to his hospital experience, Evans’ background also includes having served as president and chief executive officer of a start-up, for-profit diversified healthcare services company in Bridgeport named NovaMed Corporation (1989-93). He also helped launch an innovative health care technology initiative named Strategic Solutions in 2002. Strategic Solutions is a division of Siemens Medical Solutions, which is a subsidiary of Siemens, a global company with $90 billion in revenues.He attended the University of Vermont earning a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science in 1977. After graduating from UVM, Evans began his medical career in the U.S. Army medical department where he held various health care executive positions for a period of 10 years. While in the Army, he earned his master’s in health administration from Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1985.As part of his graduate experience, he completed a year-long residency in health care administration, rotating through all clinical areas of Brooke Army Medical Center. At the end of this residency, Evans was the recipient of the Texas Hospital Association’s “Young Administrator” award.Evans is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a founding member of the Healthcare Change Institute, a think tank formed at Harvard University and The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, dedicated to advancing the knowledge and skills of healthcare leaders charged with implementing change.last_img read more

Vermont Celebrates Mentoring Month: Okemo Free Ski Day and Governor’s Proclamation Highlight Mentors’ Commitment

first_imgThis month, the Vermont Mentoring Partnership (VMP)leads the state into Mentoring Month, created to recognize the importance of mentoring nationwide. VMP, an organization connecting youth and adults in mentoring programs throughout Vermont, is taking the opportunity to honor Vermont mentors’ dedication and strong sense of community service. VMP currently supports 136 mentor programs statewide, serving over 2,000 youth.The theme for National Mentoring Month is “Who mentored you? Thank them … and pass it on! Mentor a child.” The philosophy behind “Who mentored you?” is to encourage individuals to recognize the importance of mentoring by inspiring them to think about people in their own lives– family members, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors– who provided support, and helped them learn and become who they are today.Okemo Mountain Resort and VMP team up on Thursday, January 16 to pay tribute to Vermont mentors and their youth matches. Okemo is donating ski passes and discounting equipment rentals to reward Vermont’s mentors for their hard work and dedication. “Okemo Mountain Resort boasts excellent skiing conditions as well as a long history of community involvement,” said Damon Tabor, VMP Executive Director. “Ski Day presents an unparalleled opportunity for mentors and their protégés to hit the slopes for a full day of free skiing and riding.”Governor Jim Douglas will read a statement proclaiming January to be Vermont Mentoring Month at his regularly scheduled press conference, while mentors and their youth matches look on. President Bush issued his proclamation on January 2, calling upon “the people of the United States to recognize the importance of being role models for our youth, to look for mentoring opportunities in their communities, and to celebrate this month…”Research shows that youth-adult mentor matches improve student grades, school attendance, career options, family relationships, and prevent drug and alcohol initiation. One of 23 state partnerships created by the National Mentoring Partnership, the VMP provides training, certification, funding, workshops, conferences, and technical assistance to the Vermont mentoring community.A media campaign accompanies VMP’s community outreach and educational activities during this month. For more information about mentoring in Vermont, log on to the Vermont Mentoring Partnership website (www.vtmentoring.org(link is external)) or call 1-800-VT-MENTOR.last_img read more

UPS to Help Birkenstock Shorten Order Time, Increase U.S. Product Offering

first_imgBirkenstock Footprint Sandals Inc., the 100 percent employee-owned company and U.S. importer and distributor of Birkenstock footwear from Germany, will shorten special-order handling time by weeks and increase its product offering in U.S. retail stores through an agreement with UPS Supply Chain Solutions.A new distribution program developed by UPS will manage special orders to the U.S. fulfilled by Birkenstock manufacturing centers in Germany. Special orders that once took months to ship to the U.S. now will take days.“UPS Supply Chain Solutions will help us bring additional new styles, colors and sizes of Birkenstock footwear to American consumers much faster than we have been able to do in the past,” said Birkenstock Chief Operating Officer Gene Kunde.Under the agreement, implemented this month, UPS Supply Chain Solutions will provide a dedicated team utilizing UPS’s full portfolio of services including air, ocean, customs brokerage and small package. The solutions allow shipments to go directly to retail outlets. This alleviates interim handling and repackaging steps typical of the retail distribution process. UPS also will deliver retailer orders for the Spring 2004 season beginning this fall.“While our main goal is to satisfy our customers, there also are significant operational benefits to this new distribution arrangement,” Kunde said. “The UPS program takes pressure off our U.S. warehouses and gives our retailers more options for consumers.”Birkenstock, the first company to introduce the U.S. market to the Euro-comfort shoe category in 1967, realized 20 percent growth in fiscal 2002, exceeding the industry average of six percent. The agreement with UPS Supply Chain Solutions will enable Birkenstock to keep pace with rapid growth while increasing its ability to respond to its retailers and consumer needs.last_img read more


first_imgROUNDTABLE RELEASES THIRD QUARTER, 2005CEO ECONOMIC OUTLOOK SURVEY RESULTSSouth Burlington, VT – Results from the Roundtable’s Third Quarter, 2005 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, show that business executives are expecting increases in both sales and capital expenditures over the coming six months, while employment levels will remain virtually unchanged from the previous reporting period.Chris Dutton, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power, is a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable. When asked to comment on his CEO Economic Outlook Survey responses, Dutton said, “The economy is strong in our service area. As we look ahead we expect increased sales. Additionally, the company expects to increase capital spending to make sure that our electric service is reliable, as that is what our customers value the most.”Conducted in the month of July, the Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey enjoyed a response rate of 62%. The key findings, which reflect the membership’s outlook for the next six months, include the following details:* 74% of responding CEOs expect an increase in consumer sales, 24% see no change, and 2% anticipate a decrease. [Second Quarter Results: Increase 75%, No Change 23%, Decrease 2%]* 57% expect capital spending to increase in the next six months, 38% see no change, and 5% anticipate a decrease. [Second Quarter Results: Increase 49%, No Change 43%, Decrease 8%]* 49% expect employment to increase, 44% see no change, and 7% anticipate a decrease. [Second Quarter Results: Increase 49%, No Change 42%, Decrease 9%]According to Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss, “The pattern for 2005 projected sales expectations mirrors the experience of 2004. If the pattern continues, we should see the fourth quarter 2005 demonstrate an upswing. A similar optimism exists regarding capital expenditures. Compared to this time last year, respondents are slightly more optimistic. In terms of employment levels, compared to this time last year, our members seem to be more conservative in their staffing projections.”-#-Created in 1987 as a nonprofit, public interest organization, the Vermont Business Roundtable iscomposed of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers dedicated to making Vermont the best place in America to do business, be educated, and live life. Member businesses employ over 47,000 employees in virtually every county across Vermont.last_img read more

Democrats, Republicans split over Douglas’ stimulus plan

first_imgGovernor announces Vermont economic stimulus packageGovernor Jim Douglas announced a $214 million dollar economic stimulus package in hopes of making Vermont the first state to bounce back from the national recession. His 15-point plan, which would cost the state $3 million in spending but generate more than $70 million alone in its first year, has caused a rift between Republican and Democratic leaders who are scrambling to review it before the session comes to a close in two weeks.The package, which the administration says could generate more than $214 million for the state in the next five years, addresses issues of construction, housing, transportation, student loans, and even proposes two tax free holidays.One suggestion involves state bonding for $80 million over the next five years to pay for road and bridge repairs, which would create construction jobs and accelerate infrastructure repairs. Even though Douglas previously rejected an increase in the state’s bonding, he says that his administration reduced the state’s bonding debt, and that a harsh winter, increase in gas prices, higher construction costs, and the current state of the economy mean Wall Street investment firms will understand if the state needs more money.He also proposed reducing the $30 million annual transfer from the Transportation Fund to the General Fund by $4.5 million every year beginning in 2010. The cut would last until the transfer was reduced to $15 million that would go towards state police funding.In an attempt to address the current housing shortage, Douglas’ package proposes leveraging state retirement funds to provide $17.4 million to help first time home buyers and low income Vermonters hold onto their houses. He also wants to pass a portion of his New Neighborhoods housing proposal which would streamline permitting, generating 400 additional housing projects and $22 million in construction jobs.The plan also calls for student and small business loans, and tax credits for manufacturing businesses in areas with higher unemployment. There is also talk of a two day sales-tax free tax holiday and a week of no sales tax on Energy Star- related home appliances.Reactions were split along party lines, with support coming from Republicans and disapproval from a majority of Democrats, who believe that his housing plans are over politicized and over promised and that the entire package is hastily constructed. There is concern over whether the stimulus plan can go through legislature before the session ends in two weeks.Full text of Douglas’ speech can be found at www.vermontbiz.com.last_img read more

ARC Mechanical Contractors acquires Montshire Mechanical

first_imgARC Mechanical Contractors,ARC Mechanical Contractors of Bradford, Vermont, announced today the acquisition of Montshire Mechanical Services Inc in Lebanon, NH. For 20 years Montshire Mechanical has provided refrigeration and air-conditioning service to the Upper Valley. After years of dedicated hard work, owners Skip Spaulding and Joe Lukash are ready to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor. They are confident that ARC will continue their commitment to quality refrigeration and air conditioning service.ARC Mechanical Contractors, located in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Bradford, Vermont, has provided quality heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) service and sales to the Upper Valley for over 60 years. Not only can ARC service the equipment previously handled by Montshire Mechanical, ARC can service and install plumbing, mechanical piping, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, ductwork, and control systems.ARC offers design/build services for new construction or renovation, as well as 24/7 emergency service. With 70 employees, including service technicians, installers, gas fitters, electricians, plumbers, project foremen and supervisors, ARC has the manpower and expertise for large projects and the flexibility for small ones. ARC also has 3 LEED Accredited Professionals on staff.ARC s goal is to keep our customer s HVAC-R equipment in peak condition, maximizing efficiency, while making the most of the customer s budget. ARC s service manager, Jody Perkins, has over 17 years HVAC-R experience and holds three NATE certifications. ARC s technicians are extensively-trained to provide the highest level of service and maintenance. In fact, more than 50% of ARC s service technicians are certified by the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. – a non-profit, independent certification program for technicians in HVAC-R. About ARC Mechanical ContractorsIn business since 1947, ARC Mechanical Contractors provides plumbing, mechanical piping, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration, ductwork, and controls for commercial, residential, institutional, industrial and municipal buildings/facilities. We also install geothermal, solar thermal and hybrid heating and cooling systems. Many examples of our work may be found throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, including Dartmouth College s Alumni Gym and Whittemore Hall, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Woodstock Inn, Cottage Hospital, and the Edgar May Health & Recreation Center. Source: ARC. 1.28.2010last_img read more

Vermont selected for federal health care project patterned on Vermont Blueprint for Health

first_imgThe other states were selected to participate in a demonstration project were Maine, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, and Minnesota.Source: Governor’s office. Vermont congressional delegation. 11.16.2010 Governor Jim Douglas today said the Obama Administration has selected Vermont as one of eight states to participate in a demonstration project that is modeled after, and will strengthen, the groundbreaking Vermont Blueprint for Health.As part of the demonstration project, the federal government will provide Medicare funding to better coordinate care, lower costs and improve health outcomes for patients, the Governor said. This is a first for the federal Medicare program. The total funding is about $21.8 million over three years. It is expected to impact 117,000 Vermonters by 2013. ‘This demonstration project, the Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Practice, strengthens reforms already in place here as part of our Vermont Blueprint for Health and provides another example of how states can contain health care costs and improve quality,’ Governor Douglas said.Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, ‘Vermont’s selection ensures that our state will continue to lead in finding the best ways to reduce costs and keep patients healthier by doing a better job of coordinating care.  These projects will help chart the way in bending the cost curve downward.  We told Vermont’s story often during the health bill debate, including Vermont Blueprint for Health’s leadership in implementing a medical home model.  This practical, real-world experience will help revolutionize health care to treat the whole patient, not just parts of the patient as through today’s fragmented systems.’Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a member of the Senate health committee, said, ‘Vermont will continue to lead the way in true health reform. For the first time, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers will work together to improve health outcomes for Vermonters. Health care providers will be rewarded for improving health, not for simply providing more care.’Representative Peter Welch (D-VT),  a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, ‘Vermont has long led the way in putting quality of care ahead of quantity of services ‘ and putting health outcomes ahead of the fee-for-service model. Vermont’s selection as part of the new demonstration project is both a recognition of our state’s leadership and a chance for further health innovation and improvement.’The Vermont Blueprint for Health is an advanced model of primary care and prevention that includes health teams that provide coordinated services through multiple primary care practices in a community, as well as fees based on performance and outcomes. It is widely regarded as among the most innovative health care reforms in the nation. Currently, Vermont’s Blueprint for Health is funded by state general fund tax revenue, the state’s Medicaid program and Vermont’s major commercial insurers. Under the demonstration project, Medicare funding will be used to advance Vermont’s existing Blueprint program, a project that supports integrated and proactive primary care for patients that save money and improve quality. ‘Our ultimate objective is high quality care that is affordable for everyone,’ Douglas said. ‘This expanded multi-payer partnership is another important step in the right direction.’In September 2009, Governor Douglas and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the framework for the effort at a White House press conference.last_img read more

Go Red for Women Luncheon Wednesday in Burlington

first_imgThe Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center will be a sea of red on Wednesday, Feb. 16, as nearly 500 women ‘ and some men ‘ will gather for the fifth annual Go Red for Women Luncheon.‘This is going to be a powerful and life-affirming day,’ said Melinda Moulton, CEO of Main Street Landing and volunteer co-chair of the luncheon.‘We are honored that so many people have worked to put this together, and that so many women are telling us they can’t wait to attend,’ said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and volunteer co-chair of the event. ‘We asked this question at last year’s luncheon, and are still seeking the answer,’ Moulton said. There are two Heart-to-Heart Workshops scheduled from 11 to 11:30 a.m. One is limited to 25 people, with Michelle Hooper from the AHA teaching CPR. Peter Spector, M.D., electrophysiologist with the University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen, will present the other workshop, titled ‘Marching without the Beat of a Drummer: The Heart’s Electricity and Atrial Fibrillation.’ At 9:45 a.m., Moulton will moderate a panel discussion entitled ‘Is Work/Life Balance Possible?’ Registration for the Go Red for Women Luncheon begins at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., Shyla Nelson of The Good Earth Singers will lead the attendees in a session of chanting. The Go Red for Women Luncheon is set for Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington. Tickets are $50 each. For information or to purchase tickets, call 802.288.8307, email [email protected](link sends e-mail) or visit heart.org/vermontgoredluncheon. Lauren Maloney of FOX44 and Tara Madison of Star 92.9 are the emcees of the luncheon. Macy’s and Merck are the national sponsors of Go Red for Women. Presenting sponsor of the Go Red for Women Luncheon is Fletcher Allen Health Care. A Picture and A Promise sponsor is NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. Main Street Landing is a local sponsor. Media sponsors are FOX44, Star 92.9 and the Burlington Free Press.About Go Red For WomenGo Red For Women is part of the American Heart Association’s solution to help save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer, which is largely preventable. GoRedForWomen.org, a premiere source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into lifesaving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.# At noon, the luncheon program begins, hosted by Lauren Maloney of FOX44 and Tara Madison of Star 92.9. Melinda Estes, M.D., president and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care, is the keynote speaker. Shelburne resident Michelle Johnston, who suffered sudden cardiac death on Oct. 27, 2009, at the age of 38, will share her story. Jenni Johnson and the Junketeers will wrap up the day with music guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing.last_img read more

Casella Waste announces third quarter results: revenues up, income lags

first_img RUTLAND, VT–(Marketwire – March 01, 2011) – Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Casella Waste Systems Inc,Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, today reported financial results for its third quarter fiscal year 2011. For the quarter ended January 31, 2011, revenues were $111.6 million, up $1.7 million or 1.6 percent over the same quarter last year, driven mainly by solid waste volume growth and higher commodity prices. Operating income was $6.3 million for the quarter, down $1.1 million from the same quarter last year. The company’s net loss applicable to common shareholders was ($6.4) million, or ($0.24) per common share for the quarter, compared to ($4.4) million, or ($0.17) per share for the same quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDA* for the quarter was $22.4 million, down $1.6 million from same quarter last year. “While our third quarter results were below last year’s performance and our plan, the underperformance was mainly driven by adverse weather and non-recurring events,” said John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “The bad winter weather during the quarter impacted operational performance, with lower than projected productivity throughout the solid waste business and lower waste volumes. Our landfill volumes were lower year-over-year by 4.4 percent, with the negative variance attributable to reaching annual permit limits at several key sites in early December and lower volumes in January due to the bad weather.””As expected in the quarter, the lower energy prices at Maine Energy, the final closure of the Pine Tree landfill in Q3 fiscal year 2010, and the sale of the Cape Cod assets in Q1 fiscal year 2011 led to a negative $0.6 million year-over-year Adjusted EBITDA variance,” Casella said. “Excluding these explainable negative impacts and divestiture transaction costs in the quarter that were not allocated to discontinued operations, Adjusted EBITDA was down $0.8 million year-over-year.””Since last quarter our team has done an excellent job completing important long-term strategic goals aimed at improving our balance sheet today and better positioning us for the future,” Casella said. “These strategic accomplishments include:”We successfully divested our non-integrated recycling facilities for $134.1 million, with net proceeds of approximately $120.0 million used to permanently pay-off our Term Loan B.”We refinanced our $195.0 million 9.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 with new $200.0 million 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019, yielding significant interest savings.”We acquired a municipal solid waste landfill in McKean County, PA out of bankruptcy proceedings for $0.5 million in cash and the assumption of certain contractual obligations.”Nine Months Financial ResultsFor the nine months ended January 31, 2011, revenues were $356.5 million, up $11.6 million or 3.4 percent over the same period last year. Operating income was $31.2 million for the nine month period, up $6.1 million from the same period last year, including a $3.5 million gain on sale of assets. The company’s net loss applicable to common shareholders was ($10.4) million, or ($0.40) per common share for the nine month period, compared to ($8.7) million, or ($0.34) per share for the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $84.5 million for the nine month period, up $2.4 million from same period last year. While the actual completion of the divestiture of the non-integrated recycling assets occurred during the fourth quarter on March 1, 2011, the third quarter and nine month year to date results reflect discontinued operations treatment for these assets in accordance with GAAP.Fiscal 2011 OutlookThe following ranges reflect updated guidance for fiscal year 2011, including discontinued operations treatment for the divestiture of the non- integrated recycling facilities in the fourth quarter. Revenues between $460.0 million and $468.0 million;Adjusted EBITDA* between $102.0 million and $106.0 million; andCapital expenditures between $51.0 million and $55.0 million.In recognition of the value created through the successful divestiture of the non-integrated recycling assets and the steps taken to recapitalize our balance sheet at lower interest rates, the board approved a $3.5 million discretionary bonus to management, which is reflected in the above guidance. Management will not receive a cash incentive bonus in addition to this discretionary bonus for this fiscal year. Since bonuses were not accrued for during the 9 months year-to-date period, the discretionary bonus will be fully expensed in the fourth quarter. We plan to announce fiscal year 2012 guidance on our year end conference call in June.*Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the company also discloses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, severance and reorganization charges, a goodwill impairment charge, an environmental remediation charge as well as development project charges (Adjusted EBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. The company also discloses Free Cash Flow, which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assets acquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from sales of property and equipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to Net Income (Loss), while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.We present Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because we consider them important supplemental measures of our performance and believe they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of our results. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to further understand our “core operating performance.” We believe our “core operating performance” represents our on-going performance in the ordinary course of operations. We believe that providing Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding income statement and cash flow statement measures, provides investors the benefit of viewing our performance using the same financial metrics that the management team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how the core business and its results of operations may look in the future. We further believe that providing this information allows our investors greater transparency and a better understanding of our core financial performance. In addition, the instruments governing our indebtedness use EBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure our compliance with covenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S., and may be different from Adjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies.About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Ned Coletta, vice president of finance and investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or Ed Johnson, chief financial officer at (802) 772-2241, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external).Conference call to discuss third quarterCasella will host a conference call to discuss these results on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (877) 548-9590 or (720) 545-0037 at least 10 minutes before start time. The call will also be webcast; to listen, participants should visit Casella Waste Systems’ website at http://ir.casella.com(link is external) and follow the appropriate link to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available on the website, or by calling (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291 (passcode 44979174) until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 10, 2011.Safe Harbor StatementCertain matters discussed in this press release are ” forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intend,” “estimate,” “guidance” and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions, expectations or guidance disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: current economic conditions that have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect our revenues and our operating margin; we may be unable to reduce costs or increase revenues sufficiently to achieve estimated Adjusted EBITDA and other targets; landfill operations and permit status may be affected by factors outside our control; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations or meet our estimates; and we may incur environmental charges or asset impairments in the future. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2010.We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.  CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) (In thousands, except amounts per share) Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended ———————- ———————- January 31, January 31, January 31, January 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———- ———- ———- ———-Revenues $ 111,627 $ 109,884 $ 356,515 $ 344,947Operating expenses: Cost of operations 76,933 73,724 237,584 226,986 General and administration 14,832 14,900 46,446 43,554 Depreciation and amortization 13,573 13,850 44,776 49,327 Gain on sale of assets – – (3,502) – ———- ———- ———- ———- 105,338 102,474 325,304 319,867 ———- ———- ———- ———-Operating income 6,289 7,410 31,211 25,080Other expense/(income), net: Interest expense, net 12,174 12,520 36,603 33,657 (Gain) loss from equity method investment (102) (73) 2,536 1,305 Loss on debt modification 115 – 115 511 Other income (78) (195) (490) (487) ———- ———- ———- ———- 12,109 12,252 38,764 34,986 ———- ———- ———- ———-Loss from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations (5,820) (4,842) (7,553) (9,906)Provision for income taxes 1,079 572 2,139 941 ———- ———- ———- ———-Loss from continuing operations before discontinued operations (6,899) (5,414) (9,692) (10,847)Discontinued Operations: Income from discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) 1,902 799 1,255 1,814 (Loss) income on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) (1,368) 239 (1,984) 328 ———- ———- ———- ———-Net loss applicable to common stockholders $ (6,365) $ (4,376) $ (10,421) $ (8,705) ========== ========== ========== ==========Common stock and common stock equivalent shares outstanding, assuming full dilution 26,115 25,748 26,026 25,705 ========== ========== ========== ==========Net loss per common share $ (0.24) $ (0.17) $ (0.40) $ (0.34) ========== ========== ========== ==========Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 22,408 $ 24,040 $ 84,487 $ 82,089 ========== ========== ========== ========== CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited) (In thousands) January 31, April 30, ASSETS 2011 2010 ———– ———CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents $ 5,531 $ 2,035 Restricted cash 76 76 Accounts receivable – trade, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 47,603 51,370 Other current assets 29,998 28,583 ———– ———Total current assets 83,208 82,064Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation 455,265 457,670Goodwill 100,430 100,430Intangible assets, net 2,221 2,404Restricted assets 317 228Investments in unconsolidated entities 39,228 40,965Other non-current assets 64,490 71,053 ———– ———Total assets $ 745,159 $ 754,814 =========== ========= LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITYCURRENT LIABILITIES: Current maturities of long-term debt and capital leases $ 2,411 $ 1,929 Current maturities of financing lease obligations 311 1,045 Accounts payable 34,859 35,056 Other accrued liabilities 49,263 52,050 ———– ———Total current liabilities 86,844 90,080Long-term debt and capital leases, less current maturities 562,998 556,130Financing lease obligations, less current maturities 2,236 7,902Other long-term liabilities 49,665 50,406Stockholders’ equity 43,416 50,296 ———– ———Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 745,159 $ 754,814 =========== ========= CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) (In thousands) Nine Months Ended ———————- January 31, January 31, 2011 2010 ———- ———- Cash Flows from Operating Activities: Net loss $ (10,421) $ (8,705) (Income) from discontinued operations, net (1,255) (1,814) Loss (income) on disposal of discontinued operations, net 1,984 (328) Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by operating activities – Gain on sale of assets (3,502) – Gain on sale of equipment (399) (1,099) Depreciation and amortization 44,776 49,327 Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 6,013 4,936 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 2,487 2,668 Amortization of premium on senior notes (584) (540) Amortization of discount on term loan and second lien notes 1,650 1,141 Loss from equity method investments 2,536 1,305 Loss on debt modification 115 511 Stock-based compensation 2,052 1,598 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of stock options (122) – Deferred income taxes 1,827 2,016 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and divestitures (1,903) (7,314) ———- ———- 54,946 54,549 ———- ———- Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities 45,254 43,702 ———- ———- Cash Flows from Investing Activities: Additions to property, plant and equipment – growth (1,175) (2,914) – maintenance (40,268) (35,532) Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (4,977) (7,803) Proceeds from divestiture 7,533 – Proceeds from sale of equipment 631 2,782 Investment in unconsolidated entities – (20) ———- ———- Net Cash Used In Investing Activities (38,256) (43,487) ———- ———- Cash Flows from Financing Activities: Proceeds from long-term borrowings 134,100 450,644 Principal payments on long-term debt (132,957) (440,033) Payment of financing costs (340) (14,072) Proceeds from exercise of stock options 412 260 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of restricted stock 122 – ———- ———- Net Cash Provided By (Used In) Financing Activities 1,337 (3,201) ———- ———- Cash (Used In) Provided By Discontinued Operations (4,839) 3,319 ———- ———- Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 3,496 333 Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 2,035 1,838 ———- ———- Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 5,531 $ 2,171 ========== ========== Supplemental Disclosures: Cash interest $ 32,381 $ 25,746 Cash income taxes, net of refunds $ 142 $ 345 CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Unaudited) (In thousands)Note 1: Discontinued OperationsOn January 23, 2011 we entered into a purchase and sale agreement andrelated agreements to sell select non-integrated FCR recycling assets andselect intellectual property assets to a new company formed by PegasusCapital Advisors, L.P. and Intersection, LLC (the “Purchaser”) for $134,100in gross proceeds (the “FCR Divestiture”). This resulted in a loss ondisposal of discontinued operations (net of tax) of $1,404 and $2,020 inthe three and nine months ended January 31, 2011, respectively. Income fromdiscontinued operations (net of tax) for the three and nine months endedJanuary 31, 2011 and 2010 amounted to $2,115, $1,017, $2,098 and $2,152,respectively.We completed the divestiture of the assets of our FCR Trilogy Glassoperation in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 for $1,840 in cash.This resulted in a gain on disposal of discontinued operations amounting to$36 (net of tax) in the three and nine months ended January 31, 2011. Lossfrom discontinued operations (net of tax) for the three and nine monthsended January 31, 2011 and 2010 amounted to $213, $205, $844 and $551,respectively.In fiscal year 2010, we completed divestitures and closed operationsresulting in a gain on disposal of discontinued operations (net of tax)amounting to $239 and $328 in the three and nine months ended January 31,2010, respectively.The operating results of these operations for the three and nine monthsended January 31, 2011 and 2010 have been reclassified from continuing todiscontinued operations in our consolidated financial statements. Revenuesand income before income tax benefit attributable to discontinuedoperations for the three and nine months ended January 31, 2011 and 2010are as follows: Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended January 31, January 31, ——————- ——————- 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——— ——— ——– ———Revenues $ 20,159 $ 16,446 $ 56,122 $ 48,217Income (loss) before income taxes $ 491 $ 1,397 $ (771) $ 3,215 ——— ——— ——– ———Note 2: Non – GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance withGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earningsbefore interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted foraccretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, severance andreorganization charges, goodwill impairment charges, environmentalremediation charges as well as development project charges (AdjustedEBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. We also disclose Free Cash Flow,which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capitalexpenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assetsacquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from sales of property andequipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled toNet loss, while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided byOperating Activities.We present Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because we consider themimportant supplemental measures of our performance and believe they arefrequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interestedparties in the evaluation of our results. Management uses these non-GAAPmeasures to further understand our “core operating performance.” We believeour “core operating performance” represents our on-going performance in theordinary course of operations. We believe that providing Adjusted EBITDAand Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding incomestatement and cash flow statement measures, provides investors the benefitof viewing our performance using the same financial metrics that themanagement team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how thecore business and its results of operations may look in the future. Wefurther believe that providing this information allows our investorsgreater transparency and a better understanding of our core financialperformance. In addition, the instruments governing our indebtedness useEBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure our compliance withcovenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternativefor, GAAP in the U.S. Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not beconsidered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial informationpresented in accordance with GAAP in the U.S., and may be different fromAdjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies.Following is a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Loss: Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended ——————– ——————– January January January January 31, 2011 31, 2010 31, 2011 31, 2010 ——— ——— ——— ———Net Loss Applicable to Common Stockholders $ (6,365) $ (4,376) $ (10,421) $ (8,705) Income from discontinued operations, net (1,902) (799) (1,255) (1,814) Loss (income) on disposal of discontinued operations, net 1,368 (239) 1,984 (328) Provision for income taxes 1,079 572 2,139 941 Interest expense, net 12,174 12,520 36,603 33,657 Depreciation and amortization 13,573 13,850 44,776 49,327 Other (income) expense, net (65) (268) 2,161 1,329 Severance and reorganization charges – 78 – 78 Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 1,714 1,771 6,013 4,936 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 832 931 2,487 2,668 ——— ——— ——— ———Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 22,408 $ 24,040 $ 84,487 $ 82,089 ========= ========= ========= =========Following is a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to Net Cash Provided byOperating Activities: Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended ——————– ——————– January January January January 31, 2011 31, 2010 31, 2011 31, 2010 ——— ——— ——— ———Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $ 8,804 $ 7,232 $ 45,254 $ 43,702Capital expenditures (10,669) (6,284) (41,443) (38,446)Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (2,727) (3,265) (4,977) (7,803)Proceeds from divestiture and sale of property and equipment 143 285 8,164 2,782Assets acquired through financing leases – (404) – (404) ——— ——— ——— ———Free Cash Flow (2) $ (4,449) $ (2,436) $ 6,998 $ (169) ========= ========= ========= ========= CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands)Amounts of our total revenues attributable to services provided for thethree and nine months ended January 31, 2011 and 2010 are as follows: Three Months Ended January 31, —————————————— % of % of Total Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ——— ——— ——— ———Collection $ 48,068 43.0% $ 49,127 44.7%Disposal 23,610 21.2% 23,992 21.8%Power/LFGTE 7,170 6.4% 7,314 6.7%Processing and recycling 13,962 12.5% 12,602 11.5% ——— ——— ——— ———Solid waste operations 92,810 83.1% 93,035 84.7%Major accounts 9,906 8.9% 9,414 8.5%Recycling 8,911 8.0% 7,435 6.8% ——— ——— ——— ———Total revenues $ 111,627 100.0% $ 109,884 100.0% ========= ========= ========= ========= Nine Months Ended January 31, —————————————— % of % of Total Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ——— ——— ——— ———Collection $ 152,628 42.8% $ 155,587 45.1%Disposal 84,240 23.6% 82,367 23.9%Power/LFGTE 19,156 5.4% 20,842 6.0%Processing and recycling 43,424 12.2% 36,379 10.5% ——— ——— ——— ———Solid waste operations 299,448 84.0% 295,175 85.5%Major accounts 30,447 8.5% 28,901 8.4%Recycling 26,620 7.5% 20,871 6.1% ——— ——— ——— ———Total revenues $ 356,515 100.0% $ 344,947 100.0% ========= ========= ========= =========Components of revenue growth for the three months ended January 31, 2011compared to the three months ended January 31, 2010: % of % of % of Related Solid Waste Total Amount Business Operations Company ——— ——— ——— ———Solid Waste Operations:Collection $ 238 0.5% 0.3% 0.2%Disposal 171 0.7% 0.2% 0.2%Power/LFGTE (314) -4.3% -0.4% -0.3%Processing and recycling 59 0.5% 0.1% 0.0% ——— ——— ———Solid Waste Yield 154 0.2% 0.1%Volume 2,131 2.3% 1.9%Commodity price & volume 147 0.2% 0.1%Fuel surcharges 75 0.1% 0.1%Acquisitions & divestitures (1,476) -1.6% -1.3%Closed landfill (1,255) -1.4% -1.1% ——— ——— ———Total Solid Waste (224) -0.2% -0.2% ========= ========= =========Major Accounts 492 0.4% ========= =========Recycling Operations: % of Recycling Operations ———Commodity price 2,075 27.9% 1.9%Commodity volume (599) -8.0% -0.5% ——— ——— ———Total Recycling 1,476 19.9% 1.4% ========= ========= ========= ——— ———Total Company $ 1,743 1.6% ========= =========Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region: Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended January 31, January 31, ——————– ——————– 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——— ——— ——— ———Eastern region 58.0% 61.0% 54.4% 52.5%Central region 81.5% 78.7% 81.8% 77.5%Western region 58.4% 65.1% 64.4% 68.4%Solid waste internalization 65.6% 66.8% 65.2% 65.0% CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands)GreenFiber Financial Statistics – as reported (1): Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended January 31, January 31, —————— —————— 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——– ——– ——– ——–Revenues $ 28,470 $ 32,528 $ 66,488 $ 82,545Net income (loss) 205 146 (5,071) (2,610)Cash flow from operations 434 (749) (2,604) 5,241Net working capital changes (2,324) (3,719) (5,016) (1,092)Adjusted EBITDA $ 2,758 $ 2,970 $ 2,412 $ 6,333As a percentage of revenue:Net income (loss) 0.7% 0.4% -7.6% -3.2%Adjusted EBITDA 9.7% 9.1% 3.6% 7.7%(1) We hold a 50% interest in US Green Fiber, LLC (“GreenFiber”), a joint venture that manufactures, markets and sells cellulose insulation made from recycled fiber.Components of Growth and Maintenance Capital Expenditures (1): Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended January 31, January 31, —————— ——————- 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——– ——– ——– ———Growth Capital Expenditures: Landfill Development $ 182 $ – $ 409 $ 1,026 Other 4 280 766 1,888 ——– ——– ——– ———Total Growth Capital Expenditures 186 280 1,175 2,914 ——– ——– ——– ———Maintenance Capital Expenditures: Vehicles, Machinery / Equipment and Containers 4,390 904 14,677 8,794 Landfill Construction & Equipment 5,040 4,147 22,870 23,469 Facilities 704 737 1,852 2,586 Other 349 216 869 683 ——– ——– ——– ———Total Maintenance Capital Expenditures 10,483 6,004 40,268 35,532 ——– ——– ——– ———Total Capital Expenditures $ 10,669 $ 6,284 $ 41,443 $ 38,446 ======== ======== ======== =========(1) Our capital expenditures are broadly defined as pertaining to eithergrowth or maintenance activities. Growth capital expenditures are definedas costs related to development of new airspace, permit expansions, newrecycling contracts along with incremental costs of equipment andinfrastructure added to further such activities. Growth capitalexpenditures include the cost of equipment added directly as a result ofnew business as well as expenditures associated with increasinginfrastructure to increase throughput at transfer stations and recyclingfacilities. Maintenance capital expenditures are defined as landfill cellconstruction costs not related to expansion airspace, costs for normalpermit renewals and replacement costs for equipment due to age orobsolescence. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) (In thousands, except amounts per share) Three Months Ended ———————————————————- October July 31, April 30, January October July 31, 31, 2010 2010 2010 31, 2010 31, 2009 2009 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Revenues $122,895 $121,992 $112,695 $109,884 $118,035 $117,028Operating expenses: Cost of operations 79,313 81,338 76,413 73,724 76,151 77,111 General and administration 15,697 15,916 14,001 14,900 13,769 14,885 Depreciation and amortization 15,620 15,584 14,291 13,850 17,148 18,329 Gain on sale of assets – (3,502) – – – – Environmental remediation charge – – 335 – – – 110,630 109,336 105,040 102,474 107,068 110,326 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Operating income 12,265 12,656 7,655 7,410 10,968 6,702Other expense/(income), net: Interest expense, net 12,146 12,282 12,364 12,520 12,636 8,502 Loss (gain) from equity method investment 506 2,132 1,385 (73) 159 1,219 Loss on debt modification – – – – – 511 Other income (318) (94) (359) (195) (247) (45) ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– 12,334 14,320 13,390 12,252 12,548 10,187 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Loss from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations (69) (1,664) (5,735) (4,842) (1,580) (3,485)Provision for income taxes 281 779 563 572 284 84 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Loss from continuing operations before discontinued operations (350) (2,443) (6,298) (5,414) (1,864) (3,569)Discontinued Operations: (Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of income taxes (240) (407) 293 799 265 750 (Loss) income on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (564) (51) 852 239 48 41 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Net loss applicable to common stockholders $ (1,154) $ (2,902) $ (5,153) $ (4,376) $ (1,551) $ (2,778) ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== ========Common stock and common stock equivalent shares outstanding, assuming full dilution 26,058 25,905 25,810 25,748 25,733 25,688 ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== ========Net loss per common share $ (0.04) $ (0.11) $ (0.20) $ (0.17) $ (0.06) $ (0.11) ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== ========Adjusted EBITDA $ 30,804 $ 31,276 $ 25,158 $ 24,040 $ 30,539 $ 27,510 ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== Following is a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Loss: Three Months Ended ———————————————————- October July 31, April 30, January October July 31, 31, 2010 2010 2010 31, 2010 31, 2009 2009 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Net Loss Applicable to Common Stock Holders $ (1,154) $ (2,902) $ (5,153) $ (4,376) $ (1,551) $ (2,778) Income from discontinued operations, net 240 407 (293) (799) (265) (750) Loss (income) on disposal of discontinued operations, net 564 51 (852) (239) (48) (41) Provision for income taxes 281 779 563 572 284 84 Interest expense, net 12,146 12,282 12,364 12,520 12,636 8,502 Depreciation and amortization 15,620 15,584 14,291 13,850 17,148 18,329 Other expense (income), net 188 2,038 1,026 (268) (88) 1,685 Environmental remediation charge – – 335 – – – Severance and reorganization charges – – 107 78 – – Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 2,107 2,192 1,931 1,771 1,645 1,520 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 812 844 839 931 778 959 ——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 30,804 $ 31,276 $ 25,158 $ 24,040 $ 30,539 $ 27,510 ======== ======== ======== ======== ======== ========last_img read more

NOFA winter conference to focus on resiliency, collaboration

first_imgThe challenges of 2011, from barn fires to epic floods, revealed much about the strengths and vulnerabilities of Vermont’s farms. It also presented a lot of questions ‘ namely, what’s the best way to create a stronger, more resilient food system? How can farms plan for the increasingly severe weather that we are likely to see? How do home gardens and homesteads fit in? What is the role of consumers and communities as farmers take risks and try new ideas?These are some of the questions that will be tackled at the 30th annual Winter Conference put on by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) this February. As the largest agricultural gathering in Vermont, the Winter Conference has long been a key opportunity for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and localvores to increase their skills and knowledge.Since moving to the University of Vermont in 2010, the Winter Conference has grown to include more than 65 workshops over two days, plus keynotes, social gatherings, an exhibitors’ fair, and a robust Children’s Conference.The 30th annual NOFA-VT Winter Conference will be held February 10-12, 2012 at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. This year’s keynotes will be local vegetable and fruit extension expert Vern Grubinger, and organic gardening mentor and author Wendy Johnson from Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach, CA.For more information, including sponsorship details, please visit www.nofavt.org(link is external). About NOFA Vermont: NOFA Vermont is member-based organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts ‘ anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.last_img read more