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  • A Diary in ‘Totality’: The Best Of The Blessed At Oregon Eclipse

    first_imgSoaring above the titanic Eclipse Stage were two diametrically opposite yet equally essential entities of the West Coast bass music spectrum. Early on Monday, beginning just before four in the morning, Oakland, California’s demonic duo Dimond Saints captained yet another excursion down the rabbit hole into the very center of a heart of darkness. Leaving the horns at home and doubling down on goth-minimalism, an-ten-nae and Releece set up shop in the cauldron and uncorked one thunderclap after the next with sparse, sonorous low-end, and inventive 808 programming. In the belly of the beast, a torrid, steaming dancefloor, we found all the usual suspects, drinking mate and tequila out of pinecone, with our third eyes blasted open. Besides debuting material from the forthcoming EP Shingetsu Chapter 3 and running through various haunting tracks with vocalist Yaarrohs from Prism in the Dark, the Dimond Saints also delivered to me my white whale. Incredibly, the boys dropped their very first song, an edit of Florence and the Machine’s cover of the Robert Palmer classic “Addicted to Love.” Three plus years of extreme fandom, and I’d yet to catch it live—they’d only played it once at their very first set. This colossal opener crafted the tone for a career-defining set that ran ’til the stroke of five in the morning.Dimond Saints at Eclipse StageJust before the solar eclipse, Random Rab took front and center at the gargantuan main stage with appropriate reverence and delivered The Penumbra, a collaborative performance to ring in the celestial event. The Ashland, Oregon based electro-folk troubadour performed with a cadre that included Cello Joe, Dave Hoover (on harp), longtime collaborator Rigzin, visual artist Anthony “Flowers” Ward, and regal, vintage Rab dancers Elana Meta and Sophia Thom. Rab ushered in the main event like the wizard he’s become, eschewing his usual tranquil morning vibes for a primarily aggressive song selection, including material composed specifically for this momentous occasion. The intricacies embedded in the sonic afghan that is Random Rab’s music were transmitted with newfound crystal clarity on the Eclipse Stage’s ungodly Trinity rig, a sound system on steroids, courtesy of PK Sound. Key selections include opener “Parallels” off his brand new Formless Edge, and a mesmerizing take on the classic “Release.”Random Rab – Eclipse Stage by Kristin WooBeginning at midnight on Sunday (into Monday), the “Dons of Dub,” DEEP MEDi, dropped six throbbing hours of crunkalogic science at the Moon Stage. The selectas for this tornado-riding voyage were Mala, Kahn, Neek, and Truth, a duo consisting of Tristan Roake and Andre Fernandez of New Zealand. DEEP MEDi as a team balances screw-faced wobbles with sleek use of space, techno-textures juxtaposed with razor sharp percussion and dynamics. As the night raged on, we continued to return to the Moon Stage (and its fantastic Danley sonics courtesy of Know Audio) for slab after slab of the tastiest dubplates to wash up on U.S. shores in a decade. Now, there shall be no question—this is how dubstep should sound. Moon Stage honorable mentions go to West Coast Lo-Fi, which turned out to be a secret set from Bassnectar, Portland rudie PRSN, NorCal dub technician Andreilien, BC empress The Librarian, and the conquistador of (medical grade) crunk, an-ten-nae.The Librarian, Andrea Graham, who booked much of the Moon Stage.The Human Experience (David Block) delivered another magnum opus at the Earth Stage on Tuesday evening, cutting a wide swath across his labyrinth catalog spanning seven-plus years. Block debuted his project Semes and proceeded to bring out an endless stream of vocalists to accompany him on songs that are burned into the hearts and souls of so many in this festival community. Joining Block was vocalist Amae Love and dancer Shay Butta on the seminal  “When I Grow Up.” The juiciness continued with Kalibri, Kat Factor, and finally Lila Rose on their collaborative gem (and a personal touchstone for our squad), “Dusted Compass.”A couple of hours after Block transfixed the Earth Stage, the shamanic conglomerate Liberation Movement commandeered the control panels of the Funktion 1 rig and achieved liftoff. Grant Chambers, aka Resurrector, led this bombastic brigade in plundering the vaults of medicine music, delivering messages from around the world by way of hundreds of years of music among his onstage cohorts. Vir McCoy, Lux Moderna, Soriah, Noah King, Sasha Rose, Sorne, Wailer B, and the list goes on as a collective eminence took center stage. Performance artists Bad Unkle Sista swarmed the Earth Stage for the song “Resurrector” and had the audience engrossed. Liberation Movement’s Earth Stage seance, as well as their lengthier, sprawling set at Silk Road a night earlier, offered a glimmer of enlightenment through song, intention, emotion, and movement, if we would merely allow ourselves to enjoy the ride. For me, the trick was to simply surrender to the flow.Liberation Movement at Earth StageWords: B.GetzPhotos: ATS Photography (unless otherwise credited)The author and the lensman, nearing our destination. Photo: Kristin WooIf you would like to read a more detailed musical analysis from Oregon Eclipse by the author, GO HERE. Affectionately dubbed Oregon Eclipse, the festival was the sum of many moving parts, some which had been in movement dating back to the inception of Symbiosis Gathering, and falling in line with previous Eclipse events going back almost two decades. With seven main stages at the festival, the international psychedelic community frequently rallied at the Sun Stage around Psy-Trance, feeling that the genre embodied the heartbeat of this event. However, from where I danced, the most tangible thing I felt flowing through the music was the brand-new comradeship of a jam band/Burning Man cultural alliance. The vibe at Oregon Eclipse was equal parts Shakedown Street and Black Rock City, as the huge art, radical inclusion, and free-wheeling, unpredictable music sessions made for a revolutionary affair unlike any festival I have been blessed to attend.By day, hot air balloons floated in the clouds, cruising over the festival’s lush lake environs, sublime rolling hills, and illuminated forests. Art was everywhere, with a little bit of everything on display. Live art and music installations like Furtherrr, a project featuring the collaboration of a number of visual artists, or the sounds at the Guayaki Yerba Mate tent stationed next to Ken Kesey family’s Furthur bus were just a few of the supplementary art and music setups that flocked to Oregon Eclipse. Across these installations, the festival’s message was crystallized: their intent would be our delight.From large-scale interactive settings like Android Jones’ dome, Samskara Microdose VR, or an improv game show like Psychedelic Friendship Bingo at the Fringe Theater, no matter what kind of participatory art tickled your fancy, it was easy to become fascinated by and learn about something new at the very same time. Folks could try the Symbioat, a pirate bar on a beached ship; Sensory Speed Dating with Guerrilla Science, the bar and pseudo-sleazy hang at the Glitter Ranch; or the fantastic family-friendly, far-reaching activities at the astounding Kidzbiosis. There was no shortage of anything at Global Eclipse Gathering (except maybe drum and bass and people of color, but more on that later).  From twerkshops at the Dance Shala to the myriad of disciplines at the Yoga Shala, there was also a surplus of movement art options. Dance, theater, and comedy were all available if one merely ventured across the sprawling, gorgeous festival grounds. Immersive environments like The Hub and The Parlor cultivated progressive conversations traversing topics from sexual identity to spirituality, astrophysics to crypto-currency. Paul Stamets examined Mushrooms and the Mycology of Consciousness, and Bruce Damer and Michael Garfield, both respected academics in the default world, offered seminars on a mix of philosophy, quantum physics, spirituality, and sociology.Initially, the event espoused a Leave No Trace directive for garbage and recycling. Sadly, the infrastructure was not in place for people to adequately Pack it Out, so the trash situation at the end of the week left more than a little to be desired. From a transformational, West Coast festival ethos, Symbiosis and its partners tried admirably to incorporate these core virtues, but the scope and size of the event, in addition to some poor logistics and planning/staffing, made the event fall shorter in some of these areas than they hoped. In the weeks leading up to Eclipse, all signs pointed toward self-reliance being a core element of the experience. Therefore, attendees brought what we needed, and extra for others. However, judging from some post-event social media activity, some folks who expected (and paid for) a “plug and play” or “turn-key” experience were left wanting.One area where the festival did not disappoint, but rather exceeded even jaded festival veterans wildest dreams, was in the vending department. There was a lengthy trader’s row that extended one side of the festival’s perimeter. This row was filled with a smorgasbord of righteous arts and craft vendors, clothiers, merchants, collectors, and trading post, from all corners of the globe.One morning early in the week, I broke a zipper on my fanny pack; never fear #Mr.Zips at Zipper Rescue was on the scene with his mobilized, steampunk’d repair shop. I’m talking quicker than your average ab workout, problem solved in seven minutes. Definitely Burners to the core, Zipper Rescue made sure you left their spot prepared for your next zipper pickle. On the other end of the spectrum entirely, I took the liberty of spoiling myself on the last day of the festival. By then I had perused the entire Mall of Symbiosis, and I doubled back to high-end couturier Freeborn, where the designer/namesake himself was in the booth, and outfitted me in a hand-crafted blazer/vest combo that might be the finest, flyest article of clothing I own. Welcome to the Swag Olympics. FREEBORN store on vendor’s rowLater into this marathon of madness, as the rage wore on and our immune systems took a pummeling, I was fortunate to arrive at both Vital Yogi and The NOHM. These mobile apothecaries were an oasis in this dusty playground, as herbalists at each booth were able to offer alternatives to Western medicinal practices that were similarly practical and effective in the festival setting. As people felt themselves getting run-down or a bit under the weather, instead of soliciting a Walgreens on the corner for a fistful of Dayquil, the witches gracefully poured potions and elixirs gifted from Gaia herself to rejuvenate our bodies and consciously restore our spirits. On the pathway to Panacea, indeed!When it came time to properly grub down, we were blessed to have two legitimate chefs in our krewe and a properly built kitchen in our camp—the Suwannee Shanti Ratchet-Squad. Though sometimes, it’s just easier to eat out, y’know? As was the norm for this event, there was something special for everyone, and the assortment of foodie options at Oregon Eclipse was mind-boggling. No matter what kind of eater you were, your tummy could find its happy place in a jiffy (although there’s something to be said about the long lines in the hot sun, but hey, the food was that good).Some culinary artisans who made their presence felt in this writer’s gullet include Eugene, Oregon’s Asher Wren, aka The MAC (the Cheese). This was the first time I had encountered this pop-up pirate ship masquerading as a festival restaurant, and we were consistently wowed each time our squad stopped through, always partial to their mouth-watering “Truffle Mac & Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon.” We also had the good fortune of stopping by the stall before noon for a decadent “eggs benny” brunch dish that knocked our socks off. The gluttony of this comfort festy-food was counterbalanced by vegan delicacies on the other side of Eclipse, courtesy of the finger-lickin’ funk at Govinda’s Veggie Bomb. After three bites of her virgin “Atomic Taco,” my girlfriend declared, unsolicited, “These cats better cater our wedding, B!” Apple trees beckoned folks to the Permaculture Plaza, where Jasmin Fuego and Ryan Rising of the Permaculture Action Network, along with Stephen Brooks (Envision Festival, Punta Mona) and a host of other worldwide luminaries, offered a litany of Permaculture educational endeavors, including lectures and workshops on awareness and activism for those festival-goers focused on sustainability. Across the shimmering lake atop a hill, Shrine On built an astonishing art structure created entirely from recycled bottles and aluminum cans. In between was a veritable university of all green enterprise.  Speaking of a return to the land, spirituality and sustainability were the core tenets of 1Nation Earth, a tribe who, in concert with Living Village Culture, promoted the protection of indigenous people and their way of life, doing so in a beautiful, prayerful way with an emphasis on unity, respect, dignity, and love. 1Nation Earth camp was also responsible for leading the breathtaking rituals and celebrations that preceded the actual solar eclipse on Monday morning.  Among the estimated 30,000 (festival reporting) and 70,000 (local authorities reporting) people in attendance were spiritual ambassadors from varying practices, hailing from Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Japan, and elsewhere. One shaman missioned from Okinawa with water collected from many sacred sources from around the world, and she anointed festival-goers in a ceremonial water blessing. Burning embers from Standing Rock also made the journey to ignite each of the three sacred fires on-site—the last of which were used merely moments before the moon passed between our planet and the sun, creating the two minutes of the solar eclipse in totality. The solar eclipse itself was the true headliner of this massive symbiotic endeavor, as the majority of the festival’s participants marched up the prairie to a clearing dubbed the Eclipse Viewing Area, complete with the magnanimous Solar Temple. To be totally off the grid with no phone or WiFi, fifty-ish thousand deep for one solid week sure did wonders to bring the attendees at Oregon Eclipse together. The festival collectively tuned in, turned on, but decidedly did not drop out. This was never more apparent than during the solar eclipse itself—the conscious cosmonauts took flight in such a manner that would make Tim Leary proud.  Every single individual that took in the eclipse on the prairie did so in their own personalized way. Though the festival asked for two minutes of silence when totality arrived around 10:20 am Monday morning, that simply did not happen. After a ridiculous night of music and dancing, the tens of thousand that had gathered howled at the moon to their heart’s delight, while others stared through their specialized glasses with slack-jawed aplomb. People meditated and made love openly, while a determined young man behind our group was throat-singing in a Tuvan or Mongolian tradition for a solid hour.   Personally, my reaction was something entirely unexpected—I wept uncontrollably in the arms of my beloved. I thought long and hard on suffering, not merely my own trials and tribulations and those close to me, but human beings the globe over. Particularly, I focused on the racial/cultural tensions that were exploding in our country in the days leading up to this monumental celestial gathering. I bemoaned to myself the dearth in people of color at this festival and wondered aloud if we even make them feel welcome when we invite indigenous people to engage in their holiest rituals before us. As the sun and moon engaged in a serendipitous serenade, I guess my emotions were laid bare by the overpowering feeling of Oneness.A most-treasured reaction to the solar eclipse was from a group of older, silver-haired hippies seated on a blanket, not twenty yards away. They ceremoniously broke out into the chorus from the Grateful Dead’s “Terrapin Station” in a liberated, emboldened unison. “In the shadow of the moon, Terrapin Station; and I know we’ll be there soon. Terrapin, I can’t figure out, Terrapin, if it’s an end or beginning.“ Had we indeed arrived at the mythical Terrapin Station? This krewe sure thought so, and their enthusiasm was contagious. Beyond that jovial recollection, the dalliance betwixt the moon and sun was indescribable—truly one of those “you had to be there” moments.    To conclude this diary in totality, I’ll briefly blaze through the best of the blessed personally experienced at Oregon Eclipse 2017.Nevada City, California world-beat house general Brian Hartman dropped the bomb on no less than three different sets of music at Eclipse. On his birthday, he forwarded a genre-spanning selection at the Village Witches Elixir Bar, offering three hours of globalized grooves as the people rang in his birthday with fervent dancing and moon-howling. Hartman also laid it down with some proper Playa-tech and world house at the Furtherrr art installation before a final set mid-morning on the last day. Hartman hit the Silk Road stage with an earthy set of cumbia, latin grooves, and chill-beats that solidified him as a legitimate “person of interest.”Goopsteppa and Leland Riivr are childhood homies and roommates up in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. For the past half-decade, they have been on a slow-burn, meteoric rise to the heavens, representing a new breed of G’s in post-dubstep esoterica. Beginning with their one-two punch on Friday at Furtherrr, these boys were dedicated to the science of low-end theory, tunneling into the Earth’s core til the wee-est of hours. The next night the dynamic duo was at it again for the Dragon Fam Jam at Village Witches, lacing up their super-rare b2b set with a map of progressive styles en route to scale the new frontier. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard these boys flip Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” into dub-bliss, then chase that with some luscious Timberlake crooning atop bulbous bass gymnastics. From grime to R&B and hip-hop, these bredren left no quartz unturned. On the last morning of Eclipse, Goop brought his unmistakable blend of sonic enrapture to the Earth Stage for a packed sunrise set filled with tracks off his new album. The Earth Stage’s assembly certified the word on the street that, yes indeedy, there is a new sheriff in town.When I first saw that Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe would be rocking at the Big Top tent (along with STS9, Rebirth Brass Band, The Heavy Pets, Steve Kimock, MarchFourth, etc.), my heart almost exploded with excitement. As the sound crew took over an hour on Friday night to fix some persistent mic issues, it seemed that KDTU would never take the stage. Finally, the man they call Diesel and his band of brothers strode into the spotlight and kicked into high gear. The circus tent environment recalled Bear Creek 2009, and Karl did his damndest to bring the noise and the funk. Highlights from a spirited set included a rage through Cyril Neville’s ode to the G-code “Gossip,” which saw the guitar man DJ Williams mash it on and play it real funky. Later during the R&B funkathon, after a pair of Rolling Stones numbers that may have flew over people’s heads, Denson rolled out the KDTU classic “Satisfied”, which allowed drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note) to really bring the smooth-type groove, working the Big Top into a full-blown frenzy.Brooklyn afrobeat-mafia Antibalas detonated an atomic bomb at the Silk Road Stage on Saturday. Just before the clock turned midnight, that’s when shit got real. Lead by the steely, multi-disciplinary sax man Martin Perna, attendees answered the spirited calls to arms from singer Amayo, drawn in by horn wizard Stuart Bogie and the rumbling rhythm section of drummer Miles Arntzen and bassist Nikhil Yerawadekar. Erstwhile, guitar gangster Raja Kassis led this Nigeria-channeling armada in conquering this festival. With the most feverish dance floor energy and free-wheeling, meditative jams, Antibalas’ 150-minute set of fury ignited more fiyah, the flame of Fela Kuti, transforming Silk Road into a living, breathing funk leviathan. On the heels of the an-ten-nae’s Medicine Crunk redux after the eclipse, we ambled over to the Sky Stage for the Danish “Tarantino of Tech,” Be Svendsen, where clad in his vintage top hat, he unleashed some sorcerer magic in the blazing prairie sun. The deep house got so sizzlin’ that the mixer began to melt, stopping the grooves for a bit before an assortment of umbrellas and fans were employed to shade the DJ. This two-hour narrative was told in four-on-the-floor, but with our arms reaching skyward, it felt more like a levitation station. The Sky Stage was headquarters for all of the finest house that bumps around the world, and notable sets were also turned in from Desert Hearts’ MARBS, European live-house chemists KMLN and Ecuador’s provocateur of Andes-step Nicola Cruz. Global Eclipse Gathering made good on its promise of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, serving as a tribal alliance of visionary festivals from across our wondrous planet. From August 17th through 23rd, on the majestic Big Summit Prairie in Ochoco National Forest, a dozen renowned international music and art festivals congregated to take in a total solar eclipse en masse. California’s Symbiosis Gathering spearheaded this conglomerate of collaborators, with eleven other tremendous international festivals (including Canada’s Bass Coast, Costa Rica’s Envision Festival, SoCal’s Lightning in a Bottle, among others) joining together for what could be termed the finest curation of progressive, psychedelic art and music to ever hit the shores of North America. In a triumph in booking, Oregon Eclipse produced a whopping seven main music stages. Each one sporting a unique atmosphere, theme, and vision. The Moon, Earth, Sun, Sky, Silk Road, Big Top, and Eclipse Stages delivered a dazzling assembly of musical offerings almost around the clock. Each of the seven standalone stages covered a wide swath of electronic genres such as house, techno, bass, funk, psy-trance, in addition to hosting performances from many leading purveyors of progressive, psychedelic, and globally-generated live instrumentation. Headlining artists included Bassnectar, String Cheese Incident (two shows, both minus Billy Nershi), G Jones, Shpongle, STS9, Opiuo, Beats Antique, and so many more.STS9 on Eclipse StageOpiuo at Eclipse Stagelast_img read more

  • Tickets Now On Sale for Public’s 2014-15 Season, Including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

    first_img View Comments Tickets are now on sale for The Public Theater’s 2014-15 season. The lineup includes new works from Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer winner Young Jean Lee and Michael Friedman.Miranda will present the world premiere of Hamilton, in which he tells the story of the life, death and rhymes of a scrappy young immigrant who forever changes America: Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Kail directs the heart-filled new musical that combines hip-hop and a classic Broadway sound. Hamilton will run from January 20, 2015 through February 22 at the Newman Theater and officially open on February 17.Straight White Men, written and directed by Lee, will receive its New York Premiere from November 7 through December 7, and officially open on November 17, at the Martinson Theater. With a cast featuring Austin Pendleton, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson and James Stanley, the play explores the value of being a straight white man when identity is the cornerstone of ones worth and privilege is increasingly problematic.The world premiere of Michael Friedman and Daniel Aukin’s musical The Fortress of Solitude will run from September 30 through November 2 at the Newman Theater. Opening night is set for October 22. Conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin and based on the Jonathan Lethem novel, the tuner tells the coming-of-age story of two superhero-obsessed teenagers who believe that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.Rock Bottom, a new show created by Bridget Everett, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Matt Ray, will play Joe’s Pub from September 9 through October 11. Opening night is set for September 17. The production follows Everett as she barrels through life, leaving behind her chardonnay-induced stupor for a path toward redemption. The show was originally commissioned as part of The Joe’s Pub 2013 New York Voices series.The Anspacher Theater will host the world premiere of Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks from October 14 through November 16. Jo Bonney directs the drama comprised of three plays presented in a single performance, which follow a slave who must decide whether to join his master on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom. The series is presented in association with American Repertory Theater and will officially open on October 28.The Total Bent will begin on March 3, 2015 at the Anspacher Theater and officially open on March 19. Passing Strange creators Stew and Heidi Rodewald reunite to present the world premiere of their new musical to the Public stage. Directed by Joanna Settle, the tuner explores the passions that divide a gospel star and his songwriting son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out. The Total Bent will run through April 5.Finally, spoken word artist and Tony winner Lemon Anderson’s ToasT will return to the Public after previously being presented at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival. Directed by Elise Thoron, the play weaves characters from black oral narratives into a story about men trying to live free in a system—and a world—designed to keep them chained. ToasT will run from April 2, 2015 through April 19 at the Martinson Theater. Star Files Related Shows Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton (Off-Broadway) Show Closed This production ended its run on May 3, 2015last_img read more

  • Picks of the Week! Inch Uptown for Lena Hall, Fly Away with Anne Hathaway & Go Medieval at Wolf Hall

    first_imgHey, you, stuffing yourself with Peeps—it’s time for an intervention, Broadway-style! The city is busting with fun things to do this week, including the New York premiere of Wolf Hall Parts One and Two, Anne Hathaway’s return to the NYC stage, and a former Phantom’s TV special. Here come this week’s picks!Follow Lena Hall UptownBegins April 7 at Café CarlyleWhen you leave your job, the days after are spent either agonizing over your decision while in the fetal position or learning how to tolerate a new batch of annoying coworkers. Lena Hall doesn’t have that problem. After a mega-successful stint on Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the talented Tony winner makes her debut at Café Carlyle. She’ll be there through April 18. Will she be joined by The Deafening? Gotta go to find out. Click for tickets!See What Broadway Friends Are ForApril 7 at 54 BelowFor most of us, friends are reliable in a pinch. If you’re singer-songwriter Michael Mott, your friends are Broadway superstars whom join you onstage in high-profile shows. Mott tells stories and performs songs in That Was Then, This Is How, and gets an assist from the likes of Jeremy Jordan, Adrienne Warren, and Marissa McGowan. That’s great, but let’s see Jordan help Mott move a couch into a fourth-floor walk-up. Click for tickets!Get Grounded with Anne HathawayBegins April 7 at Anspacher TheatreThrough May 17, Anne Hathaway stars in Grounded, George Brant’s drama about a fighter pilot whose days are now split between working a drone in an Air Force trailer and living in the suburbs with her family. No, this isn’t a musical, but before Hathaway dreamed a dream in the Les Miserables movie, she delivered a string of stirring dramatic performances (Remember Rachel Getting Married?). Plus, Julie Taymor is directing…so get moving! Click for tickets!Join the King’s Court at Wolf HallOpens April 9 at the Winter Garden Theatre“A night at the theater” is an expression. That’s actually the case with Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, and, oh boy, is it worth your time. Based on Hilary Mantel’s beloved novels and presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the show(s)—which played to raves in England—explores the stormy times of King Henry VIII (Nathaniel Parker) and his right-hand man Thomas Cromwell (Ben Miles). Bring on the noirish goodness! Click for tickets!Get to Know Norm LewisApril 10 on PBSIf you’ve done everything on this list, you deserve a night in. Make it tonight, when PBS presents Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, an airing of the erstwhile Phantom’s recent concert from Lincoln Center. The show, according to PBS, lays out Lewis’ “musical course from gospel to Marvin Gaye.” We hope that journey doesn’t include interminable pledge breaks from folks who resemble our eighth grade algebra teacher. But, hey, it’s Norm! He’s worth it. View Commentslast_img read more

  • U.S. offshore wind pipeline growing quickly

    first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The US offshore wind industry has accumulated a pipeline of projects totaling 25.46 GW, including 1.3 GW added last year, according to a new reportThe overall project pipeline as of the end of June consists of 3.92 GW of project-specific capacity and 21.54 GW of undeveloped lease area potential capacity, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said in its 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update. The capacity comes from projects in 13 states and also includes the 30-MW Block Island wind farm, which was commissioned in 2016.A total of 1.91 GW of capacity is expected to be deployed by 2023.Offshore solicitations have awarded 800 MW in Massachusetts, 400 MW in Rhode Island and 200 MW in Connecticut to Vineyard Wind and Deepwater Wind. Other states having projects in the development pipeline are Maryland, New York and New Jersey.Overall, most of the projects are still in the planning and site control phase, while four schemes have initiated procurement. Contracts have already been awarded for Deepwater Wind’s 90-MW South Fork wind project off Long Island and its 120-MW Skipjack development off Maryland, as well as for a 248-MW scheme by US Wind off Maryland.On a global level, 2017 saw the commissioning of 3.39 GW of offshore wind farms, bringing the total installed capacity to 16.3 GW. Prices in the segment are going down following competitive auctions and there are even some unsubsidized projects. In terms of technology, turbines are growing in capacity, reaching 10 MW-12 MW, according to the report.More: US offshore wind project pipeline hits 25.5 GW U.S. offshore wind pipeline growing quicklylast_img read more

  • Brazil Donates Helicopters to Bolivia to Counter Drug Trafficking

    first_img Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim, arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, (east) on October 3 to take part in a ceremony to hand over two of four helicopters donated to Bolivia to counter drug trafficking, according to a statement by the Brazilian diplomatic delegation sent to AFP. The ceremony took place in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Air Base (El Trompillo), where Bolivian President Evo Morales and Defense Minister Rubén Saavedra were present. The Brazilian embassy specified that the transfer of the helicopters was based on “the request submitted by President Morales to President Lula, in a bilateral meeting during the UNASUR Summit, in Costa do Sauípe, in December 2008.” The request outlined that “the purpose of the helicopter grant is to strengthen cooperation bonds between both countries in the field of defense, with special attention to surveillance of air space and to combat transnational crime and drug trafficking.” During his stay in Bolivia, Amorim discussed the opening of new areas for bilateral cooperation in defense and “made announcements about the restoration of Bolivian armored vehicles, as well as helicopter pilot training,” indicated the statement. Bolivia and Brazil have developed several cooperation initiatives concerning countering drug trafficking. Last July, a joint military operation conducted in the region used aircrafts from both countries. By Dialogo October 04, 2012last_img read more

  • NextGen Know-How: 5 signs you have a mediocre culture

    first_imgA lot has changed over the past 30 years—we can jump on Amazon and have anything delivered to our door in a day, we have hundreds of channels at our fingertips and we can Google the answer to any question in a matter of seconds.But there is one thing that has not changed much: mediocre leadership. While the world has moved forward at a fast pace, mediocre leaders and mediocre cultures are still the norm. Sure, there are some influential, modern leaders in business today, but unfortunately, they are the minority. There are still ineffective, traditional, uninspiring leaders heading organizations around the globe.Why does the mediocre leader live on? Because most organizational cultures are mediocre. It’s like a temperature setting in your house—if the thermostat is set to 68 degrees, when it gets warmer, the air conditioning kicks on to bring the temperature back down to its setting. This is what happens in organizations every day. If some brave employee speaks up, tells the truth, displays excellence, or goes against the grain, the culture overtakes this one brave soul and brings him back to reality. A few high performers are no match for a mass of mediocrity. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

  • Loan Zone: An analytics-based approach to risk-based auto lending

    first_img continue reading » Credit unions have made notable gains in the auto loan market in recent years, driven in part by the lower rates they have offered. Going forward, a new approach to setting rates—an analytics-based approach—should give credit unions new power to stay competitive when adjusting in response to changes in federal rates.CUs’ Recent Market GainsCredit union have expanded the number of auto loans they hold in the market. According to NCUA 5300 call report data compiled by CU Rise Analytics, of 108 million auto loans in the market as of the second quarter of 2017, 23 million (21.29 percent) were funded by credit unions. This increased to 24 million by Q2 2018. Additionally, in 2017, the number of CU auto loans grew 9 percent, while for the overall auto loan market, the number of loans grew only 4.8 percent. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • Five things to know about the EU virus recovery plan

    first_imgLoans vs grants The original Brussels plan for the rescue package would have seen 500 billion euros distributed as non-repayable grants, subsidies from the EU to its poorer members.Resistance from the “frugals” saw this bargained down to 390 billion, with a further 360 billion issued as loans.Of the grants, 312.5 billion will go to investment plans drawn up by national governments, and the rest to EU-led programs, such as rural development, research and the green transition.The amount each country will be eligible to receive will be determined by a weighted formula: 70 percent of the total to be determined by a “resilience” rating taking into account population and long-term unemployment, and 30 percent based on how much GDP has been lost because of the virus crisis.  Joint debt The 750-billion-euro coronavirus rescue is a package of loans and — more controversially — grants, to help hard-hit countries through the recession triggered by the epidemic.The sum will be borrowed on the markets by the EU executive, the European Commission, and is thus based on the biggest ever issuance of joint European debt.This was once taboo for Germany, and was resisted this time by an even more “frugal” coalition of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Finland. EU oversight The national programs submitted by member states will be studied by the EU executive, the European Commission, and afterwards approved by a qualified majority of member states — a minimum of 55 percent of capitals representing 65 percent of the population.Because the “frugals” remain reluctant to allow their more indebted southern neighbors to spend joint funds without labor market reform, there will also be an “emergency brake”.If a group member states it is unhappy with a national plan, they can thus call it in for discussion at a European Council summit — but it is not clear whether this amounts to a full veto.   The European Union’s 27 member states emerged from an intense four-day and four-night summit on Tuesday branding a huge virus recovery plan and a trillion-euro long-term budget.Here are five key points about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called an impressive response to a historic recession and the worst crisis in the European Union’s history. Rebates up Key to persuading the “frugals” to put aside their concerns about southern overspending was a decision to boost the rebates that some net contributors receive on their EU dues.Denmark’s annual refund climbs to 377 million euros, up 91 percent on the figure planned before the summit. The Netherlands climbs 22 percent to 1.92 billion, Austria is up 138 percent to 565 million and Sweden 34 percent to 1.07 billion.     Germany did not need persuading to accept the deal, and its annual rebate remains at 3.67 billion.  center_img Rescue up, budget down The European Union’s seven-year budget — or Multiannual Financial Framework — that begins on January 1 is now set at 1,074 billion euros, 20 billion less than planned before the epidemic.The European Parliament will still have to approve the sum.It now includes a special five billion euro “reserve” to help the countries and sectors most affected by Brexit. And it will be more flexible in allowing money to be moved to traditional regional support programs and agricultural subsidies, and away from more recent areas of EU interest. Nevertheless, EU spending must be in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the effort to build a carbon neutral economy by 2050.    But, despite Dutch leader Mark Rutte and Austria’s Sebastian Kurz warning this would amount to forming the dreaded “transfer union” of well-run countries subsidizing big spenders, it was approved.Leaders like France’s President Emmanuel Macron who were pressing for more joint debt hailed the move as a historic step forward for the union and for its single currency.”At base what we are building is a common solidarity, and that’s unprecedented as the budgetary function that Europe needs to become a geo-political power,” he said.Rutte, however, stressed the temporary nature of the arrangement, insisting it was a “one off” to respond to the virus crisis. Topics :last_img read more

  • Gov. Wolf: $20 Million to Help Schools Provide Services to Students with Special Needs

    first_img August 20, 2020 Education,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating approximately $20 million to help 678 local education agencies, including school districts, to provide education services for students with disabilities who may have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts and may face additional challenges through the new academic year. The funding includes $15 million from Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and $5 million from the Department of Education’s (PDE) federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).“While COVID-19 impacted all students this year, it was particularly hard on our children with special needs, who often require additional support and services to assist their learning,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding will help schools as they put structures in place to help these students while we work to mitigate the spread of this pandemic.”The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds.The Special Education COVID-19 Impact Mitigation Grant (SECIM) will provide $15 million in financial support ($10M GEER; $5M IDEA) to local education agencies (LEA) to:Provide enhanced synchronous (real-time) instruction to bolster remote services and supports for students with complex needs; andProvide services and supports to students with disabilities who experienced a loss in skills and behavior and/or a lack of progress due to the mandatory school closuresAn additional $5 million in GEER grant funding will be available to Preschool Early Intervention programs to provide compensatory educational services.“While LEAs transition to implementing reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year, they continue to face challenges in delivering free appropriate public education (FAPE) and providing services to students with disabilities,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “This critical funding will help schools as they work with their students with special needs to rebuild skills and behaviors that were diminished during the COVID-19 shutdown.”Grant amounts were calculated using an allocation formula based on the number of students with complex special education needs within each LEA. Distribution of funds to Preschool early intervention programs will be made based on identified needs.Grant recipients will receive direct communication from PDE with eGrant application instructions.To date, the Wolf Administration has awarded $70.5 million in GEER funding to help keep students and educators safe, and meet the unique challenges of COVID-19. In addition to the $15 million for special education, the Wolf Administration has directed $28 million to postsecondary institutions and adult basic education providers, $14 million to K-12 schools to support equity in continuity of education, $10.5 million to Career and Technical Education Centers and $3 million for Preschool Early Intervention Programs.For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.Ver esta página en español. Gov. Wolf: $20 Million to Help Schools Provide Services to Students with Special Needscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

  • PRI hits 500th asset owner signatory ‘milestone’ with Colombian fund

    first_imgAccording to Saa’s update investment manager signatories now represent more than 70% of the signatory base, although he said the organisation remained asset-owner led.By assets under management, the largest PRI asset owner signatories are based in Japan, France, Germany and Austria. By number of signatories, the largest asset owner  bases are the Nordics, the US and the UK/Ireland.The PRI’s largest asset owners are based in the Nordics, the US, and the UK and Ireland.This year is the first year that asset owner and investment manager signatories could be delisted under a new accountability model that the PRI has introduced.The PRI has more than 2,700 signatories in total, including service providers. Protección SA, a corporate pension fund based in Colombia, recently became the 500th asset owner signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).According to the PRI’s website, at least six asset owners have become paid-up signatories since then: Canada Post Corporation Pension Plan, Hampshire Pension Fund, Öffentliche Sachversicherung Braunschweig, Öffentliche Lebensversicherung Braunschweig, Royal London, and Université Laval.In a blog post on the PRI’s website, Lorenzo Saa, chief signatory relations officer at the organisation, said hitting the 500 mark was “a hugely significant milestone” that came on the back of an annual growth rate of well over 20%.“Asset owners sit at the top of the investment chain, so there is now a powerful collective force committing to further mainstream responsible investment and lead PRI signatories’ $90trn (€82trn) in assets under management towards more sustainable returns,” he said.last_img read more