North East solicitors group launches fund to support local community groups

first_img  303 total views,  3 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Tagged with: Funding North East AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Melanie May | 6 February 2020 | News  302 total views,  2 views today North East law firm EMG Solicitors has set up its own charitable trust to help support community groups across the region.Based in Durham, EMG Solicitors has launched the EMG Community Fund, through which it plans to support a range of community initiatives, including groups that offer young people opportunities, aid elderly people and their carers, and empower women. £34,000 has been put into the fund initially, and the company also has a long-term plan of giving 5% of its profits on a yearly basis to benefit good causes.The fund is being managed by County Durham Community Foundation, which will work closely with EMG Solicitors to ensure that the money is used to make maximum impact.Emma Gaudern, Managing Director of EMG Solicitors, said:“It’s been very important to me from day one to be part of the local community and to give back in whatever way we can.“We are really looking forward to working closely with the Foundation and using their expertise in ensuring that the money in the EMG Community Fund goes to where it is most needed and makes a real difference.”Over the years EMG Solicitors has also been a supporter of brain injury charity Headway, sponsored events such as Lumiere and purchased both a Snowdog and an Elmer elephant from two arts trails raising money for St Oswald’s Hospice.Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive of the Foundation, said: Advertisement North East solicitors group launches fund to support local community groups “We are delighted that EMG Solicitors has joined County Durham Community Foundation’s family and launched a community fund with us. They are a great example of business leading the way in social responsibility by supporting grassroots groups within their community.“These groups know how to bring joy and opportunity to people suffering through poverty or poor mental health, and with EMG’s support they can do what they do best and make a huge difference.”Any organisation looking to apply for funding from County Durham Community Foundation should go to its site and follow the link for the Community Grants programme.last_img read more

Transnistrian authorities trying to break journalist held on spying charge

first_img RSF_en May 7, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Transnistrian authorities trying to break journalist held on spying charge to go further Transnistrian journalist gets presidential pardon in return for televised confession News Organisation Moldovan reporters harassed by Russian soldiers on border with Transnistria MoldovaEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts MoldovaEurope – Central Asia News News The wife of Ernest Vardanean, a journalist who has been detained in Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway region of Transnistria, on charges of spying and high treason since 7 April, is very worried about his physical and mental health.Irina Vardanean, who has just been allowed to visit her husband for only the second time since his arrest, said his physical condition has deteriorated considerably and he is suffering from depression. He has been subjected to hours of interrogation designed to exhaust him and make him confess to things he did not do, she reported.She also said the Transnistrian authorities are still refusing to let her husband be represented by a lawyer, violating a fundamental right. They have rejected the Moldovan lawyer proposed by the family on the grounds that state secrets could be jeopardised.Irina Vardanean has written to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev requesting his help. As the Kremlin has a great deal of influence over the Transnistrian government, she thinks this could be the best card to play.Reporters Without Borders reiterates its dismay about Vardanean’s detention and treatment and calls for his release. In the meantime, it urges the authorities to allow him to see his lawyer, so that the proceedings can start running along legal lines.Ion Manole, the head of the Moldovan human rights NGO Promo Lex, said the Transnistrian judicial authorities often bring charges of spying or high treason against government opponents in order to intimidate and silence them.————————————————-15.04.2010 Journalist facing long jail term : Does arrest signal campaign by breakaway region against pro-Moldovan journalists? Journalists must be respected during Moldova’s political crisis Help by sharing this information News Reporters Without Borders condemns the detention of leading independent journalist and political analyst Ernest Vardanean in Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway region of Transnistria. Arrested by the Transnistrian intelligence agency, the MGB, on 7 April, he is facing between 12 and 20 years in prison on a charge of high treason.Vardanean, who is from Tiraspol, is currently being held in the breakaway territory’s national security headquarters after a court held a closed-door hearing and ordered him placed in pre-trial detention for two months.According to a television station in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, the Transnistrian authorities have accused Vardanean under article 272 of the Transnistrian constitution of spying for Moldova. Transnistria declared itself independent of Moldova in 1990 but its secession has not been recognised by Moldova or any other state.Reporters Without Borders fears that the Tiraspol authorities could, in an arbitrary and untransparent manner, impose a long jail sentence on Vardanean although they lack any grounds for doing so. His arrest may be the first move in a broader campaign against Transnistrian journalists working for Moldovan media who express views critical of the breakaway region’s authorities.Vardanean’s wife Irina said his computer was seized when he was arrested. She still had not received any news from Vardanean or any information as to the conditions in which he was being held two days after his arrest.He used to work for the Novii Reghion news agency but recently began freelancing. He is well known among Moldovan journalists for being critical of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov. He had been due to begin this week to write for a blog on the Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Moldovan service’s website.Journalists working in regions with lasting political conflicts are often in a delicate situation. There is always a danger of their falling victim to regional political rivalry and harassment of the press often foreshadows a resurgence in regional tension.Located along Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine, Transnistria declared its independence of Moldova after the USSR’s collapse. Supported by Russia, it has a constitution, a flag and an independent army but it has not been recognised by any country. June 14, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Moldova July 23, 2020 Find out more May 6, 2011 Find out morelast_img read more

City Will Spend Will Spend Millions to Trim Trees Clear of Power Lines

first_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  19 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Business News Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPasadena Water and PowerPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena HerbeautyThe Most Obvious Sign A Guy Likes You Is When He Does ThisHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHere Is What Scientists Say Will Happen When You Eat AvocadosHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAncient Beauty Remedies From India To Swear By For Healthy SkinHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Reasons Why Ultimatums Are Unhealthy For RelationshipsHerbeautyHerbeauty Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.center_img Top of the News More Cool Stuff The City Council on Monday approved a three-item consent calendar, including a maximum $15.7 million contract to provide power line clearance tree trimming services for the city’s Water and Power Department.The vote clears the way for City Manager Steve Mermell to enter into a contract with Utility Tree Service for an initial period not to exceed three years, or until $9,432,000 has been expended, whichever occurs first; with two optional one-year extensions, each not to exceed $3,144,000.The California Public Utilities Commission’s General Order 95 requires power utilities to trim trees that are in close proximity to overhead power distribution lines.Pasadena Water and Power trims an average of 7,800 trees annually that are in close proximity to energized electrical lines.As part of the agreement, the city accepted a letter from Pasadena-based Flintridge Tree Care, Inc. rescinding its bid to provide power line clearance tree trimming services for the city utility. The Pasadena company bid $2,680,284 to perform the work. San Diego-based Utility Tree Service came in second place. Two additional companies each placed higher bids to perform the work.The City Council also voted to enter into a $368,000 contract with Transcore to provide adaptive traffic control services as part of the adaptive traffic control network included in Phase II of the Metro grant-funded project.Under Phase II of the Adaptive Traffic Control Network, the expansion of traffic control operations provides for an additional 31 signalized intersections citywide.Adaptive traffic control operations will be placed at:• Foothill Boulevard, from Sierra Madre Boulevard to Michillinda Avenue• Lake Avenue, from Orange Grove Boulevard to San Pascual Street• Del Mar Boulevard, from St. John Avenue to Lake Avenue• California Boulevard, from St. John Avenue to Lake AvenueThe council also voted to allow the city manager to enter into a $230,000 contract with Ellis Equipment for TSleds and K-Rails.An additional $35,000 will be appropriated from the General Fund operating reserve for on-street dining to the Department of Transportation.K-Rails are temporary concrete barriers that are used for perimeter protection, prohibiting access and defining walkways. The barriers are being used to protect outdoor dining areas along Colorado Boulevard in Playhouse Village and Old Pasadena.The city has paid $151,000 for rentals of K-rails and TLS2 SLEDs and will pay an additional $110,000 to rent the barriers until June.The council passed all of the items with one vote. No items were pulled for further consideration. STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News Government City Will Spend Will Spend Millions to Trim Trees Clear of Power Lines STAFF REPORT Published on Monday, February 8, 2021 | 5:58 pm STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Subscribe Make a commentlast_img read more

Belgium in awe as Hazard turns on Euro 2016 style

first_imgToulouse, FRANCE | AFP | Eden Hazard could eclipse his “difficult” season with Chelsea by taking Euro 2016 by storm, according to Axel Witsel.Hazard struggled to make his mark for Belgium as they finished runner-up place in Group E behind Italy.But in a man-of-the-match performance against Hungary in Toulouse on Sunday, Hazard, captain for the night, turned on the style to score his maiden goal as his country secured a last eight fight against Wales in Lille. It will be the Red Devils’ first European Championship quarter-finals since they lost the 1980 final.Although Hazard warned Wales will be a “complicated” side to play, Belgium are now waiting for a repeat performance against Gareth Bale’s side on Friday.“If we want to go all the way, we need Eden to be playing like he did tonight,” said Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Witsel.“He’s getting better match by match, and it’s good for us. He has all the qualities needed to win the (FIFA) Ballon d’Or (award) or to become the world’s best player.“For me, he’s already among the world’s best. After his difficult season at Chelsea. He’s playing a lot more freer, scoring goals and giving assists.”Chelsea teammate and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had little to do in a one-sided performance that saw Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld head a 10th minute lead before Belgium added three more goals in the second half.Their driving force, he said, was Hazard.“Hazard was fantastic,” said Courtois. “When he wants to, he’s one of the best players in the world.”Hazard was handed the captain’s armband by coach Marc Wilmots, and the 25-year-old responded by producing what he said was his best performance in a Belgian shirt.Wilmots said he told Hazard to do the talking with his boots.“Everyone knows he talks a lot, but a captain can’t just talk about scoring,” said the Belgium coach. “I told him I wanted him to score a goal, that he didn’t shoot enough. And tonight, his feet did the talking.“But I’m not surprised. I know what he’s capable of.”center_img After Belgium spurned a host of chances in the opening half, they responded to a brief Hungary fightback after the interval in style.Michy Batshuayi, with his first touch as a substitute, Hazard and Yannick Carrasco scored in the last 12 minutes to wrap up the win in the tournament’s final match in Toulouse.Hazard did all the creative work for Batshuayi’s 78th minute goal on what was his first touch after coming on as a late substitute.“Eden did a magnificent job,” said the midfielder.“On the goal that he set up for me, but also defensively and offensively, he was superb.“He dribbled past two players to give me the ball. I was unmarked and all I had to do was stick it in the net.“I’ve got only one thing to say to him: thanks captain.”Hazard, meanwhile, was quick to salute Belgium’s “collective” display.“Doing better than tonight would be difficult, I think. Everything was almost perfect. We scored goals, we created a lot of chances, we helped Thibaut (Courtois) keep a clean sheet,” he said.“All in all it was a great night, but we made it easy for ourselves.”“In the second half we killed off the match. To do better (against Wales) will be hard. But we’ll try.”Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 3last_img read more

Harlequin Productions Musical Director Bruce Whitney Talks Twelfth Night

first_imgA Rock’n’Roll Twelfth Night runs through July 20 at Harlequin Productions. Tickets and info available at 360/786/0151 or harlequinproductions.com Facebook4Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions Music Director Bruce Whitney co-wrote A Rock ‘n Roll Twelfth Night and composed the music.Musicals are incredibly complex things. Two or three hours of continuous music, song, dance, and dialogue, combine with costumes, props, and set pieces to create a large and intricate work of art. The concept of sitting down and attempting to create a new musical is a daunting proposition. But in the mid-90s, two brothers in the Olympia theater community did just that.The musical that Bruce and Scot Whitney wrote is currently being produced on stage at Harlequin Productions for the fourth time. I sat down with Harlequin Production’s Musical Director, Bruce Whitney, who composed the music for the show.So how did this all get started?In 1995, Harlequin did a production of The Rocky Horror Show and we had such a great time. I had done some underscoring for Harlequin, but had never musically directed anything before. We decided we wanted to do another rock’n’roll musical and thought it would be fun to try and write it ourselves. Early in 1996, Scot came up with the idea of turning Twelfth Night into a musical. At first I was little dubious. I remember asking Linda what she thought and she thought it was great. So, what the heck? I agreed.Where do you start when trying to do something as complex as this?In April 1996 we went through the Twelfth Night script and picked out which lines or scenes or defining moments could be turned into songs. We came up with twenty-odd songs, and I thought “Whoa! That’s a lot of songs!” We had just started on it when Harlequin (Scot!) announced that they would be producing the show in the summer of 1997 – one year away. What??!! I was bit terrified, I admit, but Scot was, of course, completely confident and excited.What was the writing process like?Mostly the way it worked was he would come up with a song title (usually based on a textual reference) and some possible lyrics. Then I’d fiddle around on the guitar or piano and come up with a melody and sort of the feel of the song. Then we’d get together and talk it over. It was really pretty remarkable, in retrospect, how easily most of the songs came together.Not every song worked that way though. I remember coming up with the melody and title for The Way I Feel Tonight, not having any idea if it would fit into the show. I played it for Scot, and he soon found the perfect place for it – where Orsino and Viola finally unite toward the end.Tell me about the trip to the Condo?That was in February 1997. We probably had about half the show written with only three months before rehearsals would begin. Ouch! We decided we needed to get away for a week to concentrate on it. [Harlequin actor] Andy Gordon’s mother owned a condo just north of Newport, Oregon, and she said to go ahead and use it. Perfect!We arrived there late on a Saturday. I set up my music equipment, guitars, and computer in the living room. He laid out his thesaurus, rhyming dictionary and Shakespeare upstairs in the bedroom. I recorded ideas onto a minidisc player (pretty high tech at the time!), and he’d write lyrics. We’d trade ideas back and forth.We started out pretty excited, but for whatever reason we just weren’t getting much done at first. Not much was really working. By Tuesday we decided something needed to start happening or we’d have to come with a new plan. Bam! That day we wrote 3 or 4 great songs. From then on it was like an assembly line.There was one time I remember we were taking a walk along the beach, and we were leaning on a big log. Scot says, ‘I have an idea for a song for Olivia (modeled after Madonna) where she says “Expose your love to me.’ And the melody and “feel” of the song came to me right away. Very Madonna, very seductive!Another one was “Halleboogaloodaday!” He made up the word for the song, and I thought “Huh?!” But it works! Fun song.Anyway, by the time we left, we only had a couple songs left to do. We still talk about how great that experience was.I know it must feel great whenever you musically direct a show and it’s received well. But how much better does it feel when it’s something you actually wrote?This one means way more. I’m just flabbergasted that we could do it. I feel like we did something special, you know? Anyway, people seem to love it, and that’s VERY satisfying.They certainly do. Popular demand keeps bringing it back again and again.Yeah and every time we do it I love it even more. And there’s yet another chance to make improvements. For instance, Lead Me On was added to the 2003 production (our third). We decided that the wedding scene with Olivia and Sebastian, late in the show, really needed a musical moment. We wrote it just a couple of weeks prior to opening. And it’s funny because that one almost sounds like something you’d hear on the radio. [Laughs] I think it could sell.Looking back, one of my favorite things about creating the show were the backup parts. They’re so much fun. And the backup singers have more work to do than anybody else. Singing and choreography in almost every song. Big accolades and a big thank you!This is a fascinating story and it ends up being an accomplishment between two brothers. How does it feel that you built this incredibly intricate show alongside your brother?The man is brilliant. He and Linda started this company in the early nineties and dragged me along for the ride. For the most part, I’ve written a lot of underscoring for almost all the Shakespeare’s and several of the other plays. Later, beginning with this show, I started adding “music director” to my resume. If it weren’t for him and the whole Harlequin experience, I wouldn’t be nearly as accomplished a composer and musician. And it was his complete confidence and complete faith that we could create this musical that kept us going. Oh, yeah, and check out his lyrics. They’re flippin’ incredible!I love that guy.last_img read more

Westport Winery Wins Unanimous Double Golds at Great Northwest Invitational

first_imgFacebook180Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Westport WineryThis week we were excited to get the text that said, “Your Cabs are kicking a** in Hood River.” This the first time we were invited to participate in the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition held at the Columbia Gorge Inn in Hood River, Oregon.Photo courtesy: Westport WineryThe prestigious event offers twenty wine judges the opportunity to invite up to 100 wines each to compete for top honors. That means a win, is a BIG win!We had three 2017 Cabernet Sauvignons represented in this competition. Charterboat Chick, MV Endeavor, and MV Argonaut. All three received double gold medals (unanimous panel decisions).Our Cabernet Sauvignon “program” is one that our director of winemaking Dana Roberts has been nurturing for years. He is convinced that Washington State grows the best Cab Sauv grapes. For Dana, the best way to finish wine from his favorite vineyards is to age it in special French oak barrels. The results of this event proves that his passion is in the right place.To accomplish this feat we are fortunate to partner and collaborate with the top wine grape growers in Washington.Joe Hattrup, who owns both Sugarloaf and Elephant Mountain Vineyards in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, grew the fruit Dana used to craft MV Endeavor—named after the dive boat Blain built at Westport Shipyard where he met his future wife Kim Irving. We also harvest Malbec, Mouvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot, and of course, our beloved Cabernet Sauvignon at Hattrup Farms.Charterboat Chick features 52% Cab from Conner-Lee Vineyard in the Columbia Valley AVA and 48% from May’s Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.Photo courtesy: Westport WineryMV Argonaut (named after Blain’s first dive boat on Maui) is made from grapes exclusively grown at Conner-Lee Vineyard.During your next visit to Westport Winery Garden Resort you will see the new tasting room for Ocean’s Daughter Distillery. We hope to have our first few selections available for tasting and purchase by Thanksgiving. Just like at the winery we will offer complimentary gift wrapping to be sure to include spirits in your holiday gift list.Westport Winery Seaside received the 2019 Rising Star Award from the Seaside Chamber of Commerce. Westport Winery and the Roberts family were honored with Seattle Business Magazine’s Community Involvement Business of the Year for 2018. In 2017 the Westport Winery Garden Resort was named Greater Grays Harbor Business of the Year. USA Today named the Sea Glass Grill at Westport Winery Garden Resort one of the top five winery restaurants in the nation. The business has been voted Best Winery by King 5 Evening Magazine.In 2016 Westport Winery was honored as one of the top twenty most-admired wineries in North America by Winery & Vineyard Management Magazine. The business earned Best Winery, Best Wine Shop, and Best Boutique Winery for 2016 by South Sound Magazine. They received the Grays Harbor Environmental Stewardship Award in 2015. They are finalist to the Best Washington Family Business competition by Seattle Business Magazine. And in 2011 they garnered Washington Winery to Watch by Wine Press Northwest.Photo courtesy: Westport WineryIn Oregon, Westport Winery Seaside and Seaside Kites are open daily from 11am to 6pm. For more information on the Oregon operation guests can visit their website at www.westportwinery.com. Family-friendly Westport Winery Garden Resort is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. The Sea Glass Grill at the resort is open daily or brunch, lunch, and dinner from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information or reservations call 360-648-2224.last_img read more

Tough Year For Impatiens

first_imgFavorite summer flowering plant hit by disease Lush, beautiful impatiens in pinks, purples, brilliant white and deep oranges are a favorite annual of almost any gardener with a shady growing area. But this year, nurserymen, garden centers and growers are advising against planting them.Impatiens walleriana has been hit with an emerging disease called downy mildew that infects the plants and results in leafless stems that then collapse. The disease was first seen in Florida a number of years ago and has been on the move ever since and is now in more than 30 states, including the Garden State.The good news is that there are lots of other showy plants that do well in the shade that garden centers and landscapers in the area are stocking this growing season.Paul Molzon of Molzon Garden Center in Lincroft, called impatiens downy mildew “a terrible thing.“There’s no actual cure for it,” he said. “Most of the growers just aren’t growing it because people aren’t going to buy it. Most of the landscapers are just going to switch to using other plants.”Impatiens downy mildew only infects the Impatiens walleriana, not New Guinea impatiens or sunpatiens, which look remarkably like the impacted variety of impatiens, or other plants.Plants that are infected will get a fuzzy, white growth on the underside of the leaf.“That’s the first sign,” Molzon said. “The next step is a lot of the foliage will fall off. There might be just a few small leaves left with a few flowers on the top. The next step is … the stems will just fall down as if they had melted,” he said.“The big problem is (growers and experts) don’t know how long this will last in the soil. It’s out there. It handles the cold; it overwinters in the soil. So, if you had a problem, you don’t want to plant impatiens there again because you’ll definitely have the problem again.”The Master Gardeners at Sickles Market in Little Silver have assembled a collection of hearty, colorful alternatives to impatiens, making selections that are particularly suited to conditions at the Shore. The easy-to-grow, shade tolerant and fungus-resistant plants include New Guinea impatiens, sunpatiens, angel wing begonias, torenia, angelonia, ivy geraniums, caladium and coleus, and they will prove a worthy replacement to the fungus-prone impatiens.“These substitute plants are so easy to care for and give a wider range of colors and textures that were lacking with impatiens,” said Natale Siclare, garden center manager.Molzon also is recommending substituting impatiens with such plants as begonias.“There are tons of great begonias that will handle the shade … They come in all different colors” and varieties, including common garden begonia that come in flats, the dragon wing begonias and a variety called “Big” that grow to about 24-inches tall, he said.Coleus, which come in a variety of vivid colors, lobelia and New Guinea impatiens and sunpatiens are also recommended to take the place of the annual favorite.Molzon has been proactive about letting his clients know about the problem by sending information weeks ago in his newsletter and putting it on his Facebook page. “I’m going to have a few impatiens in but have a big sign on them to educate people,” Molzon said.“All the large seed companies are working on this like crazy because it will be a big hit,” he said.last_img read more

FOREVER DARLING SCORES UPSET WIN GOING 6 ½ FURLONGS IN GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA YNEZ STAKES; BALTAS & BEJARANO COMBINE FOR HALF LENGTH VICTORY IN 1:16.25

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2016)–Forever Darling attended the pace set by favored Pretty N Cool, took command a sixteenth of a mile out and held off the late run of Code Warrior to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Trained by Richard Baltas and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Forever Darling prevailed by a half length while covering the 6 ½ furlong distance in 1:16.25.Idle since well beaten in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 31 at Keeneland, Forever Darling, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Congrats, was the third choice in a field of seven and paid $10.20, $5.00 and $3.20.“I had a good position from the beginning,” said Bejarano. “I knew one of Baffert’s horses would try to go straight to the lead so I just tried to figure out which one. I saw Martin (Garcia) go with Pretty N Cool and I knew she was the horse to beat, so I put us in right behind them and went from there.“I knew pressure was coming by the three eighths pole and I just tried to keep going…I thought she was much better today running six and a half.”Owned by Baltas, Hebert Bloodstock and J K Racing, LLC, Forever Darling, who broke her maiden going 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita on Sept. 26, got her second win from four starts. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $155,400.“We thought she displaced in the Breeders’ Cup and we found she had an ulcer on her soft palate when we did surgery on her,” said Baltas. “He (Bejarano) had to ride her hard, but she just fought it out. She has a lot of determination and you can’t teach that to a horse. I’m just glad that I own a piece of her and I train her. It’s just a great day for me.”Trained by Manny Badilla and ridden by Anne Sanguinetti, Code Warrior came to Santa Anita for the first time on the heels of a three-race winning streak and was finishing well as the 5-2 second choice. Finishing a neck in front of Pretty N Cool, she paid $4.60 and $3.00.“She ran huge,” said Badilla, who is based at Golden Gate Fields. “We’re going to hit the (California) Oaks next at Golden Gate (Feb. 6th). It’s a mile and a sixteenth and it’s our last shot with those fillies up there. We’ll be back down here again soon, no doubt.”Off at 2-1, Pretty N Cool, who carved out fractions of 22.48, 45.57 and 1:09.84, paid $2.60 to show.Run as Saturday’s third race, the Santa Ynez is the first of three graded stakes to be run this afternoon.last_img read more

Tipping Point for Embryonic Stem Cells?

first_imgAt any time, courts could rule on whether funding of embryonic stem cell research can continue or must be halted.  Whichever way a decision is rendered, whether by Judge Lamberth on the legality of the NIH guidelines, or by the Court of Appeals for DC, the issue will probably wind up before the Supreme Court.  Passions run high on both sides.  A crusader for adult stem cells, profiled in Nature this past week,1 was surprised by how many scientists support her antagonism to the use of human embryos for research.  More on that later; first, some news highlights:Cooling the flame:  Science Daily told how adult stem cell therapy can reduce inflammatory damage from stroke.  “We are seeing a paradigm shift in the way some types of stem cells may enhance recovery from stroke,” an excited researcher at the University of Texas said.  The adult stem cell therapy appears to dampen inflammation involving the spleen.  This new treatment holds promise to “improve clinical care, reduce long-term health care costs, and improve the quality of life for millions of people.”iPS momentum:  PhysOrg reported that researchers at Harvard and Columbia have demonstrated that “many iPS cells are the equal of hESCs in creating human motor neurons, the cells destroyed in a number of neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s.”  Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are a form of adult stem cell that does not involve the destruction of embryos (11/20/2007), as in human embryonic stem cells (hESC).  The article says that iPS cells meet the “gold standard” of pluripotency.  In addition, new methods are speeding the tests for pluripotency of iPS cells.Hearty iPS:  Another story on PhysOrg highlighted research at Stanford that shows iPS cells can generate beating heart cells that carry a genetic defect under study, allowing “for the first time to examine and characterize the disorder at the cellular level.”ESC economics:  PhysOrg also discussed the current disarray of patent laws surrounding stem cell lines, data, and treatments.  Some scientists warn of a potential “stifling effect of widespread patenting in stem cell field.”  Bioethicist Debra Matthews (Johns Hopkins) said, “Pervasive taking of intellectual property rights has resulted in a complex and confusing patchwork of ownership and control in the field of stem cell science.”  Although the article was unclear whether the dispute includes adult stem cell research, it mentioned one recommendation being “a centralized portal for access to existing databases, such as the UK Stem Cell Bank and the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry.”Mixed bag:  Another article on PhysOrg discussed the new Massachusetts Medical School Human Stem Cell Bank, which opened with seven high-quality stem cell lines (5 embryonic, 2 iPS, with more to follow), and how they are being preserved in liquid nitrogen and made available to researchers around the world.  The article mixed these two sources of stem cells with no mention of ethics: e.g., “The Registry includes information on the derivation, availability and characteristics for more than 1,200 hESC and iPS cell lines developed in over 22 different countries, including more than 200 cell lines with genetic disorders.”Sex cells:  Parthenogenetic stem cells are taken from reproductive cells (03/12/2005).  Lacking the full complement of chromosome pairs, they might contain a good or bad copy of a gene implicated in a disease like tuberous sclerosis or Huntington’s disease.  Science Daily discussed how work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is constructing good embryonic stem cells from parthenogenetic cells.  “These single-parent/patient-derived embryonic stem cells can theoretically be used for correction of a diverse number of diseases that occur when one copy of the gene is abnormal,” a research at the hospital said.“The Crusader”With the decision by Judge Lamberth last September prohibiting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (09/03/2010) still under an injunction (09/26/2010), researchers and bioethicists are waiting to see what the next court ruling will bring.  Nature published the story of “The Crusader,” Theresa Deisher, one of the two remaining plaintiffs who won in the September case.1  Reporter Meredith Wadman presented Deisher in a fairly positive light as an intelligent, confident, persistent, self-sacrificing, hard-working PhD in cell biology, respected by her enemies, a Roman Catholic who “once shunned religion for science” but regained her faith when realizing that fetuses were not just “clumps of cells,” but human beings (cf. 11/07/2002).    Deisher’s politics in college were “very left-wing,” after she ditched her mother’s religious faith.  “I was in science, and science was much more interesting than religion,” she said.  “I encouraged a couple of friends to have abortions.”  Her return to faith came by degrees: first, the sight of an adult cadaver preserved in formalin made her realize that a fetus preserved in a jar only looks “alien” because of the preservation method.  Second, she encountered first-hand the passions of those bent on researching human embryos; “And the vehemence with which colleagues resisted ‘made me open my eyes’, Deisher says, to the very real – and, she says, unscientific – passions that can infect defenders of scientific orthodoxy,” Wadman wrote.  “Science, she reasoned, was not so objective after all.”  Third, Deisher’s growing antipathy to embryonic stem cell research got an emotional kick when speaking to Republican state lawmakers in Washington state in 2007.  “One of the other speakers was a mother who had adopted a frozen embryo from a fertility clinic,” Wadman continued.  “The resulting child, a girl then four years old, stood beside her.”    Deisher sold her house and used her retirement savings to start an institute for the advancement of adult stem cell therapies.  She is not, thereby, antagonizing scientists by opposing them through the political process; when asked, she reluctantly signed on as a plaintiff in the lawsuit that resulted in Lamberth’s ruling: “It is frightening to speak out,” she said; “I don’t care for the notoriety.”  Instead, her AVM Biotechnology company seeks to provide positive alternatives: “The company’s mission, in part, is to eliminate the need for embryonic-stem-cell therapies and enable adult-stem-cell companies to succeed by developing, for instance, drugs that promote stem-cell retention in target organs,” It is also working on alternatives to vaccines currently produced using cell lines derived from fetuses that had been aborted decades ago.”  Unlike the institutes in California that have $3 billion in taxpayer-approved bonds at their disposal, Deisher runs her company in a dormitory with five unpaid staff.    A lot rides on the court’s next move.  If the court agrees with Deisher, Wadman ended, “it will shut down hundreds of human-embryonic-stem-cell experiments once more – possibly for good.”  One of the most interesting things Deisher learned from the lawsuit – indeed, the “biggest lesson,” Wadman called it – was, in Deisher’s words, “how many scientists are against [human-embryonic-stem-cell research].  I did not know that. I did not expect the level of support and encouragement that I have received.”1.  Meredith Wadman, “The Crusader,” Nature 470, 156-159 (Feb 9, 2011) | doi:10.1038/470156a.That Nature would print this story about Deisher is an encouraging sign that the momentum may be turning away from embryonic stem cell research.  Nature used to wield its editorial pen against the opponents the way it does against creationists, calling them ignorant moralists standing in the way of progress (02/11/2005, 09/27/2004).  Dr. Tracy Deisher certainly does not fit that description, nor does Dr. James Sherley, an adult stem cell researcher at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, the other remaining plaintiff in the lawsuit.  For sure, Wadman snuck in enough jibes about Deisher to titillate Nature’s leftist readers (calling her a “bundle of contradictions,” pointing out that she never applied for a NIH grant, pointing out that she studies the “pernicious” and “disproven” hypothesis that autism might be triggered by vaccines, quoting people who call her “polarizing,” remarking in a callout box that “she’s kind of the Sarah Palin of stem cells,”), but she gave Deisher a lot of room to respond, too.    What was not said may be more telling.  Wadman did not point out any benefits of embryonic stem cells over adult stem cells.  She did not quote any leading ES researchers making a good case for cutting up embryos.  And she did not even attempt to defend ES research on ethical grounds.  Instead, she gave Deisher space to make two striking blows: (1) that many scientists are opposed to human embryonic stem cell research, and (2) that hESC researchers are not driven primarily by concern for the sick.  Researchers prefer to work on ES cells because they are convenient, Deisher argued; their science “is not about helping patients and it’s not about advancing the common good.”  Instead, she argued, “There is no commercial, clinical or research utility in working with human embryonic stem cells.”  That anecdote about the four-year-old girl born from a frozen embryo added emotional clout.  Here was a darling human being – obviously a great deal more than a clump of cells.    These are signs that embryonic stem cell research is losing its hype-driven public mandate (cf. 01/02/2011).  After all the promises, it has produced no cures (while adult stem cell research is on a roll; see 11/18/2010 starting from initial promise in 01/24/2002).  It is superfluous, now that iPS technology is its equal, without the ethical qualms.  Its credibility has been marred by fraud (12/16/2005), while others worry about future abuses (10/21/2004; cf. 04/22/2004 and 07/30/2001 on eugenics).  Opponents within the scientific community are becoming more bold.  And it is hanging by a thread, waiting for the next court ruling that might end its federal funding for good (double entendre intentional).  But why should it get federal funding in the first place?  If the promises were credible, commercial and charitable support would be overwhelming.  That ES researchers have to lean on the government dole is a sign it is not commercially viable.    Is this subject relevant for Creation-Evolution Headlines?  Maybe not directly, but one’s view of the origin of life and humanity has direct bearing on ethics.  The stem cell controversy of the past decade has been a direct outgrowth of competing views on the significance of human life.  If an embryo is “just a clump of cells,” then playing with those clumps because of their convenience or the temptation of a Nobel prize has no ethical consequences.  But if human life was created by God, it never loses its sanctity from conception to burial.  It will affect how we view a fetus in a jar, a plasticized body in an exhibit, an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home, a woman considering an abortion, the direction of scientific research.  It’s where the rubber of worldview meets the road of scientific practice.(Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

AirAsia’s Vietnam plan faces stiff competition.

first_imgKuala Lumpur-based AirAsia is having another tilt at a joint venture in Vietnam that will pit it against the well-established operations of Jetstar Pacific and VIetJet. Wholly-owned AirAsia subsidiary AirAsia Investment Limited signed an agreement on March 30 week with Gumin Company Limited,  the  Hai Au Aviation Joint Stock Company and their owner Tran Trong Kien to establish a budget carrier in the fast-growing market.The budget carrier will own 30 per cent of the joint venture which plans to start flying in 2018, subject to Vietnam’s often difficult regulatory process.Vietnam’s aviation market has been growing at a healthy clip and Bloomberg estimates the growth is three times the rate in other Southeast Asian countries.Government statistics show there were 52.2 million air travellers in Vietnam in 2016, an increase of 29 per cent year-on-year, with 28 million flying domestically. The International Air Transport Association has predicted there will be 112 million new passengers in Vietnam over the next two decades.This is AirAsia’s third attempt to get a foothold in Vietnam as part of its strategy to establish an Asian network and the CAPA Centre for Aviation believes being late to the market will make the job more difficult.  “ AirAsia was initially partnered with VietJet Air but the partnership was dissolved prior to VietJet commencing operations in late 2011,’’ CAPA said.“The market has since more than doubled in size, and Vietnam has emerged as Southeast Asia’s fastest growing market. “While there is further growth potential, the LCC incumbents VietJet and Jetstar Pacific have first mover advantage, and infrastructure constraints could make it difficult for any new entrant to establish a significant presence.”AirAsia will also need to overcome regulatory hurdles.”Known for publicity stunts involving bikini-clad girls, VietJet launched in 2011 as Vietnam’s first privately owned “new age” carrier and publicly listed earlier this year.It operates almost 40 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft to about 60 domestic and international destinations with ports in Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Myanmar. It hopes to have a fleet of 200 aircraft by 2023 and last year placed an order with Boeing for 100 737 MAX jets with a list price of $US11.3 billion.Jetstar Pacific launched in 2008 and now flies to 16 domestic and international destinations with a  fleet of 10 Airbus A320 aircraft. It has plans to expand its fleet to 30 A320s.Australia’s Jetstar Group owns 30 per cent of the airline while Vietnam Airlines, which is also a codeshare partner with Jetstar,  owns the remainder.Jetstar’s Australian long-haul operations will move in May to reconnect with its sister airline when it resumes flights to Ho Chi Minh City.Starting May 10, Jetstar will operate Boeing 787 Dreamliner services three times weekly from Melbourne and four times weekly from Sydney.Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka in January described Vietnam as one of the fastest growing holiday destinations in South East Asia.“Vietnam has the potential to become as popular as Bali or Thailand for Australian travellers,” Hrdlicka said. “Vietnam is well known for its rich culture, vibrant cities, beaches and cuisine, and travellers can take advantage of the wide range of experiences the region has to offer.“We expect our low fares and direct flights will generate even more demand for holidays to Vietnam.’’Jetstar International first flew to Vietnam from Australia a decade ago.last_img read more