Marie-Ange Bunga of HKS starts Congo Initiative at Harvard

first_imgMarie-Ange Bunga, a graduating M.P.A./M.C. student at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), has started the Congo Initiative at Harvard, a student organization aiming to increase awareness about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.“The scramble for minerals in eastern Congo is the crux of this tragedy,” she says. “These minerals, used to produce cell phones and computers in the U.S. and elsewhere, is fueling the conflict.”Bunga and advocates are pressing for passage of the bipartisan Congo Conflict Minerals Act and the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006. They’re also urging the appointment of a U.S. special envoy for Congo.“We urgently need help from people with interest in the Congo, its politics and economy, and the issues related to its mineral resources,” says Bunga, who collaborated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard Defense Against Genocide, and the Human Rights Center at HKS, and sought connections with other universities.Though graduating, Bunga is hopeful her legacy will live on in the capable hands of more concerned students. To express your interest or learn more about issues in the Congo, contact [email protected]last_img read more

Creative bursts from all corners

first_imgThe idea behind a recent Radcliffe workshop sounded more like the setup to a perfect punch line, admitted one of its organizers“It almost began like a joke. Bring a pastry chef and a neuroscientist and a particle physicist into the room and see what happens,” said University of Toronto astronomer Ray Jayawardhana, a former Radcliffe Fellow.So the laughs Tuesday at Radcliffe Gymnasium were fitting, but secondary to the serious reflection and discussion around the theme of creativity across disciplines. “We didn’t know exactly where the conversation would go,” said Jayawardhana, “but we knew it would be fascinating, and we would cross-pollinate between different fields.”The day was devoted to looking closely at moments of creative breakthrough and to asking about the “commonalities, and also about revealing discrepancies between such moments in various fields,” said co-organizer John Plotz, also a former Radcliffe Fellow and now an English professor at Brandeis University.Maureen N. McLane, an associate professor of English at New York University, opened the workshop with a poetic perspective, referencing Ezra Pound’s “make it new,” a dictum that influenced generations of post-World War I artists. Pound was challenging poets, said McLane, “to keep art and life in dynamic relation.” Pound himself often made it new, she added, by making it old.“Poet breakthroughs,” said McLane, “are not about progress, they are not linear, they are sometimes about reframing, about reconnecting with vital sources in the language or in new dimensions of experience.”Harvard grad Alex Ross, a music critic for The New Yorker, unraveled the mystery and creative brilliance of Richard Wagner, examining how and why the composer’s work continues to hold audiences “spellbound.”Ross deconstructed the opening of “Tristan and Isolde” for the group of about 60 participants. The “hypnotic effect of its opening bars,” he said, help to create the “most revolutionary moment” in Wagner’s work.But beyond his output, the life of Wagner, musical genius and fierce anti-Semite, teaches about  “the highest and lowest impulses of humankind,” Ross said.“In the case of Wagner, we are looking into a great magnifying mirror of the soul of the human species, what we hate in it, we hate in ourselves; what we love in it, we love in ourselves, also,” he said. “Wagner’s breakthrough was to make music absolutely, overwhelmingly, human.”Turning to culinary creativity, the longtime pastry chef at the White House, Bill Yosses, explained how a breakthrough 40 years ago helped shine a light on the art of cooking, one that has intensified over the years.Many scorned the nouvelle cuisine trend of the 1970s, with its small portions and decorative plates, said Yosses, but chefs rejoiced, because “finally people were paying attention” to food.Today people are still paying attention, and breakthroughs in cooking involve a range of disciplines and driving factors, said Yosses, who regularly takes part in Harvard’s science and cooking series.“We are still seeking the same rapture that science and art and religion seek,” said Yosses, “we just do it by food.”The event drew one working scientist: Maria Spiropulu, Ph.D. ’00, an experimental particle physicist at California Institute of Technology and a former senior research physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.Physics is the science of “chasing the dream of understanding nature to the core,” said Spiropulu — and “very difficult problems require breakthroughs.” In turn, those breakthroughs almost always require collaborations across disciplines. In the case of CERN, she said, the crisscrossing disciplines included experts in cosmology, astrophysics, and particle physics. “Science is seldom born with a single parent.”Rahul Mehrotra, chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design, was on an afternoon panel with Spiropulu and Yosses. After watching an earlier panel crowded with poets and writers, “I feel like a bit of an outlier,” he said.Part of that feeling has to do with the source of creativity. In the arts and poetry, it comes from a reaction to the world around us, he said, but in architecture it often comes from contingencies — in the sense of coming emergencies. The art of designing structures is better seen as embedded into a city, like something necessary, rather than imposed upon a city — like a glittering skyline.Radcliffe Fellow and composer John Aylward returned to campus with his ensemble ECCE to conduct a work commissioned for the conference to end the afternoon.“I Saw My Life Go By in the Coyote’s Jaws” was inspired by surrealist poet Dean Young’s work of the same name. Young’s words, said Aylward, capture the notion of “epiphanies in the mundane and the idea that breakthroughs can happen in a very subtle moment.”last_img read more

Fresh start at the VA

first_imgU.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert McDonald says the troubled agency is making slow progress in getting its house in order, citing more — and more timely — appointments and authorizations to see private doctors for veterans who live far from VA hospitals.McDonald was confirmed in July to take over the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after a scandal at the Phoenix VA hospital revealed enormous wait lists for appointments, resulting in delayed treatment that may have cost lives.McDonald, speaking at Harvard Law School on Monday, said that from May to September the VA had 1.2 million more appointments than during the same period a year earlier, and 98 percent of them were completed within 30 days of the patient’s preferred time. On top of that, he said, between May and November, 1.5 million authorizations were made for private care — a 50 percent increase over the same period a year earlier — for veterans who lived far from a VA clinic or hospital. The department also is reorganizing and building more facilities.“I think the VA is heading in a new direction, and I would argue the right direction, and making progress,” McDonald said.Among ongoing issues, he described a “critical shortage” of doctors and nurses, and the need to provide better facilities for women, who are a growing part of the nation’s armed forces, and hence of its veterans.McDonald, a former president and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble, said that a big part of the shift has to include a heightened focus on customer service, and he’s hoping to bring on a 30-year Disney executive to help.McDonald’s initial review of the system showed that the situation in Phoenix was not isolated. The problems plaguing the nation’s health care system for veterans that were exposed there are “systemic,” he said, and extend to broader issues than access.He’d also like to bring more veterans into the system. Though it already serves some 9 million veterans, there are 22 million nationally, with 13 million are outside the VA system.McDonald was the inaugural speaker in a new lecture series at Harvard Law School, the Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Speaker Series, supported by the nonprofit organization Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust. The group’s past national commander, Alan Bowers, said the series is a recognition of both the work Harvard Law School has done for disabled veterans through its legal clinic, and the help that a future generation of lawyers can give to veterans fighting for their benefits.“We can make their lives better; that’s the mission,” Bowers said.McDonald was introduced by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who said that the nation must take care of its veterans, particularly those struggling now. “There are young veterans homeless, couch surfing, and living in cars. We can do better,” Reed said.Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, said it is an honor for the School to serve America’s veterans, which it does, among other ways, through its Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic, and the new lecture series.“It is such an incredible privilege to be able to serve those who served our country,” Minow said.McDonald gave a brief outline of the department’s three-pronged structure, with one arm, the Veterans Health Administration, responsible for clinical care at 150 hospitals, 800 community outpatient clinics, and 300 vet centers, which provide counseling, outreach, and referrals. The second arm, the Veterans Benefits Administration, is responsible for providing veterans with GI Bill education benefits, insurance, and mortgages, while the third, the National Cemetery Administration, manages the nation’s military cemeteries.McDonald provided some historical background on the agency, tracing the VA’s roots to the Civil War. He highlighted President Abraham Lincoln’s promise in his second inaugural address “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan.” McDonald said that charge, extended today to the growing number of female veterans, can reach some 40 years after service has ended, because aging veterans of decades-past conflicts are the ones who need care most, and their demands on the system increase as time goes by.“What I’d love to do for whatever time I’m in this role is build this organization as a customer service organization,” McDonald said.last_img read more

Soldiers’ songs of pain — but also healing

first_imgSongs of war and of friends who didn’t make it home might not seem like music to comfort struggling veterans. But a project to write songs using individual soldier’s combat experiences appears to help, according to a recent study, lessening the impact of trauma held too close for too long.Recalling his session with songwriter James House, Navy veteran John Oliveira, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, said, “It was probably one of the most emotionally draining — and I want to say, physically and mentally draining as well — experiences, over that couple of hours that I sat with Jim and came up with this song. It’s just difficult stuff.”In September, Oliveira was one of 10 current and former service members who participated in a scientific trial of an innovative therapeutic program pioneered in 2011 by Texas-based singer/songwriter Darden Smith.The study, led by two Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty members and Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians, Ronald Hirschberg and Louisa Sylvia, sought to apply scientific rigor to a technique that Smith and other songwriters have turned to more than 400 times during retreats organized by the nonprofit SongwritingWith:Soldiers. Four weeks after the songwriting sessions, study participants reported a 33 percent decline in PTSD symptoms and a 22 percent decline in depression symptoms.The trial was conducted in Charlestown at Home Base, a joint program of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation, dedicated to helping veterans overcome anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other “invisible wounds of war.” “I’m a good dad now. I have it in me, with a little more treatment, to be a great dad.” — Blair Morin Finding harmony in music and medicine The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Related Protecting those who have protected us A farewell to arms, a hello to Harvard Physicians share the lessons that play well onstage and in the operating room The songwriting process — which involves veterans talking through their trauma while a songwriter listens and crafts the lyrics and music — unveiled sometimes wrenching memories that were dredged up in prescribed daily listening sessions, yet the participants said putting their stories into song helped them deal with the frustration and anger that can overcome them when confronting the daily inconveniences of modern life.“I actually grew to look forward to the song,” said Blair Morin, an Air Force medic who served two combat tours attached to infantry units. “I was actually listening to it twice most days. I have about an hourlong commute to work, so it was real easy when I started getting frustrated with traffic or anything throughout my work day to put the song on, and it kind of grounded me. It made me think, ‘Traffic sucks, I’m going to get through it,’ and my day could get better from there.”Another benefit, participants said, is that the recordings helped them share their difficult-to-talk-about stories with loved ones, some of whom were hearing details for the first time.“My wife listens to it regularly,” Morin said. “[The songwriter] brought up how my PTSD has affected my family. That’s the part that really hit home for me. … I remember right before I started treatment, we took our children to Sturbridge Village to see Santa. I had to leave because there were too many crowds.“I’m a good dad now. I have it in me, with a little more treatment, to be a great dad.”After the songs were written, participants were each given a USB drive holding their recording, and a Fitbit device to track physiological variables, like heart rate, activity level, and hours of sleep. They were instructed to listen to their song daily for four weeks and then return for a follow-up examination.The results are promising enough, Hirschberg and Sylvia said, to look to a larger study that could not only lend more statistical power to its results, but also allow the scientists to probe what might be behind the therapeutic effects.“It’s a little unclear as to what exactly is helpful about the collaborative songwriting experience,” said Sylvia, an associate professor of psychology at HMS and director of health and wellness programs at Home Base. “This study was really to see, does collaborative songwriting help veterans? We didn’t really ask the question, ‘What is it about collaborative songwriting that helps them feel better?’”Sylvia and Hirschberg said the songwriting process and subsequent listening to the songs may function as a kind of “exposure therapy,” an established technique in which veterans re-experience their trauma in a therapeutic setting, which can reduce the potency of the memories.Hirschberg, an HMS assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, heard about collaborative songwriting in 2016 at a Vanderbilt University conference on music and medicine. There, he saw Smith and House perform songs written at the retreats. The technique’s potential power was clear, Hirschberg said. All he had to do to see it was look around the room.“They just sang the song and told the story of what happened to ‘John Smith’ in Iraq,” Hirschberg said. “It’s cliché, but there wasn’t a dry eye. It really affected people.”The songwriting technique grew out of a session that Smith had with a soldier in Colorado in 2011, during which Smith talked with the soldier about his service, probed areas of trauma, and wrote a song from his notes on the spot. The session was intense, tearful, and, from the soldier’s point of view, helpful. Mary Judd, a childhood friend of Smith’s, with an interest in positive psychology and a knack for organizing, also attended. She was so impressed that she and Smith designed a weekend retreat revolving around one-on-one songwriting sessions between professional songwriters and veterans or current service members struggling with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.“As much of a music fan as I was, I couldn’t help but think ‘What is happening here?’ way beyond the song,” Judd said. “[Smith] was so excited because of the potential of the … stories coming out, the beautiful truth, the poetry, and he said, ‘I can get more songwriters.’ And I said, ‘I can design a weekend. Let’s do a retreat. Let’s do the whole thing.’”The feedback from that first retreat was so positive that it became a regular offering. The organization has held some 35 retreats around the country since then. Smith has used his music industry contacts to bring other songwriters to the sessions, including chart-toppers such as folk artist Mary Gauthier. Her recent album “Rifles & Rosary Beads” was compiled from songs she wrote at the sessions and has been nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album. Iraq veteran Richard Martinez III is a freshman with deep perspective Ahead of lecture, VA secretary says vets’ health, mental and otherwise, is at top of the list The 10 songs created during the study, which was funded by Home Base, have titles like “Buried Troubles,” “Rattled,” and “Soul Talking,” and present a view of war far from that of the classic hero. They’re heroic in their own way, however, in the soldiers’ willingness to engage in what for many is a daily fight to recover the lives they once had, to become the people they once were, and to make peace with the present. Their lyrics talk of battlefield comrades they’d give their lives for, of trauma and death overseas, and the difficulty of coming back. They talk about feeling alone in “a dark place like I never seen dark before,” and of how “the toughest part coming back, nobody got your back.”In “It’s Been a Struggle,” Oliveira talks about fear of his own anger, saying that he hurt someone after he returned from Iraq in 2004. He talks of his daily struggle to function normally and fight the desire to withdraw, an urge that led him to once move to the Cascades outside of Seattle and that kept him, for 14 years, from sharing the details of his war story with his wife.“I’d get wound up over the littlest things, get physically violent — suicide attempts over the years,” Oliveira said. “It was a struggle every day to get up, to go to sleep.”Morin’s song, “Warrior,” meanwhile, talks about how he feels that he did his duty in combat but that “looking into the face of evil changed forever who I am.”“There’s a lot of guilt from all of the guys that didn’t come home that were under my care,” said the medic. “I was holding it in, blaming myself, and carrying that … for a couple of years, [as well as] a lot of stronger emotions that stem from hating yourself for not being better.”Both Morin and Oliveira said that therapy over the years has helped them and that the songwriting sessions represented another step on the long path they realize stretches both behind and ahead.“It changed a lot of perspectives that I had,” Morin said of the session with a songwriter. “He made me think a lot about who I used to be before the combat experience, brought up a lot of where I want to go, and helped me realize that, although I’m doing a lot better than I was a couple of years ago, I’m still not happy with where I am, and kind of kick-started me working on myself again.”As emotional as the songwriting sessions are for the military personnel involved, Smith said the sessions also are draining for the songwriters, who must possess particular skills to coax difficult memories from people they’ve just met and turn them into songs in a few hours, all while dealing with the deep emotions raised.“At the end of the writing session, the soldiers would feel fantastic, and I’d feel like I was hit by a truck,” Smith said. “[There’s] trauma transfer, but also the deep connection between two people, people coming together to have a shared experience [that] binds them in that moment.”Judd and Smith said they’re excited to see the study document the songwriting’s impact. They said it presents an opportunity, once the data are in, to expand the technique’s use and help more people, whether veterans or others struggling with traumatic experiences.“I knew at some point we’d need to … really study what is happening,” Judd said. “Because eventually it could inform a lot of treatment, whether for PTSD and veterans, or … different populations.”last_img read more

Judy Garland Gets Happy, Bring It On Competes in Connecticut & More Cross-Country Highlights

first_img PHILADELPHIA, PA A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Homecoming She came, she saw, she won a Pulitzer: Quiara Alegria Hudes won the prestigous award in 2012 for the second play in her acclaimed Elliot trilogy, Water By the Spoonful. Set in Hudes’ hometown of Philadelphia, the gripping drama tells the story of a soldier who returns from Iraq to discover his family is hanging on by a thread. See Water By the Spoonful, only blocks from where it takes place, at the Arden Theatre Company from January 16 through March 16. View Comments CORAL GABLES, FL Judy Garland Catches Some Rays Didn’t get the chance to see the emotional bio-musical End of the Rainbow on Broadway or in the West End? No problem! Click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Coral Gables.” The acclaimed drama by Peter Quilter features Broadway alum Kathy St. George (Fiddler on the Roof) as Judy Garland and centers on the months leading up to the superstar’s death, as she grapples with drug addiction and failed relationships. See Judy live on stage January 15 through February 9 at the Actors’ Playhouse. NEW HAVEN, CT Truman vs. Jackson Listen up, this is how it’s gonna go: Two rival schools are competing to become cheer champions in the upbeat hit musical Bring It On, and beginning January 16, the squad is officially back on the road! The new national touring cast will shake their pom-poms in Connecticut before traveling to Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and even Tokyo. Catch Campbell (Nadia Vynnytsky), Danielle (Zuri Washington) and the crew at New Haven’s Shubert Theater from January 16 through 18. LOS ANGELES, CA Side By Side By Samuel Beckett Irish stage actor Barry McGovern will treat L.A. audiences to a triple dose of Samuel Beckett in his acclaimed one-man show I’ll Go On. The seasoned Beckett expert combines texts from the trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable to create a compelling evening of existentialism, playing now through February 9 at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. Are you packed? Are you ready? It’s time to hit the road with for a cross-country road trip! We’re highlighting the most exciting regional theater productions from all 50 states, and this week, we’ve got some tough cheerleaders, the life story of a legendary entertainer, three Beckett plays for the price of one and more. Check out our top picks below! CHICAGO, IL August Wilson Sings the Blues The Court Theatre is bringing a taste of 1940s Pittsburgh to the Windy City in Seven Guitars, the haunting August Wilson drama about an aspiring blues musician who unexpectedly becomes a success after being released from jail. Directed by resident artist Ron OJ Parson, the production features Kelvin Roston Jr. as Floyd Barton in an ensemble cast of seven. See the work of this Pulitzer Prize-winning legend come alive through February 9.last_img read more

Trending now: Summer lovin’

first_img 53SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michelle Harbinak Shapiro Michelle Shapiro has more than a 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services Industry Expert at Hyland Software. Her mission is to share … Web: Details Nothing is better than summertime. Nothing.I love everything about summer. Lazy days at the pool, drive-in movies, s’mores and crushing on the most current Taylor Swift summer fling. From tan lines to impromptu cookouts and catching (and releasing unharmed) fireflies while relaxing to my summer playlist containing both “Summertime” musical classics by Kenny Chesney and The Fresh Prince respectively, summer is indisputably the best season.But it’s not all pool parties and lemonade stands. Here are 3 financial services technology trends I am loving this summer:DigitalizationThe drive to digital transformation has been led not only by mobile channel technology, but also by the conversion of paper documents to digital ones in both consumer-facing and back-office processes.  Thus, the adoption of enterprise content management (ECM) and workflow management  solutions is accelerating as financial institutions seek to simultaneously strip costs and processing time from transaction processing while also striving to improve the customer or member experience.Financial institutions are also automating processes to comply with the rising tide of regulatory compliance, which has become more deeply intertwined with account opening and servicing processes.EFFS adoptionFinancial institutions are taking back control over the use of unsanctioned tools in their organizations. And it’s about time. They are turning to enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) products that provide secure sharing while ensuring each organization retains ownership and control of information.We all know secure file sharing is critical for today’s mobile workforce and to meet consumer expectations. However, if financial institutions don’t give their employees the tools they need to get their job done, they will find workarounds at the expense of security. And that’s not a good thing. That’s why you need to be proactive.Embracing the enterpriseSay goodbye to silos. That’s right, instead of buying more software, organizations are exploring more efficient ways to integrate their existing systems and reduce the mounting pressures on IT staff – including countless time-consuming upgrades.As technology is evolving, requirements for new software solutions are also growing. And at the top of that list of requirements is a need for those solutions to span across institutions and be true enterprise software solutions. They also need to that have the ability to adapt and grow, while easily integrating with any core banking solution. The best solutions will help you do more with less by connecting your important systems and giving you a single place to store and manage information.So, kick back when you can, download your favorite summertime song and let me know what trends you are loving this summer.last_img read more

Harlem Wizards help raise money for Owego schools

first_imgVillage of Owego Mayor Mike Baratta who participated in the event and helped organize it says the Parent Teacher Organization is really important to the school’s activities. Owego Elementary School teachers faced the professionals on the court Tuesday night for a fun game of basketball. OWEGO (WBNG) — The Owego-Apalachin school district invited the world famous Harlem Wizards to help raise money for its Parent Teacher Organization. The Harlem Wizards entertained with more than just cool tricks and fun dance moves on the basketball court at the Owego Free Academy. In the meantime, they were making sure the school was able to reach its $5,000 goal.center_img The school’s goal was to raise $5,000. Last year, school officials say they spent $12,000 to support students, faculty, and staff with supplies, snacks, and field trips. “They fund a lot of the activities at the school and help out the teachers, so it all goes for the kids and them,” said Baratta.last_img read more

By 2020, Croatia wants to be a recognizable gastronomic destination among the top 20 world tourist destinations

first_img“According to the latest TOMAS survey on attitudes and tourist spending in Croatia, gastronomy and food enjoyment are one of the three main motives for coming to the destination for 29% of tourists. This result is important because ten years ago, Croatian tourism was mainly related to beaches and the sun. “, said Frano Matušić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, adding that this is a great chance for Croatia to develop year-round tourism in continental Croatia, especially in Slavonia.”The Gourmet Croatia pilot project is part of the Cluster initiative implemented by the Ministry of the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts for the last year and a half, and is also the holder of this pilot project. The cluster initiative, worth HRK 68 million, identified 13 strategic areas crucial for the development of Croatia’s competitiveness”, Said Robert Blažinović from the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts.”Currently in Croatia we have 20 protected gastronomic products with indications of origin and geographical origin, and the last such product is Lika lamb. Our goal is to further strengthen the top quality of our products and thus place them on the market”, Said Krunoslav Karalić, Assistant Minister of Agriculture, adding that all the efforts of the profession will not be enough if all of us as consumers, and Croatian hotels and restaurants, do not give preference to Croatian products.At one of the panel discussions at the conference, Osijek chef Tomica Đukić, head chef of the Croatian national football team at the World Cup in Russia, spoke about value chains, ie harmonizing the eno-gastronomic offer with market demands and needs, while Rudolf Štefan from Pelegrini, a restaurant in Šibenik with a Michelin star pointed out that this restaurant has launched a foundation for the education of young talents aged 16 to 26 in the field of hospitality for all those who see working in the hospitality industry as a life vocation, regardless of previous education, but provided that they remain in school. Republic of Croatia to work for at least two years.During the 18 months of the Project, the current state of the gastronomic offer in Croatia was analyzed, the Strategic Framework and guidelines for the development of gastronomic / gourmet destinations and products were created, and guidelines for the development of the brand of current and future gastronomic destinations were created. Also, in cooperation with stakeholders at the local and national level, an Action Plan for the development of gastronomy in Croatia was defined. LIST OF 20 CROATIAN PRODUCTS REGISTERED AT EU LEVEL RELATED NEWS: These are the conclusions of the conference held today on the project “Gourmet Croatia” funded by the European Regional Development Fund. In addition to the Ministry of the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Chamber of Crafts and the Croatian National Tourist Board, which was also the main partner, are also participating in the project. center_img Establishing a quality institutional, legislative and strategic framework, creating destination gastronomic experiences and increasing visibility on the world market are key preconditions for Croatia to become a gastronomic tourist destination by 2020 and enter the top 20 tourist destinations in the world. RESEARCH RESULTS PUBLISHED “TOURIST ATTITUDES AND CONSUMPTION IN CROATIA – TOMAS SUMMER 2017”last_img read more

FERC pens agreement to push forward pending LNG projects

first_imgThe United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reached an agreement that could provide a path forward for consideration of LNG export terminals that were pending before the commission.FERC said on Thursday that it applied a new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse gas emissions from LNG facilities in light of the commission awarding Venture Global LNG a regulatory permit to site, construct, and operate the Calcasieu Pass LNG export project in Louisiana.FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee said, “Since I joined the Commission, it’s been a priority of mine to expedite and improve our LNG terminal application review process.”“This is significant, as I anticipate we’ll be able to use the framework developed in this order to evaluate the other LNG certificates that the Commission is considering,” he said.Chatterjee added that FERC’s multi-pronged approach to improve its process over the past year put the agency in a position to move forward efficiently with the other 12 pending LNG projects.“We signed an MOU with the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, cut through unnecessary red tape and reduced inter-agency friction by signing the One Federal Decision MOU with our federal partners, and increased the number of engineers working on our reviews by casting a wide net to capture talent everywhere we could find it,” he said.last_img read more

Abilene Speedway opens with IMCA Ice Breaker special

first_imgABILENE, Texas – Abilene Speedway’s traditional season-opening Ice Breaker is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, with four IMCA divisions on the program each evening.IMCA Modifieds run for $700 to win each night, IMCA Southern SportMods for $600 and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks for $250. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars vie for $750 to win in their Lone Star Tour features.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional, state and track points will be awarded for both draw/redraw programs.The pits open at 4 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, pit gates open at 3 p.m. and racing gets underway at 7 p.m.Overnight accommodations with racer’s rates are available at Motel 6, 325 672-8462, or the Whitten Inn, 800 588-5050.Gates open at 5 p.m. and an open practice runs from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15.More information about the Ice Breaker, presented by Smiley’s Racing Products, Showtime Signs & Designs and NAPA Auto Parts, can be directed to promoter Rob Poor at 325 725-3849 or 325 692-8800.Additional information is also posted on Facebook.last_img read more