IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer would like to honor the memory of former President George Herbert Walker Bush who passed away peacefully over the weekend?…President Bush maintained the dignity of the Office of the President and presided over both prosperity and challenges?…we as the people of the United States are honored to have had such a competent and dignified gentleman to serve as President?…the transition from dignity to whatever one calls the rankor of today started with the defeat of President Bush by an upstart from Arkansas who ushered in the era of personal indulgence without accountability or consequence?…President Bush was a statesman, a gentleman, and an effective President of the United States and we thank him for that?IS IT TRUE everything we just posted is totally TRUE?FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
I-69 Bonds Downgraded to “Junk” Status by Joshua Claybourn EDITOR FOOTNOTE: Joshua Claybourn is Counsel in Jackson Kelly’s Evansville office. He advises clients in matters of business and corporate law, governmental services, and public finance.A native of Evansville, Mr. Claybourn is a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He was recognized by Indiana Lawyer in its first statewide award as an “Up and Coming” lawyer. He is actively involved in the community and helps lead and support several civic and non‑profit organizations.Learn more here.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Citing construction delays and slow payments to subcontractors, Fitch Ratings has downgraded the bonds issued to finance the construction of Interstate 69 between Bloomington and Martinsville. An Aug. 5th report from the bond ratings service expresses doubt that the section of I-69 will be complete by its deadline in June 2017. Fitch lowered its rating from a BBB- to a BB, which technically means it is in “junk bond” status. According to Fitch’s rating scale, the move drops the bonds into the “speculative” category, with “an elevated vulnerability to default risk” for investors who hold those bonds.This marks the second time Fitch has downgraded the bonds. In April, the ratings agency dropped the bonds from a BBB rating to a BBB-. The Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) issued the bonds in 2014 in the amount of $243.8 million. Proceeds from the sale of those bonds are helping finance the construction of Section 5 of I-69, which involves upgrading 21 miles of State Road 37 to interstate standards. The IFA selected I-69 Development Partners LLC as the developer of Section 5, and the company in turn hired Isolux Corsan as the construction contractor. In its statement, Fitch also noted that Isolux’s parent company, Spain-based Isolux Corsan SA, has had its own problems with deteriorating credit quality. Isolux Corsan SA is in the midst of a financial restructuring plan.
In a recent BB we slavered over the wonders of authentic Neapolitan pizza. Well, the pizzas from Naples may be a delight, but the city’s bread will slowly kill you.Stop the Week has previously reported on the Mafia’s moves into bakery in the southern Italian pizza capital, setting up illegal ovens. But a new report last week quantified the problem, citing officials and investigators’ fears that Camorra clans are controlling much of the city’s bakery trade. Even worse, some of the 1,400 unlicensed backstreet bakeries supplying car boot street vendors who sell the bread, could be putting people’s health at risk – echoing the mozzarella tainting scandal that erupted there recently.While the bread is baked in traditional wood-fired ovens, it turns out the fuel is less than traditional: poisonous varnished wood, pesticide-covered nut shells and – this is the most creative example of recycling we’ve come across – exhumed coffins.Investigating local agriculture official Francesco Borrelli said: “Whoever buys this bread is eating dioxins and carcinogenic substances and putting their health at serious risk.”And illegal immigrant workers’ health too; many employees toil in stinking cellars, sometimes in close proximity to toxic waste dumped in fields by the Camorra.So if you’re a local baker and a supermarket or bakery chain opens up next door, just remember: things could be worse.
The Disco Biscuits closed out the 7th AURA Music Festival last Saturday with a raging two and a half hours of originals, covers, and extended jams. The band played two sets, holding nothing back in the beloved Spirit of the Suwannee, a place they can pretty much call “Home Again” around this time of year. The first set opened with a nearly thirty-minute double nod to the Grateful Dead, welcoming Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almot Dead) on guitar for both “Scarlet Begonias” and “I Know You Rider.” The jams ensued with a “Spacebird” > “Pimp Blue Rikkits” > “Morph” jam, until Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) joined the party for a “Funky Town” dance extravaganza, then closing with a “Spacebird” reprise.The second set kept the energy high, naturally so, with a “Caterpillar” > “Fifth of Beethoven” jam, ultimately bringing it all together with a “Home Again” > “Caterpillar” closer. Thanks to our friends at CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, we’re able to share some HD video footage of the band’s full set at AURA. Dig it below:Setlist: The Disco Biscuits at AURA Music Festival, Live Oak, FL – 3/5/16Set I: Scarlet Begonias*~I Know You Rider*. Spacebird~Pimp Blue Rikkits~Morph. Funky Town**~Spacebird.Set II: (joined in progress) Morph~Crystal Ball~Mulberry’s. Caterpillar~Fifth Of Beethoven, Home Again~Caterpillar.*w/ Tom Hamilton. **w/ Natalie Cressman & Jennifer HartswickBe sure to check out some of our other CHeeSeHeaD videos from AURA, including highlights like Thievery Corporation jamming out some Grateful Dead, theNEWDEAL’s full set, and Holly Bowling covering Phish, The Grateful Dead, and The Disco Biscuits. There’s more to come too!
Live-electronica trio Yak Attack has been touring relentlessly around the country over the past year. Somehow, the group has somehow found the time to get in the studio to record music for their sophomore album, The Radiant Kind. With a release date of May 1st, the Oregon-based act is ready to drop some fresh funk, downtempo, jazz-laced beats on the scene, flashing their seriously creative technique.Recorded over the last year at B-Side Studios and The Map Room in their hometown of Portland, Dave Dernovsek (keys), Rowan Cobb (bass), and Nick Werth (drums) have been putting in serious work for this upcoming album. Yak Attack will celebrate The Radiant Kind with an album-release party at The Goodfoot in Portland on Saturday, April 29th. Check out the first single and title track from the album, “The Radiant Kind,” via Soundcloud below.[cover photo courtesy of Coleman Schwartz Media]
For the Harvard men’s basketball team, the novelty’s over, but the excitement’s rising.The team is headed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship for the second year in a row, after an absence of 67 years. For the first time, the squad knows what to expect in the tournament because most of the players have been there.“We’re going to go in … with the idea and the attitude that we’re going to have a spirit about us,” head coach Tommy Amaker said Wednesday at a press conference in Lavietes Pavilion. “We’re going to be competitive. And crazier things have happened in this great tournament that we’re participating in.”Harvard finished its regular season at 11-3 in the Ivy League and 19-9 overall, and won its third straight Ivy title, two of them outright. The team was 13-1 at home.Crimson senior guard Christian Webster addresses the media about his team’s prospects in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Harvard will learn its first-round opponent Sunday evening.“These kids have had a sensational year,” Amaker said. The team is something of an underdog, and few of the teams in the tourney will have played the Crimson, so they’ll be a bit of an unknown. That may help Harvard, said Amaker. “People won’t be familiar with us, so that’s exciting … We’ve been practicing, so we’re ready for anybody.”To get to the tournament, Harvard rebounded from two late losses early this month that left the team in second place going into last weekend, when the Crimson beat both Columbia and Cornell, while Princeton was losing to both Yale and Brown.The resilient team includes point guard Siyani Chambers ’16, who was unanimously named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Harvard also enjoys the most All-Ivy recognitions, with Chambers, Wesley Saunders ’15, Laurent Rivard ’14, and Steve Moundou-Missi ’15 all being selected. Amaker is a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, presented to the top minority coach of the year in Division I men’s basketball.Team co-captain Rivard said, “If we play our way and stick to our standards, we should do well.”Saunders added, “I think good things will happen. If we go out and just ‘relax and attack’ — that’s kind of been our motto for the season — we’ll be able to do some damage in the tournament.”The Crimson will learn who its first opponent will be during the NCAA Selection Show, broadcast Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS. The team will gather in the Hall of History at the Murr Center to watch.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Diversity matters to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the first team to reach the Super Bowl with a trio of Black assistant coaches serving as coordinators. Byron Leftwich calls plays for a potent offense led by Tom Brady, Todd Bowles orchestrates a stingy defense that’s helped the team to the NFL title game, and Keith Armstrong directs the club’s special teams. Coach Bruce Arians didn’t stop there in forming a staff to help him transforming a perennial last-place franchise into championship contenders two years ago. He also hired Harold Goodwin, who is Black, as assistant head coach/run coordinator. In addition, the NFC champions have two women on the coaching staff.
A six-member panel convened Friday in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies for an event entitled “Confronting Whiteness at Notre Dame: Power, Identity and Exclusion.”Hosted by the Mediation Program of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the panel was moderated by David Anderson Hooker, an associate professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding, and included Christina Brooks, officer of diversity and inclusion for the City of South Bend; Emmanuel Cannady, a former Notre Dame administrator and third-year Ph.D. student in Sociology; Jefferson Ballew IV, a citizen of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi, the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area; Iris Outlaw, director of multicultural student programs and services; Laurie Nathan, the director of the Mediation Program and professor of the practice of mediation.In his introduction of the panel, Hooker said that “whiteness” is a distinct racial dynamic present throughout American institutions and culture.“Whiteness is a description of both a political condition and a mechanism for the distribution of power,” Hooker said. “While it has clear relationship to racism, the two constructs don’t squarely overlap.”Defining whiteness, Brooks said it revolves around the inherent privileges that white people enjoy without realizing it.“Whiteness is simply the ability to be oblivious, of being demonstrably and blamelessly oblivious about responsibility of environment, the ways in which one creates, sustains or destroys it and the people moving in and out of it at any given moment,” Brooks said. “Contrarily, non-whiteness carries the necessity of being acutely, mindfully and intentionally aware of environment, the ways it is created, sustained or destroyed and the people moving in an out of it at any given moment.”Drawing from his time as a student and former administrator at Notre Dame, Cannady said that white people often struggle to understand whiteness due to their complete immersion in it.“For white folks, whiteness is essentially a fish trying to describe water,” Cannady said. “You can’t do it because you’re swimming in it all the time. It’s only when you’re outside the water that you know what’s going on.”A distinction between whiteness and a more malevolent, sinister racism is required when speaking on the topic of whiteness, Hooker said.“It’s really important to remind ourselves that the kind of whiteness we’re investigating and having a conversation about isn’t that repulsive, violent manifestation of whiteness, the kind of Richard Spencer [forms],” Hooker said. “But it’s because those forms are so easily denounced that we have the tendency to overlook the forms that actually are in operation and have a way of equally damaging the environment in which we exist.”Ballew said that because his lineage is traced to the first inhabitants of the land where Notre Dame still stands, he is constantly reminded of the Notre Dame’s whiteness-based founding.“This is my family land. This is my uncle’s property that we’re on right here, and so every day I am reminded of that golden dome, of the blood that was spilled here for my family,” Ballew said. “When this institution was created it was created on the backs and the blood of my family.”Ballew said that Christian and Catholic thought on human nature is warped around the idea of original sin, and that it is the American mindset and system of virtue that is the truly sinful nature of humanity.“Americans are a virus. Human beings are sacred,” he said. “We were placed here for a very special reason. It wasn’t until the onset of Christianity and Catholicism that we were told we are evil, that we were born in sin.”But Notre Dame’s whiteness is not constricted to its founding, Brooks said. The way that Notre Dame advertises itself invites questions regarding the authenticity of its proclaimed mission to promote social justice and Catholic Social Teaching.“Why are we still looking to a snapshot of history — the Hesburgh-King photo — from over 45 years ago to prove our historical commitment to social justice and racial justice,” Brooks said. “Is it not a source of shame that that is the last piece of evidence?”Speaking directly to white people, Outlaw said they must work to give the marginalized opportunities to use their voice and extend the privileges they enjoy to all members of their community.“It becomes one of those things where you have a seat at the table, whatever that table that is,” Outlaw said. “Are you opening and allowing other people to come and sit at the table … There’s nothing wrong with speaking on their behalf … but the fact is that a lot of times it’s good to hear from the people who are actually impacted and affected by that.”Tags: Christian Brooks, Institutionalized Racism, Jefferson Ballew IV, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Mediation Program, Native American, Racism, white privilege, Whiteness
Mitchell wrote the book for Hedwig alongside composer Stephen Trask, and the stars performed early versions of the musical at Don Hill’s and the Westbeth Theatre Center. Mitchell later starred in the off-Broadway incarnation of the hit musical at the Jane Street Theatre in 1998. He directed, wrote and starred in the 2001 film adaptation of Hedwig, garnering a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. Mitchell has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Big River and Six Degrees of Separation, and was most recently seen on the small screen in Girls, playing David Pressler-Goings, Hannah’s book publisher. Related Shows Directed by Michael Mayer, the Tony-winning Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened April 22, 2014, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall. Andrew Rannells subsequently stepped into Harris’ heels. The musical tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman from communist East Berlin. Between rock songs, Hedwig regales the audience with both humorous and painful stories about her life, including her botched sex change operation. View Comments We’re praying to Zeus that this day arrives! Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator and original star John Cameron Mitchell may head to Broadway to reprise the role of the East German transgender rock goddess at the Belasco Theatre. According to the New York Post, he is eyeing a return to the show after Michael C. Hall departs the production on January 4, 2015. Producer David Binder told Broadway.com through a production spokesperson: “We are exploring multiple options beyond Michael C. Hall’s run in the show.” Hedwig and the Angry Inch Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015
By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaThe new clothes are bought. Bright, white sneakers are out of the box. A whole new stash of crayons, markers and folders are dutifully labeled. Everyone is ready for the first day of school. Or are they? University of Georgia experts say the jitters can affect kids of all ages.”Among 5- to 8-year-olds, parents may see regressive behaviors, meaning behaviors that your child probably outgrew a few years ago but tend to reappear when the child is feeling stress,” said Don Bower, an Extension child development specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.Your child may cling to you, carry around a favorite toy or get teary or slow to comply with requests.”Among older school-agers, watch for more obvious resistance to going back to school, such as various excuses and upset tummies,” Bower said.Stress signsFor some kids, the first day of school is the thrill of finally getting on that big, yellow bus and heading off into the big world. For others, that big, scary world is a fright. But all feel a certain amount of stress.”Children learn stress management skills from watching others and practicing various approaches,” Bower said. “Whining and fussiness are early favorites and will likely continue unless parents ignore them. Lots of emotional support, encouragement and recognition from parents and teachers will help build stress resilience in children.”Children are very attuned to the emotional environment in their families,” he said. “If parents are apprehensive, children will pick up on this and feel more stressed themselves.”Big changesEven a child who has been in child care, preschool or kindergarten will face big changes when entering school.Here are some tips to make that first day go a little smoother: Help your child learn social skills. Help him meet other children his own age at church, the park or playground. Or invite other children the same age over to “play school.”Talk about what happens at school. Go over what a day will be like. Get older siblings to share their school experiences. Some schools offer a visiting day for kindergarten and first-graders where they can see the classrooms, cafeteria and restrooms and sit on the bus. Meet his teacher. If your school offers these special days, take advantage of it.Make sure your child feels safe. Teach him your address and phone number and to write his name.Teacher knows bestOften the telltale moment will be when you leave him either at the bus or the classroom.”Teachers understand that this can be a stressful moment for parent and child,” Bower said. “Parents may accompany the child to the classroom the first day and introduce the teacher. Then offer a quick hug, reassurance that we’ll talk again after school, and exit the room.”The teacher will know then, he said, to introduce your child to a classmate already there or show him an interesting aquarium or project — strategies to interest and involve him in this new experience.Anxious parents are ready with the drill when their children return from the first day. How did it go? What did you learn? Did you make new friends? Don’t let your interest in school stop after the first day.”Some parents assume that a child’s education is just the school’s responsibility,” Bower said. “Plenty of research shows, however, that the most successful students have parents who keep track of the child’s studies and supplement them with more learning experiences at home.”You can enrich your child’s education, he said, with trips to the library or museums, vacations to interesting sites or just exploring the neighborhood. Keep plenty of reading materials in your home, and read with your child often.”Parents and teachers can be a team to nourish a love of learning in children,” Bower said.