Last Wednesday, April 29th, the Oak Street Block Party featured funky music, fabulous food and family fun to the people of New Orleans once again, and they brought it all to them free of charge, with a portion of all profits going to the Oak Street community. Only in New Orleans would someone look at the back to back weekends of hundreds of stellar sets of music at Jazz Fest itself, and the hundreds of concerts that fill up the late nights and think to themselves…”But what are we gonna do on Wednesday during the day?”Luckily, that’s just the question event promoter Paul Levine asked himself, and the conclusion he came to was the same one he always does…”Let’s throw a party!” Levine has been a part of more festivals and concerts than you could shake a stick at, if you shook sticks at those kinds of things, which, honestly, is the last thing you should be shaking at one of his events. Unless your stick was your money maker. Then feel free to shake away.Making money was the goal here, but for a good cause. The Oak Street neighborhood features a mixture of locally owned businesses with longstanding ties to the community. The most famous in the music scene would easily be the Maple Leaf, host to Johnny Vidacovich’s legendary Thursday night Trio shows, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a comic book store that has fed the imagination of area residents for over twenty years, multiple art galleries including Frenchy’s, pharmacies and more. It’s a living, breathing, vibrant hub to the families living around it, and preserving its historic facades and keeping it well lit, clean and safe for area families has been a priority for the community.No stranger to charity events, Levine decided to pitch in the way he knows best, bringing some of the many artists and bands that he has formed close friendships with to a pair of outdoor stages, including Leftover Salmon, The Nth Power, Kung Fu, Sonic Bloom, and a star studded super jam featuring members of Lettuce, Nigel Hall, Natalie Cressman, Roosevelt Collier and more. The Maple Leaf got in on the act also, opening its doors and stage to folks like Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds and more. Area restaurants set up street sales, filling the air with the sweet smells of Bar-B-Que, gunbo, sausages and more, while everyone danced the night away to the never stopping alternating stages of music.This year’s block party also featured a new take on a classic fair event, with the “Dunk Me Silly” charity dunking booth set up to give attendees a crack at dousicing industry insiders and musicians alike for the cause. Not the kind of promoter to shy away from getting himself dirty, or, in this case, wet, Levine as well as a number of industry insiders like Lyle Williams of Bear Creek, Springfest and Magnolia Fest, Annabel Sterling of Jam Cruise, Bonnaroo and more, area Djs and personalities like Johnny Woodstock and Jonny Ray from radio station WWOZ, burlesque queen Gingerlicious, Ian and Ivan Neville of Dupstaphunk and even Live for Live Music’s chief Kunj Shah himself got soaked for a good cause.While a good natured rivalry developed between the participants as to who would raise the most money developed, in the end it was the neighborhood itself that won. In a city that prides itself on its musical heritage as well as its historic roots and turn of the century architecture, finding a way to combine all of those into one big party that helps preserve the cradle of funkiness that New Orleans has become is the essence of community spirit and an embodiment of the city’s unofficial motto, “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (Let the good times roll!”) Load remaining images
Neilpryde Alize Dura AceBikerumor.com is bringing the U.S. rep for Neil Pryde bikes to Greensboro with a small fleet of demo Alize and Diablo road bikes this Sunday, November 14, 2010.Neil Pryde bikes were designed by BMW Designworks USA with two models, both of which come in at 15lbs plus change with Dura-Ace. They’re sweet looking, as you’d expect from any product borrowing the German automaker’s design studio, they’re light and well spec’d. You can check out our post on their bikes here.Check out Neil Pryde’s website for full specs and to check out their sizing calculator (click on a model, then a spec level).They’ll have a range of bikes in M, L, XL and XXL available to use for the local Sunday 11am group ride, and rep (and former Euro pro) Clive de Sousa will have Starbucks coffee and snacks for you while you’re getting fitted. If you’re interested, contact Clive to reserve a bike at 864-252-0001 or via email.NOTE: You’ll need to meet with Clive at 10am in order to be properly fitted in time for the ride, and he’s joining us on the ride to answer any questions. Contact him for location, it’ll be near the ride start.
Recycling sat at the curb three days after scheduled pickup this morning.While Deffenbaugh Industries was making its apologies about its trash and recycling collection failures to the Mission City County this week, Town & Country (now WCA) was dealing with its own difficulties.The woes of getting trash, recycling and yard waste collected in northeast Johnson County continue to pile up for both companies and residents. Roeland Park issued an update to residents Thursday saying that WCA was still working on waste pickups from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday recycling pickups also are delayed. Refuse was still not picked up on Friday.Roeland Park, Westwood and Fairway have a contract with WCA that was jointly bid through the Mid-America Regional Council. Representatives of the cities met with WCA this week to talk about the collection problems that have continued for months. Both companies have cited a shortage of drivers for their problems.In the Countryside East neighborhood of Prairie Village, which opts out of the city contract with Deffenbaugh and uses WCA, recycling and yard waste from Tuesday were still at the curb today. WCA had just promised a increased communication with neighborhood residents, but emails to the new service address and phone calls went unanswered. Prairie Village is in the process of taking new bids for city-wide collection.A survey by Mission shows that Mission pays $163.08 annually per resident for trash, recycling, and yard waste collection to Deffenbaugh while Prairie Village residents pay $174 annually. Mission subsidizes the cost of collection by paying 14 percent of the cost with the rest collected from the resident on property tax. None of the other cities in NEJC subsidize service, according to the survey. By comparison Fairway pays $145.44 per year to WCA. Roeland Park adds leaf collection to the services and charges residents $175.47 for the bundled services.
Residents step forward to voice support for addition of open mic time at Overland Park city meetings
The public may eventually get more microphone time at Overland Park council meetings, but probably not until next year.Although comments at a council committee Wednesday were largely positive, committee members told about 20 people in attendance that having a regular, non-specific open comment time may not be as simple as turning on a microphone and inviting people up to speak.The Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee sent the idea forward Wednesday by directing city staff to study the best way to implement open mic time. But they combined it with a resolution governing a slew of other policies on how city meetings are run. The staff report will cover the whole thing and is estimated to take until November.After that, the idea will have to go through the steps to become a part of Resolution 4992, a document that sets procedure on such things as quorums, video streaming, points of order and protocol. Committee members said Wednesday that entire resolution will be overhauled a year ahead of schedule in response to a request for the open mic time.Overland Park is an outlier among Johnson County boards and commissions in that it does not have a time set aside for people to address the council on an issue of their choosing. The city does have public hearings, but they are always linked to a particular agenda item and they often concern tax incentives for developers. Last year the council held 29 public hearings of that sort.Councilmember Faris Farassati asked for the addition of open comments because people have become frustrated with limits on their speaking opportunities on controversial issues.“This is not meant to be a criticism of what’s been done so far,” he told the committee. The proposal will give people more of a voice and will show school kids that their government is willing to listen, he said.“Let’s keep the spirit of this thing alive,” he said.Normally, city committees do not have public comment time, but an exception was made for this meeting, which was held in the council chambers to accommodate a crowd. Thirteen speakers stepped up to voice their support.“The city government is one form of government where we the citizens – your constituents – can really get involved in and have an impact,” said Mary Coffman.Carol Pratt told the committee the public has been denied its voice on important issues. “I would encourage everyone on the committee and the council to remember that at one time you were not an elected representative but you were us, coming to somebody else,” she said. “Would you like your voice to be heard or would you like to be muzzled?”Councilmember Gina Burke. File photo.The committee also heard from Sheila Albers, one of the speakers at a recent city budget hearing who was warned to keep comments strictly on the city budget. She urged the committee to recommend open comments because it promotes a “human connection” with the city. “You can’t make that human connection through emails and letters,” she said. “You do that face to face.” Albers formed an advocacy group on mental health after Overland Park police shot her suicidal son as he attempted to drive away from his home.The speakers supporting public comments also included Kevin Walker on behalf of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and three council candidates, Dan Osman, Steve Glentzer and Roger Tarbutton. Council candidate Holly Grummert was also in the audience, as were a few council members not on the committee.Some committee members indicated they were ready to work out an open mic time, but they had many questions about the details. They asked staff to research how other governing bodies handle speaking time limits, sign-up sheets and whether public comment time should be extended to council committees and citizen advisory boards.Councilmember Gina Burke drew applause when she suggested public comments be included in the minutes.A key concern was whether the comment time would make meetings run too long. “We do not want to stifle discussion,” said committee chairman Dave White, who also jokingly suggested a time limit on council members’ comments. But he pointed out that the discussion of public discussion had taken an hour and ten minutes.“Sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you wish for. My very first council meeting ended at 2:30 in the morning,” he said.
The number of devices you can talk to is multiplying—first it was your phone, then your car, and now you can boss around your appliances. Children are likely to grow up thinking everything is sentient, or at least interactive: One app developer told The Washington Post that after interacting with Amazon’s Alexa, his toddler started talking to coasters. But even without chatty gadgets, research suggests that under certain circumstances, people anthropomorphize everyday products.Sometimes we see things as human because we’re lonely. In one experiment, people who reported feeling isolated were more likely than others to attribute free will and consciousness to various gadgets. In turn, feeling kinship with objects can reduce loneliness. When college students were reminded of a time they’d been excluded socially, they compensated by exaggerating their number of Facebook friends—unless they were first given tasks that caused them to interact with their phone as if it had human qualities. The phone apparently stood in for real friends. Read the whole story: The Atlantic
Guinea reports more Ebola illnesses, three deathsGuinea has reported 10 more suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), along with three more deaths. Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO), said today in a Twitter post that the developments push the country’s overall outbreak total to 137 illnesses, 86 of them fatal.So far 16 of the EVD cases, 5 of them fatal, have been reported from Conakry, Guinea’s capital, the WHO said today in a feature story on an isolation ward at Donka Hospital, a national teaching facility in Conakry. It said two patients were released from the unit yesterday after 7-day stays and that six people remain. Health officials will close another isolation unit there and transfer three patients to the Donka site.Dr. Tom Fletcher, a WHO physician who is treating Ebola patients in Conakry, said, “Today’s discharge of patients shows that Ebola is not always fatal. Good, early supportive care such as hydration, nutrition and appropriate medication can have a positive impact.”In Liberia the number of suspected or confirmed EVD cases is now 14, with 7 of them fatal, Hartl said. The number is four more than what the WHO reported on Apr 2.In other outbreak developments, Mali is reporting possible Ebola cases. Mali state television, quoting government sources, said yesterday that three people have been placed in quarantine and that their samples have been sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Reuters reported today. The story said Gambia recently placed two people in quarantine, but their samples tested negative for Ebola.In France, a scare over a possible sick patient on a flight from Guinea prompted the brief quarantine of an Air France jet in Paris today, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.The discovery of a dirty toilet prompted the airline to screen passengers for fever. Diarrhea is one of the symptoms of Ebola infection. An Air France spokesman told AFP that tests were negative.Gregory Hartl Twitter feed Apr 4 WHO feature story Apr 4 Reuters story Apr 4 AFP story African nations fall short of WHO goals for measles eliminationDespite substantial progress, measles pre-elimination goals for 2011-12 established by the WHO’s African Region (AFR) were not met, and intensified efforts globally and nationally are needed to achieve the WHO’s goal (set in 2011) of eliminating measles in Africa by 2020, according to an update from the WHO in today’s Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).The report notes an 88% reduction in measles mortality since 2000, indicating good progress but a failure to meet the pre-elimination goal of 98%.Using case-based surveillance data, which was provided by 43 (93%) of member states, the confirmed incidence of measles per million population overall fell from 50.4 to 29.0 from 2011 to 2012, but only 16 of 43 states (37%) met the goal of fewer than 5 cases per million population. Using data from standardized Joint Reporting Forms (JRFs), which were provided by all states, the incidence per million fell from 223.6 in 2011 to 118.8 in 2012. The variation between the case numbers is of concern and may be due to such factors as classification and reporting errors on JRFs, say the authors.As far as immunization, WHO–UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates put first-dose measles-containing vaccine coverage at 73%; 13 (28%) states met the goal of greater than 90% coverage. Four (15%) of 27 supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) with available information met the target of greater than 95% coverage in all districts.The report also lists several recommendations for steps to help achieve the 2020 goals. Apr 4 MMWR articleAir-sampling techniques called effective for detecting biological agentsDetection of a biological agent released into an urban atmosphere is feasible through air sampling both during and after the release, according to results of trials carried out by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) and published yesterday in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.Techniques currently employed for detecting aerosolized biological agents include the BioWatch system for civilian use and the Guardian system for the military. Both have been criticized for what has been called a lack of “operational data” to support their use, and many of the studies done to test their effectiveness are outdated or were carried out in nonurban settings, say the authors.The PFPA staged deliberate releases of an organic pesticide containing Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, thought to be a reasonable surrogate for B anthracis,in 2005 and again in 2009. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the same times carried out experiments to determine the effectiveness of commonly used air- and surface-sampling techniques at detecting the agent.High-volume samplers (portable sampling units [PSUs]) were situated in the expected plume of the release, and samples were collected before, during, and after the release. In addition, environmental-surface and personal air samples near the high-volume samplers were collected after dispersal of the plumes. The Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories developed five real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction assays for use in testing the samples.All background samples from multiple PSU locations in both 2005 and 2009 were negative for B amyloliquefaciens. In the 2005 experiment, a sample collected 6 hours after release in a PSU placed in an adjacent subway station was positive for B amyloliquefaciens, as were 7 of 13 environmental samples collected 40 hours after release.In 2009, positive samples were collected post-release from two PSUs nearest the release point; samples for all (four) PSUs were positive by 24 hours and for up to 72 hours (the time of last sampling) after release. Three of 36 swipe samples were positive for B amyloliquefaciens.The authors, all from the Los Alamos lab, conclude that the results provide “operational data” applicable to the scenario of intentional release of an aerosolized biological agent. They also comment that environmental sampling used as a follow-up procedure to obtain more information on a released agent may not be necessary and that avoiding it would serve to limit risks for sampling personnel. Apr 3 Biosecur Bioterror article abstract
AWG, headquartered in Raleigh in North Carolina, is one of the largest independent distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases in the US and operates 78 retail locations and 18 fill plants stretching from Montana to Florida.Houston-based Bestway Welding Supply provides industrial, welding and bulk industrial gases that was established in 2012.Jason Krieger, President and CEO of AWG, said, “We are very pleased to welcome Bestway and their impressive team to AWG. Their focus on service first has provided them great growth in Houston. It also aligns well with our mission of providing productivity solutions for our clients with superior customer service. Together, we have a strong platform for growth in Texas.”Ernest “Cotton” Speed, III, President of Bestway, said, “The AWG brand is nationally recognised for excellent customer service, loyalty to employees, and above all else operating with integrity. I can’t think of a better partner to help Bestway’s employees usher in this next phase of growth. The team at Matrix has been exceptional in every respect. The level of service and support I received was incredible, and they were able to create immense value for my business during the transaction process.”
The Ocean City Council has approved a contract to dredge Snug Harbor, the lagoon between Eighth Street and W. Revere Place near Ninth Street.The decision was reached at the Council’s meeting on Thursday, August 27th 2015. Material removed during the project will be placed in the Route 52 site and then removed to Wildwood.Meanwhile, works continue on the City’s beach replenishment project in the south end have reached to about 47th Street.In the next few days the contractor will shift operations to 54th Street and begin filling south to 59th Street. Work on dune crossovers and fencing continues.[mappress mapid=”21061″]
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WORK was due to begin last month on a Pts4·5bn project to re-open the 30 km Inca – Manacor section of the former line to Arta on the island of Mallorca. This follows the restoration of passenger service on the Inca – Sa Pobla line on January 6. Regional operator SFM expects to re-open Inca – Manacor and intermediate stations at Sineu, Sant Joan and Petra in 2003, when a non-stop Palma de Mallorca – Manacor service with a journey time of 50min is also to be introduced.SFM Director José Antonio Santos said that procurement of new rolling stock would start this year to double the size of the existing fleet of six DMUs. Infrastructure work to be undertaken between Inca and Manacor includes the replacement of the 914mm gauge track, disused since 1977, by new material to metre gauge, the closure of 77 level crossings, construction of 15 road overbridges and the provision of four new level crossings equipped with barriers. nCAPTION: The disused line to Manacor (foreground) meets the refurbished Sa Pobla route at Empalme, near Inca Photo: Chris Heaps