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Chairman Luke Messer Launches  Task Force For The American Worker

first_imgChairman Luke Messer Launches  Task Force For The American Worker CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Mayor of La Porte, Indiana to testify at first hearingWASHINGTON (Tuesday, April 11, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06), chair of the Republican Policy Committee, today announced the launch of the Task Force for the American Worker – an effort to examine challenges facing modern-day working Americans.The Task Force for the American Worker will hold a series of hearings to examine workforce issues, including stagnant wages and a slow economic recovery, manufacturing, higher education costs, the opioid abuse epidemic, health care, retirement security and trade.  The Task Force will seek to find solutions that help address each of these challenges.For generations, the American dream has meant that every American who works hard can find success. But in recent years, frozen paychecks, a tough job market and rising living costs make the American Dream too often seem out of reach,” Messer said. “During the 2016 election, Republicans promised a renewed focus on addressing these challenges and improving the lives of everyday working people. This Task Force is about making those promises a reality.” Messer announced the Task Force’s first hearing will be on Tuesday, April 25, with the goal of helping set a policy agenda for the modern American worker.WHAT:           “An Agenda for the Modern American Worker” hearingWHO:              Mr. Larry Kudlow, CNBC Senior Contributor, Founder/CEO of Kudlow &Company, LLCThe Honorable Blair Milo, Mayor of the City of La Porte, INMr. John Friedman, Associate Professor of Economics at Brown UniversityMr. Jim Pethokoukis, Editor of AEIdeas and a DeWitt Wallace FellowWHEN:           Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 2PM WHERE:         Rayburn House Office Building 2360, Washington, D.C. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Curt John Is Winner of Our “Readers Poll”

first_imgWe are amazed at the results of our non-scientific but trendy “Readers Poll”. The person our readers selected as the most effective President of City Council was a man who has been gone from the local political scene for the past five years, Curt John.Mr. John was a well-known name, from his politically connected family, his years as a UE basketball star,  and his past public service. We understand why people call Mr. John the “Dean of local Politics.“We did find a common thread among the job performance of the top finishers, Curt John,  John Friend CPA , Dr. Dan Adams and Connie Robinson. All  of them presided over City Council meetings that were often contentious, but they did the People’s business in a way that showed respect for their constituents. People who came to meetings were always given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions and share their opinions. City Council meetings sometimes dragged on for hours, but people were heard.Like many of our readers, we long for the good old days when dissent and diverse points of view were heard, even welcomed, at City Council meetings. Doing the work of the taxpayers isn’t pretty sometimes and it isn’t over with quickly, It seems that our current Council and its leadership just want to do the bidding of the Winnecke political machine, under the alias of “being collaborative”, before anybody knows, what hit them, In less than an hour some of our current “Collaborative Council” members adjourns to Haynie’s Corner for libations and interested taxpayers can go home and watch TV.We wonder if the dismal ratings of BJ Watts and Keith Jarboe,  are not due, at least in part, to the condescending attitudes they sometimes displayed toward speakers who came before them.The current President of the City Council, Missy Mosby may go down in history as the least popular occupant of that seat.  Her constant texting during meetings, adamant refusal to really listen to citizens, and shocking lack of familiarity with Roberts’ Rules are big minuses for her.  The decision-making process behind her hiring of a Republican as City Council attorney who lives in Warrick County has left a lot of Democrats mystified, too.Bottom line,  it looks like our readers miss the strong leadership and collaborative style of past City Council member Curt John!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Crossing disciplines, finding knowledge

first_imgOne of the most enduring figures in popular culture is the absent-minded professor, the intellectual so immersed in the cerebral that he often loses track of everyday life. The Greek 
philosopher Thales once took a nighttime walk, gazing up at the stars, and fell into a well. A servant found Sir Isaac Newton in the kitchen one day, holding an egg and boiling his watch. Margaret Fuller complained to Ralph Waldo Emerson in a letter: “You are intellect. I am life!”At Harvard, many centers, courses, and collaborations maintain a sharp focus on the intellect, but they increasingly also are working to address everyday issues in life, and they’re crossing academic boundaries to do so more effectively. For instance:At the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG) is reaching across disciplines and Schools to puzzle out how 
humans make decisions. The findings of these investigations — translated into gentle “nudges” — could have enormous social benefits, including more 
attentive consumers, voters, and students.For Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative, intellectual rigor targets a fundamental question: At the micro scale, biologists and chemists are trying to 
understand how inanimate molecules assemble into living cells. At the macro scale, astrobiologists are searching for signals of different life within the 
atmospheres of exoplanets.At Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), humanities students are working with thought-provoking artifacts that illuminate lives from the 
distant past. This “scholarship of things,” contained in new courses and museum collaborations, is energizing inquiries that traditionally were bound 
to texts. “There are noble books,” said Fuller in another letter to Emerson, “but one wants the breath of life sometimes.”The fundamental learning skills of looking, listening, and reading have been incorporated into a new set of “frameworks” courses in the humanities. 
If you can exercise these skills effectively through life, the argument goes, you’re less likely to boil your watch.Here are some prime examples of how Harvard is bringing more pragmatic concerns into the classroom and into new cross-School collaborations:Schools share insights to solve pragmatic problemsThis year, Harvard Business School’s Max Bazerman helped take students to Britain and the Netherlands on immersive field visits to work with government-affiliated clients on public policy projects. Because of its popularity, the course will be offered next year and may include students at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerHelping to improve the world is often an elusive goal, but it could get easier if researchers better understood why people act as they do. Toward that end, the field of behavioral science tries to uncover the underpinnings of human motivation and decision-making as part of its mission to study social interaction.Influential behavioral science research happens across Harvard in important if disparate realms such as economics, psychology, business, law, government, education, and public health. Added together, they make the University one of the world’s leading hubs for that cutting-edge scholarship.Working to harness the power of collective wisdom, the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) has assembled 28 decision-research scholars, behavioral economists, and behavioral scientists from across Harvard to share their work and develop evidence-based approaches to public policy problems that bedevil governments, school districts, and other organizations, including key issues like student underachievement, gender inequality in the workplace, and even tax collection.“It’s a new collaboration in which the scholars are learning what kinds of problems are important to the people in government, business, and NGOs. And practitioners are learning what kinds of tools they might use from the scholars. And they’re making something together,” said Iris Bohnet, who co-directs BIG with Max Bazerman, the Jesse Isidor Strauss Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS).“This is an area in which the science connects to policy outcomes pretty quickly, and there’s a lot of interaction right now between policymakers and scholars. And that’s really, really exciting because too often the distance between the ivory tower and people actually trying to solve problems is pretty vast, and there’s a huge translational effort that needs to be done,” said Archon Fung, academic dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship at HKS.Because decision-making research shows that meaningful improvements don’t always require sweeping initiatives, most policy fixes are modest interventions, or “nudges.”“A nudge is a little push that builds on insights into how our minds work to help people overcome some of their biases, and make better decisions for themselves and hopefully also for the world,” said Bohnet, a professor of public policy and director of the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS. She studies how behavioral science can improve gender equality.The nudge concept was first popularized by the 2008 bestseller from Richard Thaler, an economist at the University of Chicago, and Cass Sunstein, now the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School (HLS). Sunstein is a member of BIG, along with, among others, economists David Laibson (FAS), Bridget Terry Long (Harvard Graduate School of Education), Brigitte Madrian (HKS), Sendhil Mullainathan (FAS), Richard Zeckhauser (HKS), political scientist Michael Hiscox (FAS), statistician and legal scholar Jim Greiner (HLS), and HBS behavioral scientists Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton.“That’s also what makes it exciting. It’s young, it’s a new perspective, it’s cross- disciplinary, it’s action oriented.” And best of all, most interventions appear to make a difference with relatively low cost, Bohnet said.For faculty, BIG is a welcome outgrowth of groundbreaking work in the behavioral sciences over the past two decades.“In the last 15 years, there’s been a real deep and growing interest in nonfinancial … nonregulatory ways to improve societal welfare,” said Todd Rogers, an assistant professor of public policy at HKS and a BIG member. “So all the disciplines that are interested in human welfare have started to look [at]: Are there whole categories of levers that we’ve never considered?”Rogers’ prior work, using novel behavioral science-tested strategies to motivate voters to the polls, was chronicled in the 2012 book “The Victory Lab.” Now, he focuses on finding practical, scientifically tested efforts to help students and their families support achievement at school.In Rogers’ Student Social Support R&D Lab, researchers examine how to connect parents better to what’s happening in the classroom, to find ways to get students’ social networks to provide support with online learning, and to correct what Rogers calls the “miscalibrated beliefs” held by families about how their children compare with others.In one experiment, Rogers partnered with a behavioral insights team in Britain to see whether alerting families that their children had an upcoming test would affect student performance. So researchers sent text messages to families five days before a test, with a friendly reminder. “Turns out, it has this embarrassingly large effect size on improving test scores,” said Rogers. “And parents like it, and kids like it.”In another test, families of children with high truancy rates were sent comparison mailers showing how often their children were absent from school and how that number compared with others. Because parents often don’t know what constitutes “normal” attendance, said Rogers, they had no frame of reference until receiving the mailer. Once they did, peer pressure was “extremely effective” in increasing attendance without further burdening teachers.That same dynamic is at work for Opower, a clean energy software company started by two Harvard alumni that uses behavioral science and big data to change how utility companies and consumers manage and use energy. Operating from research conducted by Rogers, the firm sends out mailers to inform households about their energy usage. When people are told they use more energy than their neighbors, they cut back and do so even after the mailers stop coming.“The Behavioral Insights Group is fantastic for me and the kind of research I do,” said Rogers. “For me, the greatest value is organizing a network around the University of other scholars to provide feedback, generate ideas, and collaborate with on this kind of policy-relevant behavioral science. All of our work becomes easier, more productive, and higher impact by working together and helping each other.”In addition to fostering University collaboration via regular seminars so faculty can present research to colleagues, BIG co-hosts an annual global conference, supports small workshops in areas like charitable giving or gender discrimination to link scholars with practitioners, and funds student projects. It also offers more than three dozen related courses and a summer workshop for Ph.D. students that are all in demand. A behavioral study group formed by students now has 300 participants.“It’s a very hot topic for our students because it feels so tangible,” said Bohnet.This year, Bazerman helped take students to Britain and the Netherlands on immersive field visits to work with government-affiliated clients on public policy projects. Because of its popularity, the course will be offered next year and may include students at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.“The biggest surprise is that we created this as a research unit. But after we were up and running, professional school students — not just doctoral students — showed up in large numbers and said: What about us?” said Bazerman. “The latent interest in students has been something quite stunning to us.”Macro to micro: Studying vast cosmos and tiny cells to find life in the universePhillips Professor of Astronomy Dimitar Sasselov (left) and Jack Szostak, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in FAS and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, are both studying the origins of life. File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerPeople have wondered “Are we alone in the universe?” for generations, but this is the first one that has a chance to answer the question. That prospect is increasingly energizing astrophysicists and biologists, drawing young scholars into the interdisciplinary study of life’s beginnings.The quest to discern the origins of life is bringing together once-disparate disciplines, including astrophysics and planetary science (concerned with the heavens and the formation of planets), and chemistry and biology (concerned with the prebiotic chemistry and the critical — and still mysterious — transition that created the first living cells).While some established scientists may need to augment past training to explore novel aspects of the cosmic question, today’s young scientists and students are becoming interdisciplinary natives, said Phillips Professor of Astronomy Dimitar Sasselov.“It’s like having kids who are culturally bilingual, who learn two languages as toddlers,” Sasselov said. “They have an intuitive sense for the fields — life and physical sciences — rather than learning one of them later on.”Some students, as they become scholars, are taking the expertise they have learned at Harvard — one of the first centers for origins-of-life research — to other institutions, creating centers where knowledge can flow. Sasselov points to scientists such as Lisa Kaltenegger, who did postdoctoral research at Harvard and now directs Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute.“It is key to have a deep understanding in one discipline, like astronomy and planetary science,” Kaltenegger said, “but a broad overview of other involved fields, like biology or chemistry — as well as to ask questions in a way no one has asked before and find connections no one has yet seen — further our understanding of our place in the universe.”Advances in technology, coupled with the achievements of talented and creative scientists, have opened avenues of inquiry and filled in numerous blanks. Scientists now know for example, that the universe is rich with small, rocky planets like Earth that, if orbiting in their stars’ habitable zones, could harbor life.Such discoveries have made it important for experts in disparate fields to communicate and link up to understand complex issues. How, for example, can planetary conditions foster or discourage life? And how, once established, can life alter a planet, in the process creating physical signals that might be detected?“How do we study and explore those exoplanets, accounting for the possibility that life is part of that planet, having transformed that planet?” Sasselov asked. “To what extent is environment determining the chemistry? If that chemistry becomes viable life, to what extent is that life going to transform the environment? That’s a critical question to the big goal for us, which is designing a search for life on other planets.”Jack Szostak, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in FAS and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is studying the nature-of-life issue from the other end, trying to figure out how inanimate molecules assembled into those first living cells.“We have no idea how easy or hard that process [of creating life] is and, hence, no idea whether life might exist only here or might be common elsewhere,” Szostak said. “If we had a single independent example” other than Earth, “it would say that it can’t be that hard. So we’re trying to do experiments in the lab that get us a coherent, continuous pathway from chemistry to biology.”Such fundamental questions exert a gravitational force of their own, Sasselov said. As the founding director of Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative, which provides a hub for faculty members from across the University to coalesce on this question, one of the easiest parts in justifying the initiative’s founding was assuring student interest.“I was amazed that we are scientifically able to answer this question,” Sarah Rugheimer said in January, just before defending her doctoral thesis on detecting life’s signals in exoplanet atmospheres. “Are we alone? What’s our place in the universe? Are we special? Are we not?”Irene Chen, who conducted research in Szostak’s lab before receiving an M.D./Ph.D. in 2007, said the question is still compelling to her today, as an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara.“It’s a difficult question to answer, but the beauty of it is that it can be tackled from so many different scientific angles,” Chen said. “This field is attractive to students on an intellectual level because of the depth and diversity of questions it raises.”The scholarship of things: 
Using objects to bring learning alive“A Case for Curiosity,” on view through next March in Harvard’s Science Center 371, was curated by students in this semester’s course USW30, “Tangible Things: Harvard Collections in World History.” First offered in 2011, the course signals a fresh, deep interest at Harvard in using artifacts to teach the humanities. Historian and co-instructor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (center) calls such artifacts “portals,” colorful tunnels into a past traditionally accessible only through the close study of texts. File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAt a current Harvard exhibition, viewers can peer at vials of human teeth from the 19th century. They can ponder a dried flounder, fresh caught in 1793. They can see the nose cone of a Cold War missile, an 1880 clothes wringer, a jar of 150-year-old Brazilian coffee beans, and a brass-framed octant made in London before the Civil War.“A Case for Curiosity,” on view through next March in Harvard’s Science Center 371, was curated by students in this semester’s course USW30, “Tangible Things: Harvard Collections in World History.” First offered in 2011, the course signals a fresh, deep interest at Harvard in using artifacts to teach the humanities. Historian and co-instructor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich calls such artifacts “portals,” colorful tunnels into a past traditionally accessible only through the close study of texts.In April, Ulrich was the keynote speaker at “University as Collector,” a conference sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and its Academic Ventures arm. She asked, “What happens when we take our curiosity to the curious things around us?” New fields of study open, said Ulrich, who presented a favorite example involving a Mexican tortilla acquired in 1896. Finding this artifact in a Harvard collection led her to economic botany collections of 70 or more years ago; to the origins of high-fructose corn syrup; and even to the history of Fritos corn chips. Unexpectedly, said Ulrich, “It was a transformative experience for me.”Artifacts can help to uncover vanished eras. They offer insights into the economy, family life, gender norms, preferred food, and more. With close study, artifacts also can help students to understand the literature and history that emerged from such quotidian contexts.Objects are lenses for seeing the past, said Jennifer L. Roberts, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities. In old maps, for instance, “other forms of knowledge may be lurking,” she said at the Radcliffe conference, including insights into long-gone “craft, engineering, and material science.”Such objects can also illuminate the recent past, said Joseph Pellegrino University Professor Peter Galison at the conference. In a video presentation, he showed a control panel from a Harvard cyclotron (1935–2002). Its myriad of tiny screens, toggles, and switches now seem straight out of a “Doctor Who” episode. But the panel is actually a record of what were once “the most advanced technologies in high-energy physics,” said Galison, director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.At Harvard, using objects to study the humanities is a relatively recent development. Not so with science. Starting in the late 17th century, physics and astronomy were taught by means of “scientific apparatus,” beginning with a telescope donated to Harvard in 1672. Learning through objects also came naturally to art history, which began in earnest at Harvard in 1875.But it wasn’t until the 1980s that object-based learning began in the humanities. Richard Wendorf, then head librarian at Houghton Library, encouraged faculty to use the library’s classroom spaces. “That’s been happening gradually,” said Leslie Morris, the Houghton’s curator of modern books and manuscripts. But in the past five years there has been “an explosion” of interest, she said. In 2014, there were 428 class sessions at Houghton.Momentum is building for more objects-based learning. This semester, the FAS sponsored three panels on “active learning,” including an April 1 session on “Teaching with Collections.” Ulrich, Galison, and others took part in “Museum Conversations” on April 27, co-sponsored by the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, a consortium whose mission champions the pedagogical value of objects. The reception was at the Harvard Semitic Museum, a University pioneer in teaching the humanities through objects and object making. (“It’s what we do,” said director Peter Der Manuelian.) On May 5, Ulrich brought her “scholarship of things” message to the Harvard Ed Portal.This year, a new two-semester humanities course, “Colloquium: Essential Works,” included hands-on library visits. “It was the perfect last class,” said social studies concentrator Emily Rubenstein ’15, who joined classmates at the library in late April, where they examined books and manuscripts, including a Shakespeare first folio, letters of Virginia Woolf, and a first edition of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”In an era of reading on Kindles and laptops, the visit provided “a stronger connection to the book itself,” said Rubenstein. “It’s tangible.”Looking, listening, reading to become culturally astuteStudents view great artworks in the University’s museums, participate in close readings of texts in the libraries, and practice close listening during excursions to “sound-rich places around campus,” including sampling the Lowell House bells, said Alexander Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, who has taught “The Art of Listening” with John T. Hamilton, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature. File photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerHow do people look, listen, and read? It’s the ability to do those tasks well that allows people to navigate the world, and encourages them to reflect, reason, and respond to what they find. Mastering these skills is at the heart of a new Harvard effort to help students become better cultural citizens.Looking to reinforce the humanities and eager to reimagine a collaborative curriculum for today, Harvard administrators and faculty released three comprehensive reports in 2013 on the humanities landscape. Their recommendations included a call for clearer entry points into those areas for freshmen and sophomores. The result was a trio of “frameworks” classes on the arts involving looking, listening, and reading, to help undergraduates explore the human experience.“When students arrive on campus they may not see a clear pathway into the study of the arts and humanities,” said Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities, who requested the reports. The new courses offer “critical tools” for understanding messages in sound, pictures, and text, she said, and help students to develop the interpretive skills fundamental to humanistic inquiry.The approach encourages instructors to view the humanities “not just as a set of separate disciplines and programs, but in a much more integrated way,” said Julie Buckler, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, who taught “The Art of Reading” this spring with Michael J. Puett, Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History. In the class, students read and interpreted literature, but they also examined historical narratives, visual materials, blogs, computer games, and graphic novels.“The Art of Listening” tapped poetry and literature’s rich aural traditions and explored philosophical reflections on listening by Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, and others. In “The Art of Looking,” a class on the world map touched on “geometry, geopolitics, and the histories of printing, navigation, and religion,” the syllabus said. A section on porcelain engaged “aesthetics, gender, food ways, labor, history, chemistry, espionage, and global exchange and translation.”“We’ve tried very hard to present something more fundamental, something below the disciplines that will allow students to spring in many different directions,” said Jennifer L. Roberts, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities, who helps lead “Looking.”The courses have a modern mindset. As technologies evolve, Harvard educators said, new approaches to teaching need to do so too.“Undergraduates these days live in a world that is saturated with new visual technologies,” said Robin Kelsey, the Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, who developed “Looking” with Roberts. To reach students, Kelsey suggested, give the technologies they use “a kind of history,” and then discuss “the histories of various visual technologies throughout time.”For one assignment, Kelsey and Roberts asked students to develop an iPhone app that could reproduce a daguerreotype, a 19th-century photographic technique that captures an image on a shiny metal plate.The assignment illustrated a key feature of the frameworks courses: the art of making, which brings physicality to the classroom. In “Listening,” students stepped back in technological time to create a mix tape using cassettes and recorders. For “Reading,” students acted out scenes from playwright Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic “Waiting for Godot.” The undergraduates interpreted Beckett by making “all kinds of choices” with his sparse text, said Buckler. “It’s so obviously meant to thwart its reader’s search to impose some sort of unitary reading on it.”Harvard’s rich collections are another integral part of the frameworks courses. Students view great artworks in the University’s museums, participate in close readings of texts in the libraries, and practice close listening during excursions to “sound-rich places around campus,” including sampling the Lowell House bells, said Alexander Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, who has taught “The Art of Listening” with John T. Hamilton, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature.Student Justin Dower recently declared a Romance languages and literatures concentration to complement his pre-med track. He said Rehding and Hamilton’s course “opened up the humanities at Harvard to me,” introducing him to the “careful reading, and observation, and listening” that they require.Up next in the curriculum is “The Art of Living,” a fall course that will explore classical philosophical traditions. The frameworks courses, said Kelsey, are one of many “curricular experiments that are really bringing the Harvard curriculum into the 21st century in a variety of exciting ways.”last_img read more

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Metal fatigue

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British Land fails in rent review fight

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Governor Wolf Declares Heroin and Opioid Epidemic a Statewide Disaster Emergency

first_img# # # WHEREAS, the opioid crisis is of such magnitude or severity that emergency action is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of affected citizens in Pennsylvania;WHEREAS, the opioid crisis is a public health emergency in Pennsylvania contributing to addiction, overdose emergencies and deaths; andWHEREAS, the opioid crisis includes heroin and prescription pain medications, such as morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone; andWHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis impacts all areas of the state – including urban, suburban and rural communities and all ages including both young people and older Pennsylvanians – and is unprejudiced in its reach and devastation; andWHEREAS, the deaths because of overdose are preventable and the effective treatment of opioid use disorders can reduce the risk of overdose; andWHEREAS, the Drug Enforcement Agency reports the total number of fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2016 was 4,642, a 37% increase from 2015 and those deaths increasingly are the result of fentanyl and other synthetic opioid compounds; andWHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s rate of drug overdose is 36.5 per 100,000 which is significantly higher than the national average of 16.3 per 100,000; andWHEREAS, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program reports the number of emergency department visits related to an opioid overdose have increased by 82% from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017;WHEREAS, the Governor and the Acting Secretary of Health have reasonable cause to believe that disease, illness, and health conditions, including death, are being caused by the opioid crisis;WHEREAS, it is necessary to make Naloxone more widely available to treat narcotic overdose in emergency situations;WHEREAS, it is necessary to expand access to treatment facilities, as well as treatment options across the commonwealth; andWHEREAS, it is necessary to temporarily reduce regulatory burdens, in accordance with federal and state law, to ensure that individuals receive needed treatment without delay.NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of section 7301(c) of the Emergency Management Services Code, 35 Pa. C.S. § 7101 et seq., I do hereby proclaim the existence of a disaster emergency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.Further, I direct the establishment of an Opioid Unified Coordination Group that shall utilize the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to provide a consistent framework and approach to enable government to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. The Opioid Unified Coordination Group shall consist of the heads of the following Commonwealth agencies, or their designee, and such other executive branch agencies as the Governor may designate:The Department of HealthThe Department of Human ServicesThe Department of Drug and Alcohol ProgramsThe Pennsylvania Emergency Management AgencyThe Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and DelinquencyThe Pennsylvania State PoliceFurther, the Opioid Unified Coordination Group shall establish a Public Health Emergency Command Center (Command Center) that will operate within the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) located at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.Further, during the period of this emergency, recognizing the need for urgent and expeditious action, pursuant to 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(f), I do hereby authorize the suspension of relevant regulatory statutes that agencies under my jurisdiction are authorized by law to administer or enforce as may be necessary to respond to the opioid crisis.  Any regulatory statute that agencies under my jurisdiction desire to be suspended must be reviewed by the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, and filed with the Opioid Unified Coordination Group.IN ADDITION, if any administrative order, rule or regulation relating to the opioid crisis is inconsistent with the requirements of this Proclamation, or any rule, regulation, plan or administrative order issued pursuant hereto, or if strict compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder or delay necessary action to cope with the emergency, then such provision is hereby rescinded for the duration of this Proclamation.Still Further, pursuant to 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(b), all agencies under my jurisdiction are authorized, ordered and directed to issue, amend and rescind such rules, regulations, orders and plans as necessary to carry out their respective responsibilities and functions pursuant to this Proclamation, to issue, amend and rescind such rules and regulations or orders under their respective statutory authorities as may be reasonably necessary to assist in responding to this opioid crisis.Further, all Commonwealth agencies purchasing supplies or services in response to this emergency are authorized to utilize the emergency procurement procedures set forth in section 516 of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa. C.S. § 516.  This Proclamation shall serve as the written determination of the basis for the emergency under section 516.STILL FURTHER, I hereby urge the governing bodies and executive officers of all political subdivisions that may be affected by this emergency event to act as necessary to meet the current exigencies as legally authorized under this proclamation.GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, this 10th day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and forty second.TOM WOLFGovernor MEDIA CONTACT:  J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116 Expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) by waiving the regulatory provision to permit dosing at satellite facilities even though counseling remains at the base NTP.This allows more people to receive necessary treatments at the same location, increasing their access to all the care and chances for recovery.Waive annual licensing requirements for high-performing drug and alcohol treatment facilities to allow for bi-annual licensure process which streamlines licensing functions and better allocates staff time. DDAP will request that facilities seek a waiver by filing exception requests to the annual licensing requirement.Waive the fee provided for in statute for birth certificates for individuals who request a good-cause waiver by attesting that they are affected by OUD. This is of particular importance to individuals experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations who often cannot obtain copies of their birth certificates in order to access treatment and other benefits due to the financial requirements.Waive separate licensing requirements for hospitals and emergency departments to expand access to drug and alcohol treatment to allow physicians to administer short-term MAT consistent with DEA regulations without requiring separate notice to DDAP.Governor Wolf was joined at the declaration signing by PEMA Director Rick Flinn, Acting Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith, and the Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, who today signed the revised first responders “leave behind” standing order for naloxone.For a one-page summary of the declaration, visit governor.pa.gov. Full text of the declaration is included here: Allows Pharmacists to Partner with Other Organizations to Increase Access to Naloxone by waiving regulations to allow pharmacists to partner with other organizations, including prisons and treatment programs to make naloxone available to at-risk individuals upon discharge from these facilities.Allows for the immediate temporary rescheduling of all fentanyl derivatives to align with the federal DEA schedule while working toward permanent rescheduling.Authorizes emergency purchasing under Section 516 of the Procurement Code to allow for an emergency contract to expand the advanced body scanner pilot program currently in place at Wernersville that is used on re-entrants returning to the facility. This would prevent the program from lapsing.Speeding Up and Expanding Access to TreatmentWaive the face-to-face physician requirement for Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP) admissions to allow initial intake review by a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) or Physician Assistant (PA) to expedite initial intakes and streamline coordination of care when an individual is most in need of immediate attention. Governor Wolf Declares Heroin and Opioid Epidemic a Statewide Disaster Emergency GOVERNOR’S OFFICEPROCLAMATION OF DISASTER EMERGENCYJanuary 10, 2018 January 10, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf took another step forward in bolstering the fight against heroin and opioid addiction by signing a statewide disaster declaration to enhance state response, increase access to treatment, and save lives. The declaration is the first-of-its-kind for a public health emergency in Pennsylvania and will utilize a command center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to track progress and enhance coordination of health and public safety agencies.“While we have made progress in combatting the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and drastically expanded Pennsylvania’s response, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians,” Governor Wolf said. “I am taking this step to protect Pennsylvanians from this looming public health crisis, and I am using every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination.”Among the declaration’s specifics are 13 key initiatives that are the culmination of a collaboration between all state agencies, with focus on the departments of Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pennsylvania State Police.“I routinely challenge all commonwealth agencies to think innovatively about how they continue to address the opioid epidemic and seek solutions that last long beyond our tenure in this building,” Governor Wolf said. “One such solution is to use the executive authority granted to me as the governor of this commonwealth to waive statutory regulations that create barriers to treatment and prevention, prevent first responders and others from saving lives, and reduce efficiency of our response.”The 13 initial initiatives are organized by three areas of focus and include:Enhancing Coordination and Data Collection to Bolster State and Local ResponseEstablishes an Opioid Command Center located at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), which will house the Unified Opioid Coordination Group that will meet weekly during the disaster declaration to monitor implementation and progress of the initiatives in the declaration.Expands Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to Other Commonwealth Entities for Clinical Decision-Making Purposes to improve treatment outcomes and better monitor compliance among prescribers.Since 2016, 90,000 physicians have conducted more than 1 million searches on the PDMP.Adds Overdoses and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) as Reportable Conditions in Title 28, Chapter 27 to the DOH in order to increase data collection and improve outcomes in both areas.Authorizes Emergency Purchase Under Procurement Code for Hotline Contract with Current Vendor, giving DDAP further emergency purchase authorization to allow the department to enter into a contract with the current drug and alcohol hotline vendor to ensure uninterrupted services.To date, the 24/7 helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, has received more than 18,000 calls to connect those suffering from substance use disorder with treatment.Improving Tools for Families, First Responders, and Others to Save LivesEnables Emergency Medical Services providers to leave behind naloxone by amending the current Standing Order to include dispensing by first responders, including Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)The existing naloxone standing order and funding for naloxone to first responders has allowed for more than 5,000 lives to be saved so sufferers can be linked to treatment for substance use disorder.last_img read more

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Axe murderer’s Queensland luxury home sold for millions

first_imgThe showpiece former luxury retreat also had development approval for a subdivision to create an additional six residential lots just minutes to Buderim village” according to the listing.It was on the market just three months before it was snapped up for $140,000 less than the asking price, selling to an investment company for $2.35m in April last year.That’s not a bad deal considering the median price of houses in the area has gone up 33.6 per cent in the past five years.An investment firm bought the property and immediately put it up for rental. The van Bredas lived a millionaire lifestyle but valued their Sunshine Coast retreat.A 23-YEAR-old who was today found guilty of axing his multi-millionaire family to death at home had lived an idyllic luxury lifestyle in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.Henri van Breda was found guilty of murdering his parents Martin and Teresa as well as his brother Rudi, and attempting to murder his sister Marli in their estate in South Africa, one of two homes they had maintained on opposite sides of the world.The van Bredas had relocated to South Africa for business reasons, but kept their sprawling Sunshine Coast property intact with a view to returning to the idyllic lifestyle in future.They had bought what was then a seven bedroom, seven bathroom, two car space property in 2012 for $2.2m, with the 3.86 hectare property including development approval for six additional residential lots.Henri van Breda is led out of the High Court in Cape Town, South Africa, after being found guilty of the murder of his parents and brother and the attempted murder of his sister more than three years after the gruesome attack. Picture: AP Photo/Nasief Manie.Related: Home owned by family killed in axe attack for salePat Rafter loses millions in Sunshine Beach dealTheir Queensland home was a sprawling eco designed luxury retreat where every bedroom had an ensuite and opened up to expansive private decks, patios or gardens.The grounds themselves were covered in rainforest and bamboo water gardens, though the home was also just four minutes from the Maroochydore city centre, eight minutes from the beach and 11 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport.The quirky main building was made of hardwood in a rare circular shape, designed and built with nine ensuite bedrooms, seven of which were operational when the family frolicked there.The van Breda’s luxury escape was listed at $2.49 million last year.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoThe living zone incorporated a “voluminous” double height atrium ceiling, with the home also having a luxury stone kitchen, prep area and walk in pantry — “an incomparable family home” that could be a luxury guesthouse, coming with a caretaker’s cottage, orchards and multiple dams.It was a far cry from the grisly scenes that investigators met in the family’s De Zalze Golf Estate home in South Africa in January 2015 the day after the parents and son were killed.It took two years after the family was murdered and their son Henri put on trial for the executor of the van Breda’s will to put the property on the market in Queensland.At $2.49 million, it was listed as a “captivating oasis with subdivision opportunity” with sweeping views to Moreton Island and the Glasshouse Mountains.Every bedroom in the uniquely designed home opens onto verandas, patios or gardens. The property was put up for rent three months after the sale date, listed at $2,650 a week with a commercial slant as a home, bed and breakfast, retreat, and accommodation venue.The new owners turned the property into an 11 bedroom, 10 bathroom, 10 car space estate and got development approval for a pool and spa to be put in for over $31,000 in October last year.FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOKlast_img read more

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Villarreal want to re-sign Man United’s Eric Bailly

first_img That is according to a report in fichajes.net which outlines how the Ivorian central defender is the dream signing for the Yellow Submarine this summer.Advertisement Loading… Now aged 26, Bailly made 47 first-team appearances for Villarreal across 18 months after signing from Espanyol in a deal reported to be €5.7m in January 2015. His high-performance level multiplied and he became the first signing of boss Jose Mourinho at United in the summer when the Red Devils also landed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. After making 38 appearances in a promising debut campaign in England – helping his team to the EFL Cup and Europa League successes – Bailly suffered a series of injury problems, with a troublesome knee injury limiting him to just one Premier League start this campaign. Villarreal want to sign Manchester United defender Eric Bailly just four years after he left the club for Old Trafford.center_img Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?11 Greatest Special Effects Movies Of All Time2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks15 Photos Of Amazingly Beautiful MutationsDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo20 Facts That’ll Change Your Perception Of “The Big Bang Theory”Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime Read Also: Ronaldo named greatest European striker since 2000He impressed in the two-goal victory at Chelsea in February and appeared as a substitute in the victory over Manchester City in United’s most recent Premier League outing while also playing cup games against Derby, Club Brugge and LASK.Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have established themselves as first-choice central defenders under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the club would have no plans to sell Bailly.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

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Boxing: Wilder Agrees to World Heavyweight Unification Fight in UK

first_imgWorld heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder claims he has agreed to fight Britain’s Anthony Joshua in the UK.The American, 32, holds the WBC title and wants a unification bout with Joshua, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.He tweeted: “The $50m offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available. Today, I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK.” Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports he will send the contracts but wonders if Wilder’s claim is “bluster”.He added: “It’s all come as a bit of a shock that Deontay’s finally come back to us on the offer and seems to accept the terms.“One thing I can tell you is that by the end of this week Deontay Wilder will have a contract in front of him and we’ll see if he’s real.”Hearn has previously criticised the Wilder team for appearing to do their business via social media, insisting “deals are made in the boardroom, not on Instagram”.“If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose,” Wilder added.Wilder’s Manager, Shelly Finkel, told ESPN they had officially accepted terms to a fight in the UK.He said: “Deontay sent an email to Joshua (Sunday night), and I sent one (Monday) to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract.”Should Joshua, 28, fight the American next, the winner would become the first heavyweight to hold all four recognised world titles at once.Russian Alexander Povetkin is the WBA’s mandatory challenger and is close to a deal to fight Joshua, although Joshua could face Wilder first if Povetkin is able to fight the winner.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more