California, a state overwhelmed by people and their electronic devices, plans to implement wireless emergency alerting in the near future. The population in California continues to boom, and along with this growth in population comes an increase in the number of cell phones, BlackBerrys, and other wireless electronics residing in pockets, purses and vehicles. “That_s certainly going to support what we_re proposing here in”žCalifornia,” says Lamoureux. “We’re hoping by the end of the year to see some initial recommendations out of D.C. to help steer our initiative in”žCalifornia.” In working with existing cellular technology providers,”žCalifornia’s OES understands the concern voiced by existing cellular technology providers that sending individual messages to a large quantity of wireless customers could tax the already overburdened system. Ë™We would have to use a different technology for this,” says Lamoureux. “The existing [system] allows text messages to be sent from one point to another. Rather, we would use one message that transmits to multiple users, simultaneously.” “We want to set up a system that would allow us to push emergency alert messages to any wireless device in a specific geographic region,” says Eric Lamoureux, Chief, Office of Public Information for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) in”žCalifornia.”ž Whether to warn citizens of a major terrorist threat, wildfires or earthquakes, the broadcast technology used for such area-wide warnings could save lives and time. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), more than 70% of all state and local Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages are weather related.”ž In addition, it’s important to educate those distributing messages on what’s considered appropriate, he adds. “The messages that do go out must be critical, life-saving alerts,” he stresses. Washington”žD.C.has an initiative is under way to establish protocols and procedures for such an alert system. Analog and digital radio broadcast stations, analog and digital television stations, and wireless cable stations comprise the current EAS. The FCC is reviewing the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which many organizations believe offers a “practical means of creating an effective interface between emergency managers and multiple emergency alert distribution platforms.” This is noted in the FCC’s “Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” adopted May 31 and released on July 12.”ž The report notes all EAS participants will be required to accept alerts and warnings in the CAP format, and the protocol will be adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of the Interior approve adoption of CAP-Version 1.1.”ž Seventy-five percent of the public uses cellular phones, says Lamoureux. “Ultimately, we’re so mobile that you’re not necessarily going to be around a television or listening to a radio station when something occurs.” The important thing, he notes, is to look at all possible options for disseminating information to the public in an emergency situation.”ž
(NECN: Ally Donnelly, Boston, MA) — A Boston EMT is being hailed a hero. He rushed into a burning building to save a young boy’s life. Krittiya Choti-sing was panicked late last night as she smelled smoke on the third floor of her Wadsworth Street home in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. A fire had started in the attic living space and no one could find her 10-year-old grandson Anthony.
The Beaumont Foundation of America is seeking applicants for the Jon Huntsman Sr. Scholarship.The scholarship is for first-year students seeking an associate of applied science degree in process operating technology. The scholarship application process is open until July 1, 2015. Those interested can apply on the LIT Web site. Go to “Student Services,” then click on the “Scholarship Application” link. Next UpA good candidate for the scholarship will have financial need to attend college and be a first-generation college student. The committee may also consider class ranking, GPA, test scores, academic success, extracurricular activities and participation in leadership activities.To remain eligible for the scholarship, students must be a full-time student, comply with all reporting requirements and maintain an overall GPA of 2.5. The duration of the scholarship is four consecutive long semesters or until graduation. For more information, call (409) 839-2956.
GROVES — A changing of the guard highlighted much of the talk at Tuesday morning’s Groves Chamber of Commerce Annual Breakfast.Mayor Brad Bailey opened by saying his 20th year in office would be his last, noting he and the community were lucky to have been served that whole time by Fire Chief Dale Jackson, who is in his last weeks of office.2019 Chamber President Don Sodman highlighted a year of accomplishments by saying he was, at first, worried about taking on the position 12 months ago. “Previous presidents were the Hall of Fame of people in Groves,” Sodman said. “But you soon realize they cleared the path and made it easier for people coming after.”Beverly Herford, who previously served a Groves Chamber of Commerce president, is once again taking on the responsibility for 2020. (Mary Meaux/The News)Sodman recognized the Chamber’s renewed mother of the year program, which spotlighted Bevin Frakes, and the two business that tied for small business of the year — George Geisel of Groves Domino’s and Scott and Tina Legendre of Groves Café and Coffee Bar.Sodman encouraged future Chamber leaders and attendees to continue a recently launched effort to provide bikes to children in need at Christmas. Incoming Chamber President Beverly Herford helped close the breakfast by giving thanks for community support through trying times and stressing her commitment to the Chamber, which she dubbed the heart of the community.2020 officers include Herford, Rob Vensel, Pansey Lamson, Loyd Patterson and Sodman.
Will Chase was originally slated to star in Little Miss Sunshine—how did you get the role? It was incredibly last minute. Will got an offer for Nashville the day Little Miss Sunshine was going to start rehearsals. I was at a picnic with my boys on Labor Day and I got a call saying, “Would you be interested in going in for the role?” I was thrilled because I absolutely loved the movie. Then they said, “It’s tomorrow morning, and you’ve got to start immediately.” I came in and sang one of my own songs and read a couple of scenes from the show, and half an hour later they called and said, “Can you start today?” [Laughs.] Javert is a really scary guy. Are you prepared to get that mean? Ooh, heck yeah! I’m ready to dive into Javert. The challenge of a role that’s been performed for almost 30 years is that people have an expectation of what this character should be, and the challenge is to bring something new to it. I had a religious upbringing and, without naming names, I’ve got a couple of people in mind who thought they were very, very righteous people who were real jerks. With those folks as my template, I think I’ve got a new angle on where to start with this character. What if Little Miss Sunshine comes to Broadway while you’re doing Les Miserables? Who would you cast as Richard? I will not put any energy out there as far as replacing me in Little Miss Sunshine [laughs]. That would send the wrong message to the universe! Every off-Broadway show I’ve ever done has had rumblings of going to Broadway, and sometimes they go and sometimes they don’t. I think this one has so much potential to play to an audience on Broadway for a long time. So I’m just saying a prayer to the theater gods that it goes next year instead of this season, so I can have my cake and eat it too. Related Shows See Will Swenson in Little Miss Sunshine, opening November 14 at off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre. Little Miss Sunshine In Little Miss Sunshine, Richard is a motivational speaker—what keeps you motivated during tech and previews? Whiskey, I wanna say? [Laughs.] No. It’s my kids. They keep things in perspective and make me remember that I am not the culmination of my acting parts, I’m their dad. Also, the idea of creating something new is a huge motivation. I love doing something that has never been seen before, creating new shows. You feel much less like a puppet, ‘cause you’re actually creating something, you’re not just trying to fit into a mold that a previous actor has created. View Comments Have you guys ever gone on a double date with Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus? We haven’t. That should absolutely happen! I was talking to Stephanie about that recently that they’re in a very similar predicament, both of them are very in-demand and it gets crazy. It’s hard to say no to work when you love it so much, but you have to carve it out. Do you and [fellow Hair and Murder Ballad alum] Caissie Levy [who’ll play Fantine in Les Miz] have a contract clause about co-starring in shows? It’s starting to get crazy. It’s getting to that, isn’t it? [Laughs.] We joked about it when we found out that we both got these parts. We were like, “So, I guess it’s just in our rider.” I wouldn’t mind that; Caissie’s one of the most talented girls I’ve ever worked with, and on top of it she’s just a great, great girl. We must be compatible on a certain level. Third time’s the charm. Was that unnerving? Murder Ballad had closed early, so I was just an out-of-work actor who was happy to have a job. I was glad to find out that the majority of the cast hadn’t been involved in any previous incarnations, so I wasn’t necessarily behind anybody else in the progression of learning it. I didn’t feel terribly like the new kid, as much as I could have under other circumstances. Audra has hinted about coming back to Broadway. Do you guys try to alternate for the kids? How does that work? Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if we had that much power to control shows? [Laughs.] Well, she might! I certainly don’t. We may have shows that line up soon, but there’s too many factors to try to plan anything specifically. When she was doing Porgy and Bess and I was doing Priscilla, we made that work. It was tricky, but it was incredibly fun to finish my show and walk across Times Square and she’d be finishing up signing autographs and we’d go home. It was like a neat day at the office together. If that happens again, that’d be fine, but if not, we tag-team with the other responsibilities of life, and we just make it work. We’re sad, however, that it meant you wouldn’t be playing Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse. Me too! I usually like to do new stuff, but there are a few roles on my radar that I’d like to do. Frank-N-Furter’s on there and Javert’s on there. So I was gonna be doing two of those in the same year, and I was sad to let that one go. In this production, the bus is created with chairs on wheels—have you rolled into the audience yet? Any mishaps? Nobody’s flown off the stage yet, and we created a little lip at the edge that is supposed to stop us—but we’re not sure if it might actually just propel us into the audience. The chairs are tricky to work with! Sometimes a wheel will turn wrong and somebody’s taken a little spill a couple of times during the show, but for the most part things have gone well. What is it like building a relationship with your Little Miss Sunshine family? It’s been great, and I attribute that to [director/book writer] James Lapine. He kept the rehearsal room very light and fun. Every day when we’d come in, instead of just getting to work, we’d sit around, and he’d go, “So what’d you do last night, Will? How was your night, Stephanie, what about you, Hannah?” We would all just get to know each other, eat snacks and get silly on our breaks. Will Swenson Do you and Audra ever sing “The Confrontation” together at home? Oh yeah, it happens nightly—no. [Laughs.] We’re a little bit more of a Roberta Flack family. But I think it happened once when I was auditioning for the part. We might have been goofing around and sung it in front of the kids just to annoy them. They think we’re so obnoxious when we sing loudly. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 15, 2013 You and Ramin Karimloo [who will play Jean Valjean] have been Tweeting back and forth. Have you met? We sang at one of the auditions to make sure that we sounded good together, and he’s an amazing guy. Oh my gosh, his voice is basically what I would aspire to, in my wildest dreams, to sound like Ramin! He’s a dad, like me—he’s got two boys, as well—so we’ve got a ton in common, and I really look forward to being onstage with him. Star Files Try as you might, there’s no typecasting Will Swenson. Since his Broadway debut in Brooklyn, he’s played an eclectic collection of roles, from a vampire in Lestat to a hippie in Hair to a drag diva in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Off-Broadway, he originated the role of badass Arsenal frontman Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages and stalkery bartender Tom in Murder Ballad. Now, he’s playing motivational speaker and patriarch Richard in the off-Broadway musical adaptation of Little Miss Sunshine, opening November 14 at Second Stage. But wait, there’s more—Swenson will take on legendary Broadway baddie Javert in the new revival of Les Miserables this spring. Not to mention his happiest role: husband of Audra McDonald and dad to their “wee posse of three.” Broadway.com chatted with Swenson about his forthcoming turn as a mean, mean police inspector in Les Miz and jumping (literally) into Little Miss Sunshine, even though it meant giving up his sweet transvestite dream role.
The Vermont housing market was the only one in New England to experience a year-over-year decline in both number of transactions, down -2.4 percent, and median price, down -4.3 percent, according to RE/MAX. Vermont’s median home price is $180,900, down from $189,000. This still places Vermont third highest in the region, behind only Massachusetts ($260,000) and Connecticut ($232,500).RE/MAX of New England Executive Vice President Jay Hummer said the number of transactions is encouraging, but there is still a gap between what buyers think their home is worth and what it will actually sell for. The RE/MAX of New England January Monthly Housing Report shows that year-over-year, the number of unit sales in every state in New England, except Vermont, is slightly higher than January 2011. New Hampshire and Rhode Island experienced the highest change in units sold with an increase of 16.8 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively. While the number of transactions remain relatively flat, prices continue to dip in every state in New England.‘The slight uptick in sales is encouraging as it means buyers are active in the market, however, we are still trying to find a balance between buyer expectations and market realities when it comes to pricing,’ Hummer said.
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Oct 15, 2020 Companies in the region which participate in the training will be recognised, and accommodation providers which also join CARPHA’s online Tourism Health Information System (THiS) will be eligible to receive the Caribbean Travel Health Assurance (CTHA) Stamp, adding further assurance to travelers about their commitment to health safety. The initial set of guidelines includes detailed checklists backed by health safety training for various tourism industry sectors, including ground transportation, accommodation providers, food and beverage, and attractions. General health safety protocols have also been created and will be supported with training delivered by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to a wide cross section of employees and owners in the tourism industry. Health and Tourism Partnership Addresses COVID-19 Risks to Travelers and Employees CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Oct 16, 2020 More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… Read more at: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Press Room Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… You may be interested in… Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Press Room) The Caribbean’s health and tourism authorities’ COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force announced a new initiative to help safeguard the health of travelers and employees during a recent virtual press conference, unveiling comprehensive health safety guidelines supported by an aggressive training schedule aimed at reaching thousands of the region’s tourism employees in the coming weeks and months. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC St. Lucia records more cases of COVID Different Tourism Will Emerge From COVID-19, Says CTO SG(Caribbean Tourism Organisation Press Release) – Tourism in the Caribbean and the rest of the world will be considerably different as countries begin to reopen their borders to international traffic following the forced closures occasioned by the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), says the region’s top tourism official. Neil…June 23, 2020In “Audio”ILO: Sustainable Solutions Urgently Needed to Address Collapse of Caribbean Tourism EmploymentInternational Labour Organisation Press Release) — Almost half a million Caribbean tourism workers face the prospect of decent work deficits in the form of job losses, reductions in working hours, and loss of incomes, while the worsening of working conditions and the move to informal employment appear as a concrete…August 26, 2020In “Belize”Caribbean Has Achieved COVID-19 Containment – ResearcherBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Caribbean Tourism Organisation (5 May, 2020) – The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been contained in the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, according to a leading researcher and academic. However, Dr. Clive Landis, pro-vice-chancellor for undergraduate studies and research, and professor of cardiovascular research at the University of the West Indies…May 8, 2020In “Associate Member States”Share this on WhatsApp
Researchers undertaking two of the largest marine science programs in Australia are sharing their findings at the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) research conference this week. Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said that the $19 million WAMSI Dredging Science program was helping better understand the effect of dredging on the marine environment, and would identify better approaches to assessing and managing the impact of future dredging operations.“There are millions of cubic meters of dredging needed to support our economy. But because we don’t know the full impact of dredging, we have to take quite a precautionary approach when setting conditions on companies to have confidence the environment is protected,” Mr Barnett said.According to Environment Minister Albert Jacob, this dredging research was an excellent collaboration among industry and science providers to address knowledge gaps in managing environmental impacts. The dredging science program combines $9.5 million in industry funds from Chevron, Woodside and BHP Billiton, with over $9.5 million co-investment from the WAMSI partners.The conference includes more than 60 presentations from researchers and invited speakers and is running at the State Library of Western Australia from March 30 to April 1, 2015.
A discussion paper issued by the Legal Ombudsman today is seeking views on whether it should publish the names of firms when it reports details of consumer complaints. The Ombudsman has been set up by the Office for Legal Complaints and begins taking complaints from consumers next month. The Legal Services Act allows it to name the lawyer or firm involved in any case it reports on. However, solicitors have voiced concerns that this could have an economic or reputational impact. The paper asks whether the Ombudsman should only publish anonymised cases, or whether naming the lawyers would benefit consumers. It also asks whether identifying lawyers could have a disproportionate impact on certain areas of the law, how long the information should remain in the public domain, or whether it should only identify lawyers if they receive a certain number of complaints in a year. The paper also seeks views on whether any information at all should be published, the types of cases and levels of decisions to be published, and the form of publication. Responding to the document, Legal Services Consumer Panel chairwoman Dianne Hayter said: ‘In this era of transparency, the presumption should be to favour disclosure in a market where consumers lack the information to choose suitable lawyers. ‘The panel strongly supports the identification of lawyers subject to ombudsman investigations, but this must be done in a way that illuminates, rather than clouds, understanding.’