Load remaining images The String Cheese Incident settled into the Cuthbert Amphitheatre in Eugene, OR last weekend, spending two nights at the storied Northwest venue. Coming off of a great run at Red Rocks, SCI has yet to slow down, hitting two nights in Montana and one in Washington before starting this two night stand. With an opener of “Shine,” String Cheese was off and running.The first set featured a lot of interesting cover selections, including Allman Brothers’ “Jessica,” Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” and a jam on Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” in the middle of “Colliding.” They also playing James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” in the second set, and welcomed The Wailers’ Danglin Anglin for a version of “Exodus.” Of course, SCI played some of their own tunes as well, including new song “Get Tight,” and classics like “Howard” and “BollyMunster.”The second show featured more SCI classics, as they opened up with 2014 album title track “Song In My Head” and brought out tunes like “These Waves > Djibouti Bump,” “Stop, Drop, Roll,” “Texas” and more in the first set. The second set was an impressive display of jams, as the band essentially played five songs, “It Is What It Is,” “Smile,” “Impressions,” “Hotel Window” and “Sweet Spot.” The band also worked in a “Drums” segment after “Smile,” and welcomed Jeff Pevar during the remarkable “Impressions.” The two-song encore of “Can’t Wait Another Day” and “Shakin’ The Tree” closed out this top tier performance.You can scope the full setlists from the two night run below!Setlist: The String Cheese Incident at Cuthbert Amphitheatre, Eugene, OR – 7/23/16Set 1: Shine, Missing Me > Jessica, Farther, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Sweet Melinda > Hollywood Swinging > Colliding > Another One Bites The Dust Jam > CollidingSet 2: ¡BAM! > Cold Sweat > Howard > BollyMunster, Get Tight > Desert Dawn > Exodus1 > Colorado Bluebird SkyE: Don’t Let Go1 with Danglin Anglin (The Wailers) on vocalsSetlist: The String Cheese Incident at Cuthbert Amphitheatre, Eugene, OR – 7/24/16Set 1: Song In My Head, These Waves > Djibouti Bump, Hi Ho No Show, Midnight Moonlight, Falling Through The Cracks, Stop, Drop, Roll, TexasSet 2: It Is What It Is, Smile > Drums, Impressions1, Hotel Window, Sweet SpotEncore: Can’t Wait Another Day, Shakin’ The Tree1 with Jeff PevarPhotography by Jordan Inglee/Visual SuplexFacebook Instagram
When Caitlin Cahow won an Olympic bronze medal in 2006 as a member of the U.S. women’s hockey team, she kept the celebration short. After all, she had to race back to her undergraduate anthropology studies at Harvard.When people think Harvard, they usually think academic achievement. So at first glance, it might seem that Cahow ’08, who’s also on the U.S. team that will face China in Vancouver on Valentine’s Day, is an athletic anomaly. But that wouldn’t factor in alternate captains Angela Ruggiero ’04, who’s on her fourth Olympic squad, and Julie Chu ’07, who’s on her third. Nor would that account for the Canadian team’s Jennifer Botterill ’03 and Sarah Vaillancourt ’09.In fact, more than 130 Harvard athletes have competed in the Olympics since they resumed in 1896 (including the first medal winner). Ten Crimson athletes and coaches competed in the 2008 Beijing summer games, six in the 2006 Turin winter games, and 13 in the 2004 Athens summer games. There will be five in Vancouver. There has never been an Olympics without at least one Harvard player or graduate involved.“Harvard really became my home,” Cahow said, describing why she returned to campus during a short January training break rather than rest up. “This is my central hub. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of a deal. You feel attached to these people for the rest of your life.”Harvard offers 41 Division 1 sports, more than any other college in the nation. More than 1,000 undergraduates compete in the University’s robust intercollegiate program.Harvard’s vast club sports program has more than 3,000 participants in 40 sports, with 1,100 young men and women competing in 31 House intramural and 16 freshman league sports and special events. In addition, 8,500 members of the Harvard community spend hundreds of thousands of hours each year at the University’s athletic facilities and in recreational classes.Harvard teams have won 138 national or NCAA championships, including at least one in 23 of the past 24 years. Since the Ivy League’s inception in 1954, Harvard teams have won 337 league championships. Forty-six Harvard athletes have won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, given to young men and women who combine attributes of scholarship, leadership, and athletics.The motto of Harvard’s vast sports programs, reflected in the wide participation they draw, is “athletics for all.”For Harvard’s Bob Scalise, Nichols Family Director of Athletics, that motto is paramount. “Athletics for all means exactly that,” he said, “whether someone is an intercollegiate athlete and wants to compete at the highest level of their sport, a club athlete, or part of the intramural or recreational programs. It’s for everyone. We have a very broad-based mandate.”While academics are undoubtedly the priority for students arriving at Harvard, the strong sports programs prove a bonus for many. The ability to compete at a high level while balancing course work has even meant a professional career for a few talented graduates.Four former Harvard football players are now making their mark in the NFL. Matt Birk ’98 plays center for the Baltimore Ravens, Desmond Bryant ’09 is a defensive end for the Oakland Raiders, and Chris Pizzotti ’09 is the back-up quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Last season’s starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills was Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05. Other one-time Harvard stars have found success in the National Hockey League, including Don Sweeney ’88 and Ted Donato ’91, the Crimson men’s hockey coach. Forward Dominic Moore ’03 plays for the Florida Panthers, and current freshman Louis Leblanc opted to play for the Crimson instead of the Montreal Canadians. Tennis player James Blake ’91 has found success on the pro circuit.Still, while Harvard’s strong program allows athletes to compete against some who are the best in their fields, preparing Harvard students for professional sports careers isn’t the primary goal of any Harvard coach. Across the board, they agree that their purpose is preparing undergraduates for life and the world beyond Harvard’s ivy-dappled walls.“Sports reveal character, and that’s sometimes something you are unable to see in the classroom,” said Katey Stone, Harvard’s women’s hockey coach. “A life balance is the most important thing.”After 16 years as Harvard’s head football coach, Tim Murphy has seen his share of titles and Harvard standouts. For Murphy, though, what sets a Harvard athlete apart is the University’s avoidance of scholarships.“At Harvard you have no financial incentive to play. From that sense, athletics at Harvard are as pure here as at any school in the country. … Here, you play for the love of the game and your teammates.”Emphasizing that goal, in his office overlooking Harvard Stadium, Scalise has hung a giant whiteboard. Written at the top in bold black letters are the words “Education Through Athletics,” the core component of Harvard’s athletic mission.“We feel you can learn the lessons of athletics whether you are an aspiring Olympian, a team member, an intramural or club participant, or a recreational athlete. Those lessons include the importance of teamwork, leadership, resiliency, risk taking, the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These are all very valuable lessons for everyone to learn, that’s our philosophy.”Star basketball player “Jeremy Lin is wonderful, and his story tells people that we can compete at the highest level, but that’s the tip of the iceberg of many, many thousands of stories of people whose lives we touch,” Scalise added. “They have their own success stories. They aren’t in Sports Illustrated. They are the kids who get involved and win an intramural championship and bond as a House together. That’s fabulous.”As in academics, hard work is a key for athletes to thrive. For two hours each night on the third floor of the Malkin Athletic Center, young men and women wage fierce combat against each other. The noise level is jarring, a symphony of electronic beeps that signal hits, the sharp crack of steel on steel, and the slap of fast-moving feet against a narrow, metal strip.But as soon as members of Harvard’s fencing program are done sparring, they put down their swords and head as a group to dinner at a nearby dining hall. Like all of Harvard’s athletic programs, camaraderie is a hallmark of the team. For the fencers, the bonds run deep. They travel and compete together, and they practice in tandem, coaching each other and offering advice and encouragement.“The team is awesome,” said Noam Mills ’12, a top-ranked fencer who just returned from Qatar, where she was competing with the Israeli national team. “Aside from being good fencers and good athletes, they are also really amazing people,” Mills said, adding that being part of the team made her transition from Israel to Cambridge much easier.“You just help each other get pumped up. … It’s the people who make it,” said freshman Felicia Sun, who is looking forward to fencing’s NCAA championships, which will be hosted by Harvard in March. “They are not just other fencers, they are my teammates, and they are my friends, and that’s what keeps me coming back.”Head coach Peter Brand, who has run the program for 11 years and led his players to the NCAA championship in 2006, said coaching the team has been his “dream job.” But for Brand, no title can replace the bonds that the players form and the life experience they gain.“I believe these relationships and bonds are possible because sport represents a universal language. In the fencing room, what we try to do is use this sport to bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs, or economic status. I also believe that when people participate in sport they can experience real exhilaration even as they learn the ideals of teamwork, a skill that will hopefully serve to the betterment of the Harvard community and society as a whole.”Prior to heading for Vancouver, Cahow chatted with Stone, her former coach, at the Bright Hockey Center and prepared to take the ice to practice with her one-time team. While at Harvard, Cahow was part of a powerhouse squad that won two ECAC titles and made it each year to the NCAA tournament, twice reaching the final. She said she was “floored” when she first met Stone, and heard her message.“I just was struck by how welcoming and honest she was. She said, ‘We recruit people more than we recruit players. We look for character, and we build character, and those are the most important things about this program. You are going to play great hockey, and you are going to make the best friends that you have ever had in your entire life, but our hope is that you come in a great person and you leave an even better person.’ ”“I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t about the power play, it wasn’t about the record or statistics, it was about ‘we want you to become the best possible person that you can be through being a part of this program,’ and I was sold.”Men’s soccer is another strong Harvard program, and last fall the team advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Maryland. While star forward Andre Akpan garnered broad public attention, another talented player quietly came into his own. Both Akpan and central defender Kwaku Nyamekye ’10 were picked in the recent Major League Soccer draft. Akpan ’09 just reported to training camp with the Colorado Rapids. Nyamekye, who will graduate in the spring, will join the Columbus Crew in June.During his winter break, Nyamekye, a tall player with a knack for moving forward and attacking with the ball, trained with Rangers Football Club, a team in the Scottish Premier League. A native of Switzerland, where he began playing soccer as a boy, Nyamekye admits that he chose Harvard for the academics and that a career in business is likely in his future.But for now he is content to follow his dream of playing professional soccer for as long as he can. Aside from the Harvard soccer program giving him the opportunity to compete at the top of the collegiate game and win two Ivy League titles, Nyamekye said he will always remember the camaraderie he had.“It really shows that, more than being just smart students, Harvard kids are really multifaceted,” said Nyamekye, “and it brings a lot of students with a lot of interest together. … It adds an interesting dynamic to the college experience and to college life.”Competition comes in many forms at Harvard. Students in the intramural program appreciate that they can compete and put in as much time as their schedules allow.“It’s a total break from whatever you are doing,” said Fabian Poliak ’11 of Leverett House, who plays on its B-squad volleyball team. “To me it’s a huge break from studying, great exercise, and a lot of fun.”Harvard’s diverse club program also affords students the chance to compete in sports and movement, from badminton to ballroom dance.For senior Khoa Tran, who took up martial arts as a boy to stay out of trouble and learn how to say no to peer pressure, the tae kwon do club team has proven invaluable.“It’s a way of life, not just a sport,” said Tran, who became an instructor with the team and now is passing along his passion to the next collegiate generation.Harvard long ago decided to keep its sports in context as a supportive part of College life. Still, teams that combine passion, talent, drive, and dedication can win championships too.Although Harvard’s sports programs focus on the student athletes, they also have been involved in many sports firsts, including:Harvard and Yale faced off in the first intercollegiate sports event in 1852, a crew race on Lake Winnipesaukee.Fred Thayer ’78 created the first catcher’s mask in 1877.Harvard introduced the football scoreboard in 1893.Harvard played the first college hockey game, against Brown, in 1898.Because Harvard Stadium’s shape prevented easy widening of the field, football officials eventually legalized the forward pass.Harvard played the first intercollegiate soccer game, against Haverford, in 1905.Radcliffe competed against Sargent College in the first women’s intercollegiate swim meet in 1923.A Harvard hockey coach and player decided in 1932 to shift hockey lines rather than substitute individual players.“The fact that people can come to Harvard and, whatever their talents, whatever their interests might be, they can pursue them to whatever level they want is a very important message,” said William R. Fitzsimmons ’67, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, who attributes his commitment to staying in shape to his early Harvard experience as a hockey goalie.When he travels on recruiting visits, Fitzsimmons said he conveys that message to prospective Harvard students who regularly ask him about the College’s intercollegiate, club, intramural, and recreational community.“I tell them,” he said, “that it is a very important piece of Harvard life.”Gervis A. Menzies Jr. contributed to this report.
The Internet has already fundamentally changed the way that people communicate, shop, and even date, but now it is poised to revolutionize psychological studies by enabling researchers to quickly and easily recruit thousands of study volunteers from around the world, and by changing the way the public interacts with researchers.By conducting experiments online, researchers have been able to enlist as many as 65,000 volunteers to take part in studies of cognition, a number far larger than they could bring into the lab. Such studies, however, have been dogged by questions about whether anonymous, unpaid volunteers tested online can produce data that is as high quality as that gathered through in-person lab testing.New research conducted by Harvard scientists may put those questions to rest.A team led by Laura Germine, a postdoctoral research associate in Harvard’s Psychology Department, and made up of Ken Nakayama, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology, Jeremy Wilmer of Wellesley College, and Christopher F. Chabris ’88, Ph.D. ’99, assistant professor of psychology at Union College, has shown that data gathered through online volunteers can be just as good as that from in-person experiments. Their research is described in a forthcoming issue of Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.“What this says is that people shouldn’t be afraid of the Web as a way of conducting their research,” said Germine, the paper’s first author. “Despite the cost advantages, despite the time advantages, researchers continue to worry that data from Web volunteers will not be as good as data from paid lab participants. We’ve shown that data from self-selected Web volunteers can be very good. The thing I like to say about using the Web is that it’s fast, it’s cheap, but it’s not dirty. In experiments like ours, what you’re getting is good, reliable data.”To test whether Web studies are as valid as those done in the lab, researchers recruited thousands of volunteers through Germine’s site, TestMyBrain.org. The volunteers, who navigated from search engines and social networking sites, took part in a handful of tests to learn more about themselves and contribute to scientific research. These tests were designed to assess everything from facial recognition ability to a person’s capacity for remembering a long string of numbers. Researchers then compared the results of the online tests with those done in the lab.“We looked at three basic metrics,” Germine explained. “We looked at mean performance, we looked at variation in performance, and we looked at internal consistency. In some ways, I think, the third measure — the consistency, or internal reliability — is the most important, because it allows you to look at how someone’s performance on one part of the test predicts how they will perform on another part of the test. If they stopped paying attention or started watching YouTube videos halfway through a test, that would be reflected in lower reliability.”On each measure, Germine said, the results from studies conducted with Web volunteers were the same as those done in the lab. The only variation researchers found came when they compared the average, or mean, performance of the general public with that of elite college students from Harvard and Wellesley on IQ-based tests.“For tests based on visual recognition and perception that are less related to IQ, average scores were the same for Web and lab,” Germine said.While it has simplified the process of gathering data, the Web has also changed the relationship between researchers and those they study. By forming communities online, Germine said, people who suffer from a particular disorder have been able to raise awareness — and drive research in areas that might otherwise not be studied.“The other benefit that comes from using the Web is that people can offer insights about themselves we might not think to ask,” Germine said. “The best example of this is with the selective developmental disorders.”Arguably the most prominent example of such a disorder is prosopagnosia, also known as “face blindness,” in which individuals have difficulty recognizing people, sometimes even in their own families. Although the condition was occasionally reported following a stroke, when people claimed to have had the disorder from birth, they were often dismissed by doctors and researchers. As tests for facial recognition were made available online, researchers began to realize that the disorder was far more common than previously thought.“As a result, we learned a great deal,” Germine said. “Because we had these tests available online, and because people were able to participate in this exploration online, the knowledge they gained validated their own experience, which encouraged them to get in contact with a researcher. So there was this circle of knowledge that became very beneficial to everyone involved.“I think psychology, as a field, is unique in that the research questions can be made fairly accessible to the public,” she added. “The Web offers us another avenue to take advantage of that, and to engage people in our science in a new way. I think there’s a great opportunity for collaboration between scientists and ‘citizen scientists’ to advance scientific knowledge.”
Tarana Burke started the Me Too movement in 2006 to support survivors of sexual violence. Eleven years later, as a wave of sexual assault allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein broke in the press, the advocate and activist watched her hashtag become a social media rallying cry beckoning victims of sexual harassment or abuse to share their stories. Burke will receive the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership Gleitsman Activist Award for her efforts to help those affected by sexual violence on Feb. 26. The annual award honors an individual or team whose leadership has sparked social change and inspired others to do the same. Previous recipients include Malala Yousafzai, U.S. Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, and Gloria Steinem. Burke spoke with the Gazette recently about her work.Q&ATarana BurkeGAZETTE: Can you assess where the movement stands today, two years after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke?BURKE: What I think, and I hope, is that we’re in a place that’s moving away from the individual headlines and salacious stories about accusations being made toward individuals, and thinking more collectively about what we can do to end sexual violence and how we are shifting the focus away from individual bad acts and moving it toward the systemic cause of sexual violence. We are having more conversations about what happens now, as opposed to conversations about who these people are, who the accused are, and what’s happening in their lives.GAZETTE: The book out now by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, as well as one by Ronan Farrow, have focused on the story around Weinstein. Has that kind of attention on someone with such a high profile helped or hurt the movement?BURKE: The books by Jodi and Megan and Ronan are not the same as the pop-up headlines that are really piggybacking on their incredible work. What their books do is really dig deeper into these stories that were well-investigated, that took time, that had survivors at the center of them. That’s the distinction that people should draw between what Jody, Megan, and Ronan did and what we see in the mainstream media after their work appeared. They took a lot of time and put a lot of thought and investigation into telling a story that needed to be told and exposing the system of corruption, really, and violence that needs to be exposed. And as a result, it allowed space for people to come forward. But their stories were centered around the survivors telling what happened. And through hearing what happened to them, we got to see a glimpse of who this man was and just how pervasive the violence was. “People should know that they’re not alone, that healing happens best in community, and there’s a lot of community out there that’s waiting and ready and available to support them.” Probing the past and future of #MeToo Scholars at Radcliffe session examine the deep meaning of a movement The story behind the Weinstein story Retracing the path of the two New York Times reporters who did the investigation Related GAZETTE: Has the movement focused enough on the trauma suffered by people of color?BURKE: I think that the media doesn’t focus on the trauma that people of color experience. The work that we do in the movement centers on the most marginalized people. And so if you only define the Me Too movement by what you read in the media then no, there is not enough representation or even conversation about how sexual violence affects people of color, queer people, disabled people, anybody who is marginalized. But if you understand that Me Too is not simply what the media has defined it as, it’s the work that we are moving forward, then you know that our works start with and centers the most marginalized, including queer and trans people.GAZETTE: Where has the movement fallen short and where does it go from here?BURKE: I think we have to be careful about what we’re calling the movement. And I think one of the things I’ve learned in the last two years is that folks don’t really understand what a movement is or how it’s defined. The people using the hashtag on the internet were the impetus for Me Too being put into the public sphere. The media coverage of the viralness of Me Too and the people being accused are media coverage of a popular story that derived from the hashtag. The movement is the work that our organization and others like us are doing to both support survivors and move people to action. And so in that regard, the movement the actual Me Too movement is doing very well. It’s the work that we’re doing on the ground to support survivors, it’s the programs that we’re implementing, it’s the initiatives that we’re standing behind, it’s the way that we’re coming together collectively to move the work forward.GAZETTE: Do you see any problems with the media coverage?BURKE: The media has fallen very short in how they define the movement and they have fallen very short in how they cover the movement. And that’s been one of the challenges to the growth of the movement. They’ve been really narrow and finite in their focus, largely focusing on the people who’ve been accused and not focusing on not just the survivors, but on the systemic issue of sexual violence and really digging deeper into how do we get to a place where 12 million people can respond to a hashtag in a day, in 24 hours, saying that their lives have also been affected by this man? Let’s unpack that.GAZETTE: What would you say to someone who is suffering from an experience with sexual harassment or abuse?BURKE: I think if a person is still in pain because of the trauma — because all of us aren’t walking around constantly in pain and suffering; I don’t want to paint that picture. But if a person is still very much dealing with the trauma of their experience, I think it’s important for them to know that they’re not alone. And that seems trite to some people, but sexual violence is so isolating, and it makes people feel like they are the only ones that this happened to, that nobody can understand what happened to them, or that maybe what happened to them isn’t as important as what happened to somebody else, so they don’t want to talk about it. But people should know that they’re not alone, that healing happens best in community, and there’s a lot of community out there that’s waiting and ready and available to support them. It does get better over time. It sounds really cliché, but there’s nothing that you can do more than let time pass because you find new ways to deal with, and to live with, and to confront the trauma, but also new ways of healing and figuring out what you need to heal.GAZETTE: What is next for you?BURKE: I’m working on a memoir. It’ll be out probably end of 2020, or the beginning of 2021. And we have #MeToo Voter, which is a new initiative that we launched with several other organizations. We want to make sure that that we hold the politicians who would be leaders in this country to a moral standard that ensures that they speak to this constituency that crosses all demographics, and that’s survivors.The Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership Gleitsman Activist Award event will be held at the JFK Jr. Forum from 6 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 26. The public is invited to attend.Also on Feb. 26, from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m., the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership will host a community resource fair. In an effort to integrate Harvard and the greater community, and provide material resources to Harvard students and stakeholders, the fair will bring together Harvard departments and Cambridge-Boston area organizations that implement social change and support survivors of sexual violence. It will be held on the HKS campus, Rubenstein, 414AB, Cambridge. 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PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron says he was “very upset” by the way social networks muzzled Donald Trump at the tail end of his U.S. presidency. Speaking in a recorded video chat with scholars, Macron cited Trump’s example in arguing for more government regulation of social media platforms. The comments, which Macron made in English, were released Thursday by the Atlantic Council think tank. The French leader said platforms “suddenly cut the mic” for Trump, which was “not a democratic answer.” After years of being outlets for Trump, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter silenced his accounts during his last days in power, after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Following the surge of COVID-19 cases on Notre Dame’s campus in August, the University has developed strategies to control the spread of the virus on campus. But more recently, cases have been on the increase again.According to the Notre Dame COVID-19 Dashboard, the university is currently at a 15.7 case 7-day moving average as of Oct. 28 and a seven-day positivity rate of 2.1%. This increase almost triples what the moving average rates were at the beginning of October.Dr. Mark Fox, St. Joseph County deputy health officer and COVID-19 advisor to the University said that these increases can be attributed to many things, including what he coined as, “the perfect storm.”“In some ways, I think it was the perfect storm,” Fox said. “It was the first night game. It was absolutely beautiful weather. It was right after midterms and Fr. Jenkins’ White House event. And I think a lot of those factors probably created a scenario where people did let down their guard and blow off little steam.”This most recent surge could also have been caused by an increase in surveillance testing taking place on campus, Fox said.“A lot of infections are being picked up on surveillance,” Fox said. “And that’s a good thing, because it does get them out of the dorms—it reduces the risk of transmission through a wing of a dorm. While it does make the numbers look bad, they are better than they would be were that surveillance testing not in place. [Surveillance testing] has a protective effect that I think is really important.”Fox said that in order for the University to curb this current surge, students must be looking toward the end of the semester and beyond as motivation to continue following COVID-19 guidelines.“If students can take that long view of how they want to finish their finals — where they’re as healthy as they can be at that stage of a normal semester — and then be able to go home and enjoy the holidays with your families, then having those end goals in mind hopefully will motivate people to celebrate Halloween and be actively involved in the Clemson game in ways that are that are safe,” Fox said.Fox also cautioned students to be aware of the impact of not reporting close contacts. Fox explained how not quarantining close contacts dramatically increases the risk of transmission in not only our campus community, but in our broader community off-campus.Part of the increases that the Notre Dame community is feeling come from a broader surge outside of our campus. Fox said he attributes a lot of this community surge in St. Joseph County to Indiana’s move to stage five of reopening and general pandemic fatigue.“I’m concerned that the transition to stage five, psychologically, has sent a message that things must be better, because of the increasing activity in the community,” Fox said. “There’s just general pandemic fatigue. But I think that message of ‘We’re moving forward,’ probably has given people a false sense of confidence that, ‘Oh, we don’t have to be as strict with all these mitigation strategies.’ And I think that has been detrimental.”Along with general community spread, a big increase has been seen in the number of nursing homes affected with COVID-19. From just 520 infected residents in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall and LaPorte counties over the first 20 weeks of the pandemic, now there have been 468 nursing home residents affected with COVID-19 in these counties over the last seven weeks.Sr. Linda Kors, the long term-care ombudsman for St. Joseph and other surrounding counties, said that the increase in COVID-19 infections in nursing homes was “bound to happen.”Kors mentioned that the way the COVID-19 cases spread throughout the nursing homes was due to chance and that the nursing homes were taking all the precautions they could, including surveillance testing of staff and residents and screening visitors.Fox said that he believes that the nursing homes struggle with COVID-19 because of a lack of testing and the general layout of the facilities.“I don’t know that many nursing homes are able to test frequently enough,” Fox said. “They don’t have the same sophistication in terms of infection prevention and control. And frankly, one factor is even the layout of a given facility can impact the how effectively you can cohort certain patients. If you have a group of COVID patients, can you separate them out from the general population in a way that protects people?”Kors also explained that sometimes COVID-19 is hard to catch in these settings because of the breadth of symptoms and signs that have been identified.“[The nursing homes are] just continuing to do what they do, and really making sure that they notice any change that anybody complains about, because this disease has changed over the months at first with only about five or six symptoms and now there’s about 15,” Kors said.Fox said that overall, the way to keep both Notre Dame campus spread and broader community transmission under control is to continue to uphold stringent mitigation methods, especially with the upcoming winter months and family holidays.“I think that the Notre Dame experience is really instructive, because it shows that you can get a pretty significant outbreak under control quickly and maintain it if people are following all this guidance,” Fox explained. “I think if people in the community made, you know, even a fraction more effort in terms of not gathering in large groups outside their household, being consistent about wearing their mask appropriately and maintaining physical distance, those measures will have a demonstrable impact.”Tags: COVID-19, Dr. Mark Fox, Saint Joseph County, surveillance testing
After three years of wanting to explore Cumberland Island, the last barrier island on Georgia’s coastline, I got my chance to kayak camp there last weekend. As soon as I pulled my kayak across the muddy bank, I saw wild horses grazing in the early afternoon sun. On the steps of Plum Orchard, Carol Ruckdeschel, the subject of Will Harlan’s book, Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island, sat on the front steps of the Plum Orchard plantation. She was talking with park docents, enjoying the sun after the previous day’s storm. Carol told me about the artisan water and the best sources to fill up bottles, winking as she dismissed the park service’s warning to treat the water.On the mile hike to the primitive campsite at Yankee Paradise, a canopy of live oak and palmettos covered the trail. The grey tendrils hanging from the oaks blew in the wind, whispering about a past at once romantic and laden with secrets. My arm hairs stood on end, half-expecting to see an alligator scurry across the swampy parts of trail, but instead an armadillo scuttled by. Cumberland Island delivered exactly what I needed – a temporary escape from the wintery mountain landscape. Dolphins and wild boars rounded out the exotic feel of hiking through swamps and beachcombing along miles of deserted white sand.The next evening after paddling for a couple hours, I happily climbed into my sleeping bag at Brickhill Bluff campsite. No sooner than I’d zipped up the tent than rain began. All night, the wind whipped the nylon and the swell ravaged the nearby bank, warning of a demanding paddle ahead.I slept in fits, waking up every few hours, surprised that the tent hadn’t yet leaked. My mind turned to the long paddle back to the truck. I planned the weekend, checking local weather forecasts and the appropriate tide charts. The Georgia coast, with the second biggest tidal range in the world, requires respect. Even with the help of the tide, it would be a formidable paddle. I lay in my down cocoon wondering if I could have planned better to avoid the weather. From my lawyering days, I’d embraced planning and predicting to control how events unfolded. The next day I paddled against the wind. My thighs cramped from bracing against the plastic cockpit so I could crank my torso and use my whole body to paddle. Red spots formed on my hands. I paddled for hours like that, one stroke at a time, knowing that if I stopped even for a minute I’d lose the ground I’d fought so hard to cover. The wind spit water in my face. I’d count to a hundred just to see where my kayak would be by then. A dolphin surfaced in the distance and I felt the abundance of being able to see her. Watching the dolphin disappear, I realized that art of Cumberland’s beauty lends itself to the elements of nature that exist beyond my control. One of my favorite aspects of being in the wild is squaring up to what comes my way, including the wind.Somewhere before the evening after crossing the Intracoastal Waterway and heading up the Crooked River, something in me conceded to uncertainty. I wasn’t going to beat the wind. I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d land my kayak before the soft pastels in the sky gave way to total darkness. For once I was okay with being unsure and it was enough to be out there paddling, taking it one stroke at a time. My battle with the wind turned into admiration, the powerful way it whipped the river into a frenzy of chaotic peaks.By a stroke of good luck, I landed my kayak on Crooked River State Park boat ramp in time to watch the last of the sunset. Although my hands shook from the cold, I watched the sun until darkness took its grasp. It had taken me three years to get to Cumberland Island and there was no telling if or when I’d return so I wanted to enjoy even the last few minutes of being there.[divider]Related Articles[/divider]
“That’s not how a creek should look.”We peered between the pine slats of the bridge crossing Butcher Branch, a creek in southern West Virginia. It was early January. The four of us had been hiking through tunnels of frost-wilted rhododendron when we came upon the stream. None of us knew much about water quality, but we knew what a healthy stream should look like. The sight of Butcher Branch, milky and sediment-choked, was enough to stop us cold.“Ain’t nothing living in there,” said one of the guys, scuffing his shoe on the bridge.According to a 2011 environmental assessment by the National Park Service, there is a likelihood of “yet unknown sources of contamination” acquired from Butcher Branch’s passage through the old mining community of Kaymoor. The stream ran within the boundary of a national park, the New River Gorge National River. Shouldn’t its waters run clear?In the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, water quality issues seep from every hill and holler, and largely at the hands of coal mining. Coal-related repercussions such as acid mine drainage, coal slurry and coal ash impoundment failures, leaky underground wastewater injection sites, and valley fills are the number one threat to rivers and drinking water.About the time I was walking over Butcher Branch, the city of Charleston, W.Va., was remembering with painful clarity the 2014 water crisis that left 300,000 West Virginians (that’s one-sixth of the state’s population) without safe drinking water. More than 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (4MCHM) and PPH leaked from a Freedom Industries tank into the Elk River.Just one month later in February 2014, a stormwater pipe that runs beneath a coal ash pond in Eden, N.C., broke, sending some 82,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River. The toxic byproduct of burning coal, ash contains chemicals such as arsenic, selenium, and boron. It coated the Dan River’s bottom for 70 miles.Back in December 2008, 1 billion gallons of coal ash flooded the Emory River in eastern Tennessee after a dyke collapsed at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired power plant. The 60-foot wave of sludge was enough to destroy three homes and leave more than 300 acres of land covered in gray muck.And nearly a decade before that, in October 2000, 306 million gallons of coal slurry burst through the bottom of a retaining pond at the Martin County Coal Corporation’s Big Branch impoundment near Inez, Ky. Over 100 miles of waterways turned black, more than a dozen communities lost their drinking water, and nearly all of the aquatic life from Inez to the Ohio River perished.These are just the big spills. Sadly, spills and leaks occur every day. Duke Energy estimates that nearly three million gallons of contaminated water seeps out of its 32 coal ash pits on a daily basis. And where does it go? Into rivers, lakes, and drinking water.The implications of coal-related water contamination go beyond the physical pollution itself. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, living near a wet coal ash storage pond is comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. If you live within a one-mile radius of an unlined coal ash pond, your chances of cancer are 1 in 50—that’s 2,000 times higher than what the EPA considers acceptable.OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MINDIf 72 percent of toxic water pollution in the country comes from coal-fired power plants, it would appear that the coal industry operates on its own terms. This is something Jennifer Hall-Massey of Boone County, W.Va., knows all too well.In the early 2000s, about the time nearby coal companies began injecting coal slurry into abandoned underground mine shafts, Hall-Massey and her neighbors started noticing a difference in their tap water. The normally clean well water had acquired a terrible odor and oftentimes a cloudy gray color. Washing machines rusted and died, plumbing failed, and all the while, the county’s health was quickly deteriorating.“I’m talking about elevated cases of miscarriages, dementia, cancer, all kind of skin ailments, rashes, intestinal ailments, too, and tooth loss,” says Dr. Ben Stout, a professor of biology at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va. “I met a kid who was 18 years old and had one tooth left and he was going to get dentures. It wasn’t because he didn’t brush his teeth—there was so much manganese in the water, they just rotted out.”Hall-Massey’s now 14-year-old son also suffered from dental issues. Many of his baby teeth were capped due to enamel loss.“The more he brushed with well water, the worse they were,” she says.What’s more, a health survey revealed some 30 percent of Prenter area residents had their gallbladders removed. A few years after Boone County started taking note of the health and water quality of its community, Stout’s expertise was enlisted. With the help of a grant, Stout tested more than a dozen household taps in Prenter. The results unearthed shocking levels of arsenic, barium, lead, manganese, and other chemicals in the water.“In a lot of the wells I’ve tested in southern West Virginia in general, they exceed manganese by 400 times,” Stout says. “With manganese, at those levels, you’re harming people.”Hall-Massey didn’t need the science to prove what she had already witnessed in her community. At one of the earliest public awareness meetings in Prenter, Hall-Massey realized six of her neighbors in a 10-house span had brain tumors. Just one year prior to the meeting, her brother had passed away due to post-surgical complications with a brain tumor, which was reportedly non cancerous. Now, all but two of those six neighbors have passed away, too. And according to Hall-Massey, the afflicted neighbors were neither related nor similar in age.Surprisingly, the health surveys and tap tests did little to convince state officials in Charleston, W.Va., that coal companies were to blame for Boone County’s water problems. Despite the fact that Prenter residents’ tap water was laden with chemicals identical to those found in coal slurry, coal companies remained adamant that they had chosen underground injection sites far away from Boone County’s residents to dispose of the sludge.Yet the facts hardly support their argument. In just five years, coal companies injected nearly 2 billion gallons of coal slurry into abandoned mining shafts within an eight-mile radius of Hall-Massey’s home, 93 percent of which contained illegal concentrations of arsenic, lead, chromium, beryllium, and nickel. The pollution wasn’t a secret. By law, coal companies are required to report contamination to the state. The chemical concentrations found in nearby injection sites, which sometimes exceeded the legal limit by 1,000 percent, should, in theory, result in hefty fines and punishment for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.But the coal companies never incurred a penalty. The three key polluters—Loadout, Remington Coal, and Pine Ridge—never even received so much as a slap on the wrist. For Hall-Massey, the lack of enforcement confirmed her worst fear: no one is going to stand up to coal.“Nobody gives a damn about the people living in this county,” she says. “We’re out of sight, out of mind. Personally, I could care less about the mountains. The people are what matters to me. You don’t risk lives and kill people to make a dollar.”Hall-Massey refused to back down. Eventually in late 2010, a completed pipeline brought in city water to roughly 75 percent of Prenter households, but one-quarter of the town’s residents are still living with contaminated water. For those tapped into the city system, however, the health crisis lifted almost immediately. Asthma improved within days, skin rashes disappeared, and Hall-Massey’s son’s permanent teeth grew in perfectly normal.THE COST OF DOING BUSINESSPrenter residents were also some of the 300,000 affected by the Charleston water crisis in 2014. Instead of coal slurry seeping into their tap water, the residents now faced the unknown side effects of 4-MCHM. In 2015, Hall-Massey joined the 30 percent of her neighbors who have had their gallbladders removed. In her opinion, the timing of her surgery aligns perfectly with the 4-MCHM spill.“No one knows the health effects and they will not know for years to come,” Hall-Massey says. “We’re a bunch of lab rats basically until time passes and someone collects the data.”“The rest of the country treats us like we’re the cost of doing business in America,” agrees Daile Boulis, a resident of Loudendale, W.Va.Boulis’ home is adjacent to Kanawha State Forest just nine miles outside of Charleston. During the 2014 water crisis, friends flocked to her doors to take showers, wash laundry, and fill up on water. Despite her home’s close proximity to the site of the spill, Boulis and her five neighbors along Middlelick Branch are still on well water.But, Boulis fears, her clean well water likely will not last forever. As of December 2015, she says her water has acquired a slight metallic taste that she attributes to acid mine drainage from the nearby Keystone Development (KD) #2 mine. The mountaintop removal site, which lies just 1,500 feet from Boulis’s home and only 588 feet from Kanawha State Forest, has racked up more than 20 violations in just over two years. Though the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) halted work at the mine and placed Keystone and its operator, Revelation Energy, on the federal Office of Surface Mining’s Applicant Violator System, Boulis says it’s not enough.“Their fines have been much less than the total of potential damage,” Boulis says. “[The violations] are big ones like method of operations and sediment control and fluid limits, all of which affect water quality.”Unfortunately for Boulis and her neighbors, the damage to Davis Creek and the Kanawha Forest watershed has already been done. While Keystone and Revelation Energy cannot purchase any new mining permits, the designation by the WVDEP does not guarantee the companies will clean up the pollution, which leaves West Virginians with two options—accept a ruined watershed or pay the price to restore it.CHEATED BY COALAs demand for coal decreases, more coal companies are filing for bankruptcy. Forty-nine percent of the active mine permit holders in West Virginia have claimed bankruptcy. This equates to a drop in the coal severance tax, which, in conjunction with the bonds set aside by coal companies, helps fund reclamation.“We are one catastrophic bankruptcy away from this fund being stressed out to the point that it won’t work,” says Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary for WVDEP. “When a coal company goes out of business, we revoke the permit and use their bond money, and money from the coal tax, to reclaim those mines to the current standards. [The bond] is never enough to do the work.”The shortage of money has people like Amanda Pitzer, executive director of the non-profit Friends of the Cheat, wondering what happens next. Her organization and its volunteers are heavily involved in the reclamation process of the Cheat River Canyon, which suffered substantial damage due to an acid mine drainage blowout on Muddy Creek at the T&T Fuels mine in 1994 and 1995. It’s taken unrelenting persistence on behalf of Friends of the Cheat to make progress in cleaning up the Cheat River’s tributaries. After 20 years, a multi-million dollar treatment facility will finally be built near the site of the blowout.“It’s a huge investment and it’s not a one-and-done. All of this stuff takes ongoing care,” Pitzer says,According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, more than $35 million is needed to treat abandoned mine land sites and bond forfeiture sites. That figure doesn’t take into account the nearly $7 million required annually to maintain and operate these treatment plans, which involve adding doses of lime to waters polluted by acid mine drainage.“It’s going to cost upwards of $10 million just to build the facility, plus operations and maintenance forever,” Pitzer says. “I mean, who is going to pay for that? What happens when you can’t pay to put the chemicals in the doser? Then what? Do we just let these creeks go back?”For the Cheat River watershed, which not only provides a habitat for fish but also drinking water for some 45,000 residents and a means of recreational tourism for the town of Albright, abandoning treatment of the Cheat River’s tributaries is simply not an option. Following the mine blowouts in 1994 and 1995, the Cheat’s whitewater industry suffered a 50 percent drop in business. For a state that has historically fallen at the bottom of national economic charts, financial hits to any industry are not to be taken lightly.POLLUTION SOLUTIONSWest Virginia is not alone in its struggle. Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are also fighting the realities of a dwindling coal economy, which include not just mine reclamation but also high rates of unemployment, poverty, and alarming trends in drug overdose and addiction.“It’s really sad to see someone coming from a $60,000 mining job to a minimum wage groundskeeper,” says Dave Bassage, chief of staff at ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, W.Va.Bassage is uniquely sensitive to the plight of coal miners and the environmental impacts of West Virginia’s coal industry—before working for ACE, Bassage was a raft guide, a co-founder of Friends of the Cheat, and chief administrator of the WVDEP Office of Innovation for six years. Despite, or perhaps on account of, his diverse experiences in outdoor recreation, non-profit, and state government work, Bassage doesn’t see the use in pointing fingers. The issue of clean water isn’t just the problem of coal companies, or the state governments, or the environmental advocacy groups: it’s everybody’s problem.“As a society, if we destroy our only home, that’s going to cost far more than whatever we invested to start with to take care of it,” Bassage says. “What we desperately need is a sense of future beyond extraction that’s something we can all wrap our arms around.”There are programs and spending bills in effect to help displaced coal miners find employment, such as the Abandoned Mine Lands Program and Coalfield Development Corporation’s Reclaim Appalachia. President Obama’s proposed POWER+ Plan would distribute $1 billion toward economic initiatives in the coal-impacted communities of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Investments in outdoor recreation tourism could also help stimulate dying economies in mountainous regions, given that the industry as a whole annually generates $646 billion in revenue and supports 6.1 million direct jobs.But the solution isn’t going to be any one thing. The answer lies somewhere amid a muddled mess of economic diversification, investment in renewable energy, improved management and oversight of existing mines and potential pollution sites, and support for legislation like the Clean Water Rule—which would protect 60 percent of the nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands responsible for supplying drinking water to one in every three Americans.“We all have concentric circles of values,” Bassage says. “At the core of that is our loved ones. Environmentalists have the same damn values as coal miners. Instead of focusing on those differences, if they focused on those shared values and found a way to care for their loved ones, that’s what will build a future.”WATER IN AFRICAA Problem and a SolutionIn November 2015, I traveled to western Kenya and stood shoulder to shoulder with a group of Kenyan schoolchildren at their local water source. A piece of PVC pipe crudely jutted out from a red-clay embankment, trickling water slowly, but steadily. BRO-TV: Follow the Liters from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Not a few yards away, the spring sprouted to life from its underground casing. Clusters of tired-looking cattle stood idly upstream beneath a grove of acacia trees, staring with indifference at the uniformed line of children and jerry cans. One of the older girls managed the proceedings. She stood her ground at the head of the source, dutifully filling jug after jug. Her small biceps flexed as she passed full five-liter cans to their respective owners.While she worked, I knelt closer to the pool beneath the spout, expecting to see my watery reflection staring back. The grimy green surface revealed nothing. Its foggy waters, I later learned, hid a world of microbiological contaminants that made students ill with cholera, giardia, and typhoid. Families struggle to afford doctor visits and medicine, leaving children to miss weeks of school. Fortunately, at least for this school and the other 300-some schools our team would visit, the cycle of disease and absenteeism would eventually abate. Water filters from LifeStraw, which last three years, would replace the unreliable and inefficient methods of boiling and chlorination that were commonplace throughout rural Kenya.To date, 361,000 students in western Kenya have benefited from this program, which includes not just the distribution of community water filters but also lessons in basic hygiene. Though that number pales in comparison to the 900 million still living without, it was a step in the right direction.[divider]Related Articles[/divider]
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With President Donald Trump undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a military hospital, Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s campaign is looking to keep its focus on the nation’s response to the pandemic in the final month before the Nov. 3 election.Biden, who tested negative on Friday, three days after debating Trump, has repeatedly wished the president a speedy recovery. But the former vice president and his aides have used his Republican rival’s positive test to underline a consistent campaign message: Biden would handle the pandemic better than Trump.Deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on Sunday that Biden would keep making that case for the remaining 30 days of the campaign. “It’s a choice between two different styles of leadership and since the virus came to our shores back in the spring, Joe Biden has led by example,” she told ABC’s “This Week,” citing the campaign’s use of masks, social distancing and limits on the number of people at campaign events.The United States has recorded 7.4 million coronavirus infections and more than 209,000 deaths in the pandemic, more than any other country. Trump briefly had an opportunity to pivot the public’s focus away from COVID-19 when the death last month of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave him the chance to nominate a third lifetime appointment to the top court, before his own illness returned the spotlight to the disease.With Trump, 74, sidelined from public events as he fights the virus, his campaign has begun describing him as a “warrior” in messages to supporters that call for donations. Aides have continued to criticize Biden’s cautious approach to the virus.Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, mocked Biden on Sunday for consistently wearing a face mask, saying the 77-year-old Democratic presidential nominee was using masks “as a prop.” “We can’t all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives,” Miller told “This Week.”Voters could judge harshly an approach that continues to downplay the seriousness of the virus, said Kelly Dietrich, a Democratic strategist and founder of the National Democratic Training Committee, a group that trains party candidates.”This has touched every American’s life,” he said.On Monday, Biden and his wife, Jill, are scheduled to resume in-person campaigning in Florida, where opinion polls show a tight race for the state’s crucial 29 electoral college votes. Biden will talk to Hispanic voters about his plan to rebuild the US economy after the coronavirus, his campaign said.More than 3.3 million ballots had already been cast nationwide by Sunday, according to the Elections Project at the University of Florida – as more Americans vote early or by mail to avoid being exposed to the virus at crowded polling places on Election Day.A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Friday and Saturday after the president tested positive for the coronavirus, found Biden leading Trump by 10 percentage points nationally and that nearly two-thirds of Americans thought that Trump probably would not have been infected if he had taken the virus more seriously.As Trump’s doctors and aides gave sometimes unclear messages about the president’s health situation over the weekend, Biden’s campaign said it would publish the results of every COVID-19 test the candidate takes. Biden was set to be tested on Sunday morning, campaign officials said, but no results had been announced as of Sunday afternoon.Biden would not need to do much to benefit from Trump’s diagnosis, since many Americans already viewed Trump’s approach to the virus as cavalier, said David Greenberg, a historian at Rutgers University.”They’re going to think that even more now, so I don’t think Biden needs to hammer that home too hard,” he said.It remains uncertain when Trump will return to the campaign trail, if at all, and whether he will be able to participate in the second presidential debate on Oct. 15.Topics :