How The Purple Hatter’s Ball Uses Music To Fight Against The War On Drugs

first_imgThis Friday marks the 45th anniversary of one of the most controversial and criticized crime-reduction policies in our nation’s history. On June 17, 1971 Richard Nixon’s administration published a special message from the President to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control declaring drug abuse as “public enemy number one” in the U.S. The message included language about devoting more federal resources to this cause, in the hopes of “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted.” While that goal seemed to be born of the noble intentions, the resulting policy, widely known as the “War on Drugs,” has played out less as a strategy to protect people from the perils of substance abuse and more as a witch hunt, vilifying any connection to drugs and lumping minor offenders in with serious criminals. In addition to costing the U.S. roughly $51 billion annually to maintain, the War on Drugs leans heavily on the cooperation of confidential informants. Law enforcement recruits these informants by leveraging their own (often minor) drug offenses to compel them to cooperate. While acting as an informant is often portrayed to minor drug offenders as a path toward retribution and reduction of punishments, the glaring reality remains that these practices frequently thrust largely defenseless, unaware young offenders into dangerous circumstances. “Today’s drug war involves a countless number of confidential informants – many of which are young people who are busted for a small amount of drugs and then coerced into making much higher-level deals, putting them in very dangerous situations” says Derek Rosenfeld of the Drug Policy Alliance. The DPA, the leading organization in the U.S. working on alternatives to the Drug War, has spent years fighting for more sensible drug abuse prevention policies. As the DPA’s Tony Newman explains, “There are so many sick aspects of the failed drug war, but law enforcement forcing people with a drug arrest to choose between a draconian prison sentence or becoming an informant is one of the most nauseating.”Beginning with an “Action Day” pre-party today and running through Sunday, The Purple Hatter’s Ball at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL this weekend aims to call attention to one such case—the tragic story of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman. After being arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, Hoffman, a 23-year-old FSU graduate, was compelled to participate in a large-scale buy-bust operation involving 1,500 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of cocaine, a handgun, and $13,000 cash. The deal went south, and Hoffman was murdered in the process. In her memory, the Purple Hatter’s Ball seeks to increase awareness of ongoing miscarriages of justice under the umbrella of the War on Drugs, inspire reform to drug-related policies like the Confidential Informant Law, and inspire people to lead healthier, safer lives in the live music community and beyond.How One Mother Turned Tragedy Into Triumph: The Rachel Morningstar Hoffman StoryFor more information on Rachel Morningstar Hoffman and the Purple Hatter’s Ball, visit the festival’s website.last_img read more

Song of the sea

first_imgCeline Song, whose “Endlings” begins previews tonight at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), knows how to create Korean characters. The playwright, a Korean Canadian, emigrated from South Korea with her parents at age 12, and her 91-year-old grandmother still lives in Seoul.The greater challenge for Song — the key to writing what she considers her “impossible” play — was finding her own multifaceted voice, as an immigrant, a contemporary woman, and, she said, an “Asian Canadian married to a white American,” while striving to excel in a form defined largely by European-American men. That, she says, is what writing her new play, which is having its world premiere at the A.R.T. , taught her.Not that the three elderly Korean women at the heart of “Endlings” are simple. Haenyeos — “sea women” — they are heirs to a centuries-old tradition of diving to harvest seafood off the Korean island of Man-Jae. Overtaken by technology, mechanization, fish farming, and the globalization of the food market, these women persevere despite knowing that they will likely be the last generation to practice their dangerous trade.(The script calls for the haenyeo to perform both on land and under water. So the A.R.T. production features an onstage pool to bring that second environment to life as well.),These women may seem a world — if not a century — apart from Song. However, while watching a documentary on the haenyeo, Song was struck by one diver’s similarities to her own family. At 97 years old, the woman “couldn’t really walk on land but could dive like a mermaid,” said Song. With the abalone and other seafood she harvested, she made about $3,000 each year, of which she sent $1,000 to her son, who had, like Song’s family, immigrated to Canada.“I was thinking about how absolutely different we are but how tied I am — by ethnicity, by nationality,” said Song. At the same time, she added, “I have so much more in common with my husband, who is a white man who grew up in L.A.”For Song, this is a story of time as well as place. “I have been thinking about my grandmother a lot,” Song said, especially about how the technology that brings people closer also emphasizes the differences between generations. “For me, a smartphone is a way of life,” said the playwright, while her grandmother “has trouble taking a photo.” The result is a temporal disconnect.,“I exist in my grandmother’s life as actively as I exist in New York City or L.A., in the writer’s room for a TV show,” Song said. “My grandmother and I are actively related to each other, but it doesn’t feel like we’re the same species.”Song’s chosen media only complicates the issue of identity. “If you fall in love with theater, what that means is you’re going to fall in love with a lot of white men — Berthold Brecht, [Samuel] Beckett, Edward Albee, Wallace Shawn. And for a long time I didn’t want people to notice that I am an Asian woman. I wanted to be treated like and have the same privileges as the people I admire,” she said.Prior to “Endlings,” Song had success. A semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation’s 2016 Relentless Award for her “Tom & Eliza,” Song has also been a Playwrights Realm writing fellow and a member of the Public Theater’s 2016–17 Emerging Writers Group. However, she often felt she was trying to “take on the white male voice.”Celine Song, “Endlings” playwright. Photo courtesy of Celine Song“I don’t think that I ever succeeded,” she said. “My voice was always there. But there was a way in which I was very afraid to open myself up.”The problem, she concluded, is not specifically that she is Korean Canadian. But the many layers of experience — of place, heritage, and time — that make up her (and perhaps everyone’s) identity. “I wish I was authentically Korean in a way that was convenient to white viewers,” Song said. She mimicked a well-intentioned friend saying, “‘Hey Celine, you’re Korean, right?’”“There’s a very small box that people want to put people in,” she continued. “Anybody, but specifically someone like me. … This play taught me the authenticity that I am seeking is not as neat and clean and one-thing as I feel pressured to be.”,“Endlings,” in previews at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, formally opens on Friday, March 1, and closes Sunday, March 17. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 617-547-8300, and in person at the ticket services offices, 64 Brattle St. Coed Hasty Pudding makes its debut Relatedcenter_img Women perform alongside male counterparts for first time in group’s 171-year historylast_img read more

New air pollution regulations likely to trim coal use in China

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The major coal producing province of Shanxi in northern China will impose special emissions restrictions on big industrial sectors by October as part of its bid to curb smog, a local environmental official said.Shanxi, together with neighboring Shaanxi, is set to be included in China’s new three-year action plan to curb air pollution, with emissions in the two provinces second only to the smog-prone Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei industrial region. The province produces more than 900 million tons of coal a year, a quarter of China’s total, and is also a major gas and petrochemical producer.The new measures will force factories and boilers in the cities of Taiyuan, Yangquan, Changzhi and Jincheng to comply with new restrictions on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, according to a document circulated by environmental groups.Firms in the thermal power, steel, petrochemical, chemical, non-ferrous metals and cement sectors will be forced to comply with as many as 25 new emissions standards by October. Coking coal producers will be given another year to make the necessary adjustments, the document said.China promised in January to impose “special emissions restrictions” on major industrial sectors in 28 cities in northern China, including the four in Shanxi. The 28 cities were all part of a special winter anti-smog campaign that began in October last year and imposed tough restrictions on traffic, coal consumption and industrial output.In its air quality plan for 2018, Shanxi promised to close down 22.4 million tonnes of annual coal capacity and 1.9 million tonnes of steel capacity this year. It will also create “no-coal zones” and convert thousands of coal-fired boilers to cleaner-burning gas.More: China’s coal province imposes special emission caps on industry New air pollution regulations likely to trim coal use in Chinalast_img read more

E. Northport Mother Drove as Teens Shot BB Gun at Cars, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An East Northport mother was arrested Friday for allegedly encouraging her two children and another teenager to use a BB gun to shoot windows of parked cars as she drove, Suffolk County police said.Susan Becker, 43, was arrested after detectives began investigating more than 60 incidents of damaged cars in Islandia, Hauppauge and Commack over the past two weeks, police said. Becker, who police said encouraged her 13-year-old son, 15-year-old daughter and another 15-year-old male to shoot the BB gun that she purchased for them, was arrested at the Fourth Precinct just after 5 p.m. Friday.Becker was charged with 10 counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal mischief and 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip.last_img read more

No deal for Linc Energy founder Peter Bond’s waterfront mansion

first_imgRay White auctioneer Haesley Cush at the auction of 36 Needham Street, Fig Tree Pocket. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)The property had been previously listed with other elite Brisbane agents including the principal of Adcock Prestige — Brisbane, Jason Adcock and Tyson Clarke of Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty — Ascot who had it listed for $11.9 million.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:06Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:06 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThe agent breakdown – who is who01:06With six registered bidders on board, about 70 people attended yesterday’s auction including neighbours and other high profile Brisbane agents.36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket 36 Needham St, Fig Tree PocketThe founder of collapsed Linc Energy Peter Bond has failed to sell his prestige waterfront mansion at auction with the property passing in at $9.25 million.Known as Rivergum Retreat, the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom pad at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket, was purchased by Bond in November 2009 for $9.5 million.Since Linc Energy went into receivership last year with debts of more than $300 million, Bond has been trying to offload his property.Peter Bond, former Linc Energy boss. Photo: Anthony Weate More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoCrowds at the auction of 36 Needham Street, Fig Tree Pocket. (AAP Image/Richard Walker) 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket. 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket.Bond’s property spans 1.2ha and has river frontage of 132m. It also has a climate-controlled wine cellar, fully equipped gym, a boardroom, meeting rooms, gold class cinema, a horizon heated swimming pool complete with outdoor teppanyaki bar, a tennis court, and water sports facilities.According to CoreLogic data, the property was once owned by Zoe Cheihk, wife of developer George.Ray White New Farm principal Matt Lancashire was yesterday afternoon continuing negotiations with the highest bidder.last_img read more

UK roundup: Somerset CC scheme faces Extinction Rebellion protests

first_imgGlobal environmental movement Extinction Rebellion is targeting Somerset County Council Pension Fund with a protest outside the offices of Somerset West and Taunton Council on Friday 28 August at 12pm UK time, as part of its ‘We want to live…’ campaign.On a social media post, Extinction Rebellion said the protest is against Somerset County Council pensions committee’s continued investment in fossil fuels, despite the fact that the county council and four district councils declared a climate emergency in February 2019.The post claims that companies such as Shell and Exxon are planning to expand fossil fuel extraction significantly by 2030. “This is incompatible with the declaration made by Somerset County Council and the four district councils in Somerset to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030,” it said.Nearly 8% of of the pension fund’s £2bn (€2.2bn) assets are invested in companies that fuel the climate and ecological crises. These include companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto and Exxon Mobil, Extinction Rebellion stated. The council’s pensions committee did not respond to IPE’s request for comment.Extinction Rebellion’s post also said the protest would be peaceful, non-disruptive and socially distanced.Similar protests will take place across the county – outside the district council offices in Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet and Yeovil – that day, and at other locations in the South West, the group announced.Aon: smaller bulk annuity transactions soarConsultancy Aon has said that favourable market dynamics in the first half of 2020 led to an increase in the number of smaller bulk annuity transactions relative to recent years.The first half of 2020 saw a near 20% increase in the number of smaller transactions – below £100m (€109m) – compared to the same period last year.The firm expects this trend to accelerate through the remainder of 2020, it said.Its analysis of the market and views from insurers show that several factors contributed to the favourable conditions for smaller transactions:Fewer jumbo transactions in the market compared to last year, which has meant insurers have had more capital and manpower to deploy across a wider spectrum of transactions;An increase in the use of streamlined auction processes for smaller transactions – which particularly helped during recent volatile market conditions;Insurers investing in technology and operational capacity at the smaller end of the market, to increase supply for smaller schemes looking to de-risk.Stephen Purves, partner at Aon, said: “There has been a misconception that smaller schemes struggle to access competitive pricing from insurers, so it is really pleasing to see them taking advantage of these market opportunities and transacting in the first half of 2020.”He said that several factors – including the impact of COVID-19, market volatility and an increased insurer capacity – have led to many more smaller transactions taking place.“This is particularly so when compared to recent years in which larger transactions have dominated – and maybe it has changed the perception of the sort of schemes that should and can come to market,” he explained.PLSA releases climate indexes guideToday the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published the Climate Indexes Made Simple guide, which is sponsored by MSCI, as is designed to help scheme trustees understand how climate change indexes work and how they can help mitigate risk and promote good stewardship.PLSA said that climate change is “becoming one of the most important long-term investment risk factors, meaning trustees have an increasing need to measure and manage climate risk and to build climate resilient investment portfolios”.At the PLSA Investment Conference 2020, pensions minister Guy Opperman made this clear when he said: “If you are in the pensions and savings business, you start with the fundamental principle that you believe saving should be done for the longer term. If you aren’t addressing climate change, there is no longer term. It is the defining issue of the 21st century.”In the guide, Remy Briand, head of ESG at MSCI, said that until now, measuring the potential impact of transitional or physical risks or the economic impact of climate change on portfolios was limited due to the lack of tools available to investors.“We believe climate change will become the most important investment risk factor over the long-term,” he added.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Aid Groups leave South Sudan following fresh fighting

first_imgHumanitarian organizations have started to withdrawn their staff from  Unity State in south Sudan after reports of Fierce fighting between rebel groups allied to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.Reuters reports that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other groups said this over the weekend expressing concerns over thousands of people who are being forced to flee their homes.A political crisis in South Sudan in late 2013 sparked fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy Riek Machar.The conflict in the world’s youngest country reopened ethnic fault lines that pit Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces. A government military spokesman, Philip Aguer, confirmed the fighting in Unity State according to Reuters.Doctors without Borders said it had shut down a hospital in the town of Leer amid reports of an imminent attack.The group said it had closed the same facility last year when staff members fled on foot, carrying critically ill patients on their backs.They hid on the banks of swamps and survived by drinking swamp water, it said in a statement. “Today, we withdraw again with a heavy heart, because we know how civilians will suffer when they are cut off from critical, lifesaving medical care,” said Paul Critchley, head of the mission.The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said separately it had also been forced to withdraw key staff from Leer and that it was concerned for the wellbeing of tens of thousands of people who have reportedly fled the area. “These communities face a fight for survival, hiding in the bush in unimaginably harsh conditions,” said Franz Rauchenstein, who heads the ICRC’s delegation in South Sudan.last_img read more

UPDATED: Serious crash under investigation in Dearborn County

first_imgPhoto: Indiana State PoliceAurora, In. — First responders are investigating a serious crash in Dearborn County involving a school bus and a Rumpke garbage truck.Preliminary reports indicate the accident occurred on State 350 near Mt. Sinia Road around 7:30 a.m. and involved a bus from the South Dearborn Community School Corporation. Unconfirmed reports say as many as 21 people have been injured and up to 15 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene. Officials are urging the public to stay away from the area.This is a developing story.Around 9 a.m. Wednesday the Lawrenceburg Police Department posted the following: (A link to the social media account is here) All parents/family/guardians responding to HighPoint Health Hospital in response to the bus crash on SR 350 need to go to the front lobby of the hospital, not the Emergency Room. That area is being utilized for patient care. Thank you for your cooperation.Around 9:30 a.m. the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department added this information:(Here is a link to their social media account) This is a release from the South Dearborn Community School Corporation…..At approximately 8:05 AM there was an accident involving a school bus traveling on highway 350 between Moores Hill and Aurora. There were injuries during this accident and some were transported to area hospitals. Parents of students involved in this accident are being contacted. The investigation is ongoing and we will provide more information when available. If you have any questions, please contact central office at 812-926-2090.last_img read more

Plumtree hails ‘fussy’ O’Connell

first_imgPaul O’Connell’s “fussy” leadership commands worldwide respect, according to Ireland assistant coach John Plumtree. Captain O’Connell has made “rapid improvements” in his bid to beat the chest infection that ruled him out of Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations victory over Scotland, team manager Michael Kearney confirmed. O’Connell watched training on Tuesday and spoke in an analysis session, with Ireland bosses remaining confident the 34-year-old will train fully on Thursday. “It would be great to have Paul back for this big contest, so that’s why we’re looking after him.” Cian Healy is expected to shrug off an ankle knock in time to face Wales, scrummaging in training on Tuesday but not running. Rob Kearney should also recover from his bruised calf. Longer-term casualties Eoin Reddan, Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe and Donnacha Ryan will not return to Ireland training this week. Michael Kearney believes the quartet have a chance of returning to provincial action in the next fortnight. Ireland’s team manager admitted pinpointing recovery from infection is no exact science, but predicted O’Connell beating his illness in time to face Wales. “I think the nature of any chest infection it is a little bit of wait-and-see, it doesn’t just clear up overnight, but he’s on his third day of treatment,” said Kearney. “But again, all the signs are he will be fit and ready to go, so we’re very confident he’ll be okay. “He is getting treatment, recovering well and has made fairly rapid improvements from Saturday night.” Wales centurion Gethin Jenkins will replace Paul James at loosehead this weekend. Wales came under frequent scrum censure in their victory over Italy in Cardiff on Saturday, with James penalised regularly in his battle with Martin Castrogiovanni. Adam Jones boasts a fearsome reputation as one of Europe’s frontline tightheads, but Ireland coach Plumtree is unfazed by the challenge. “I think our scrum has been really good,” said Ireland’s Kiwi coach. “Mike Ross is a good tighthead prop, Cian Healy is a world-class loosehead, and Rory Best is an outstanding hooker. “That front row is experienced and the big thing is you need to know how to adjust to the opposition and what they are trying to do to you. “Since the autumn we have conceded hardly any penalties or free-kicks from the scrum. “We want to paint the right pictures to the referee, and certainly we’re pleased with our discipline record so far.” Press Association Forwards coach Plumtree said O’Connell’s potential return would prove a huge boost ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wales in Dublin. “I’ve been around a long time, and Paul’s right up there in terms of the professional rugby players I’ve been involved with,” said Plumtree. “I’ve coached in New Zealand and South Africa at the top level, and they can’t talk highly enough about that guy. “He’s huge in terms of how he applies himself to his own preparation, making sure he ticks his own boxes so that he can lead the team right, and that takes time and effort. “He’s really fussy about how he goes about his business. “I’ve been involved with a lot of really good leaders that don’t do that a nd he is one guy that I’ve just been really impressed with. “The players have got such great respect for him, and that’s what makes him such a good leader. “He doesn’t do all the bantering and yelling off the pitch, he gets on with it, he’s a smart operator: he knows the right questions to ask and what buttons to press, and he’s a good man. last_img read more

Sherwood: Vlaar must prove himself

first_imgTim Sherwood has urged Ron Vlaar to prove himself again as the Aston Villa skipper prepares for his return. Press Association And Sherwood has put any contract talks on hold with Vlaar in order to focus on keeping Villa in the top flight. “He realises he needs to be playing. I haven’t even bothered speaking to him. There’s time for that when we are safe,” he said. “He is just concentrating on getting fit to play. Without getting on the pitch, he’s not going to be an attractive proposition to anybody.” He played under Louis van Gaal in Brazil and will face his former international boss when Villa travel to Old Trafford on Saturday. The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer and, having shaken off a calf injury, Villa boss Sherwood wants Vlaar to rediscover his spark. He said: “We all know what he has done over the years but when people are putting their hands in their pockets to fork out money, they want to know they are getting value. “He was right up there with the best at the World Cup but people have short memories. “You are always looking at what people are doing now rather than a few months ago. “He will have far more options open to him if he is in the shop window that’s for sure.” Vlaar has only made 12 Barclays Premier League starts this season following calf and knee problems as Villa, three points above the relegation zone, battle the drop. His last game in February saw him concede a stoppage-time penalty and get sent off as Villa lost 2-1 to Stoke in Sherwood’s first match. Sherwood wants to see the fit-again defender help struggling Villa to a grandstand finish and warned him people may have forgotten his World Cup heroics. Vlaar starred in the Netherlands’ run to the semi finals in Brazil last year – despite missing a penalty in the last four shoot-out against Argentina – leading to links with Manchester United. last_img read more