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Keller Williams Lets Loose With KWahtro In Hermosa Beach [Video/Gallery]

first_imgKeller Williams has been on a roll with his newest creation, KWahtro. After years performing primarily as a solo artist, Williams has built up a reputation as one of the most versatile musicians in the business. By teaming with Gibb Droll, Rodney Holmes and Danton Boller, Keller’s new four-piece has been taking the country by storm.Last week, on November 3rd, Keller brought the KWahtro to Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA, performing a hits-filled show with classics, covers and more. Thanks to Brandon Weil, we have photos and a video from this great night of music!Watch a clip of Grateful Dead’s “Eyes Of The World” streaming below.Keller continues to tour with KWahtro and more throughout the fall, and just announced an exciting winter tour with the great Leo Kottke. Read more about that here, and see the full gallery from Hermosa Beach below. Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Architectural fever dreams

first_imgAlexander Watchman talked drydocks. Joe Liao held forth on multigenerational housing. Quardean Lewis-Allen offered a presentation on the Victorian vernacular.Welcome to the annual January thesis review for architecture students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, a day of presentations throughout Gund Hall.Piper Auditorium saw the most action. Every inch of open space on Jan. 21 was divided into a warren of temporary presentation spaces. Between hour-long sessions, presenters and their friends swept in to hang diagrams, set up models, and wheel poster boards into place.Each of the 28 presentations represented a final product, said GSD thesis coordinator Edward Eigen, an associate professor of architecture and landscape architecture who teaches courses on the thesis process. It’s a last chance to explain ideas and inclinations that will likely inform a student’s lifelong interests. The architecture thesis, he wrote in an essay, is an “ascent up a five-story glass mountain,” a reference to Gund Hall’s steplike open studio spaces, which insiders call the “trays.”For the curious, the session was heaven: rooms containing new ideas and their fervent young purveyors. But for the students, many of them sleep-deprived after five months of preparation, the presentations could be one hour of concentrated hell.“Thesis review is often a stressful time,” said Caroline James, M.Arch. 1 ’14, who defended her study of architecture and empathy. “But I was determined to enjoy the process.” About 50 onlookers watched her review, including her parents, who had traveled by train from suburban Maryland. Sitting in the front row were six critics, many of them architects and scholars from outside Harvard.“We learn what interests them, what’s fueling them,” said critic Sarah M. Whiting, dean of the Rice University School of Architecture and a former GSD faculty member. “You’re articulating what brought you to architecture.”That footprint of deep interests usually carries through whole careers, Whiting added. “Maybe you abandon architecture, but you’re still looking at the world through that lens.”For James, that lens seems to be the idea that architecture is a social practice, and requires finding “a methodology of empathy” that connects the practitioner to the client.“This thesis has been about recording and documenting and connecting with others so I can let my intuition roll,” said James, who began her work by making objects that might unlock the triggers for empathy residing in materials such as stone, wood, and clay. She took bicycle tours of area neighborhoods, finally discovering an 1892 house that struck a deep chord. She befriended the owner and created a design for a new front entrance.In a scene repeated all day, the critics piled on praise, doubts, and questions. One charged that James’ thesis did not acknowledge precedents for empathy and architecture, beginning with the 1930s. It didn’t articulate “empathy as a technique,” said another. It was too scattered, said a third, “a bunch of little rivulets not exactly going anywhere.” But wait, said critic Mark Mulligan, an adjunct associate professor of architecture at GSD: A thesis is meant to engage intellectually, but is also about “personal expression.” To that, added Mack Scogin, James’ adviser and GSD’s Kajima Professor in Practice of Architecture, a thesis “is a chance for a student to explore possibilities. It’s not an ending.”Scogin was also adviser for Sara Tavakoli, M.Arch. 1 ’14, whose master’s thesis — a 35-minute vampire movie — took perhaps the day’s biggest risks. It featured a mirror, a hair salon, a restaurant with red chairs, a forest in a room, a miniature cathedral and, of course, a coffin (with Caroline James starring as the resident vampire). By the end, some critics were perplexed. One confessed to wanting to go smoke a cigarette instead of watching. Another observed, “You have a long way to go [to prove the film] is an architectural work.”Tavakoli, who filmed part of the work in her native Tehran, was unflappable. “I’m going to make this up,” she said she decided early on, “and I’m OK with that.” A critic snapped back, “Your agency as an architect and your subjectivity as a person are not the same.” Tavakoli responded later that “as an architect you have to throw yourself [into] your feelings.” Scogin stepped in. “You have to have your soul somewhere, somehow,” he said of the student film, an “exercise” in self-exploration. “It’s something we really need more of.”To other students, the lens of interest originated in scenes from home. A big crowd watched Beijing native Tian Ren, M.Arch. 1 ’14, present “Ending Is the New Beginning,” an architectural scheme to refurbish a former Shanghai slaughterhouse, built in 1933, into a space for contemplation. The result of what he called “adaptive reuse of cultural heritage” had the air of a Buddhist temple. “Atmosphere,” said Ren, “is the most important for me in doing this work.”Halley Wuertz (left) prepared her “Museum of Speed” thesis for its presentation in Gund Hall. Among her helping hands was Tiffany Maria Obser (right).Inspiration for Victor Perez-Amado, M.U.P./M.Arch. AP ’14, came from a boyhood near the Florida Everglades. The southernmost 20 percent of this subtropical wilderness is the third-largest national park, and its borders often mix uneasily with development. “It has been treated as an area to be feared,” he said of the expansive watery park. Perez-Amado’s “Proposal for New Floridian Prototypical Urban Schemes” took a tough, classical approach to the issue, beginning with the history and geology of the site and an assessment of the infrastructure along the urban-nature divide.His solution was to create “a new porous edge” of adaptive urban infrastructure, like stacked single-family housing on platforms. It drew a mix of admiration and gentle skepticism from the critics. What will developers make of it, asked one, to say nothing of residents confronted with the idea of vertical, communitarian neighborhoods? “Everything,” he said doubtfully, “is so neat, so correct.”One critic called the proposed city-wilderness interface “an inventive, radical idea.” To another it was “a techno-agrarian fantasy.” There was a burst of praise for Perez-Amado, as there had been earlier for the empathetic, risk-taking James. After all, he used his thesis to take chances. “This is the last moment,” a critic said, “you might be able to dream the world differently.”last_img read more

Transforming transgender care

first_img“This initiative isn’t about ‘adding more stuff’ to an already full curriculum,” said committee member Jessica Halem, the LGBT program director at HMS. “It’s about unearthing where wrong ideas are unwittingly getting cemented in people’s heads and correcting them from the beginning so they don’t have to be unlearned later. It’s about rewriting the stories and the language we use, built around a better understanding of how sex and gender really work in people’s lives.”The committee will then create a map of learning objectives and add explicit requirements related to SGM health for the six core competencies HMS students must demonstrate in order to graduate.When the plan is complete, a group of Curriculum Faculty Fellows will develop the new components and integrate them throughout pre-clerkship courses, including the practice of medicine, basic science, and population and social science; the principal clinical experience, when students are likely to encounter SGM health issues in specialties such as medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology and psychiatry; and the post-clerkship curriculum, expanding opportunities for students to take elective courses and pursue scholarly research projects focused on SGM health.In this way, every student earning an M.D. from HMS will undergo rigorous training in the science and clinical practice of sexual and gender minority health, “not only those with a pre-existing interest in caring for this segment of the population,” said Dalrymple.Teaching the teachersThe initiative’s educational component doesn’t end with students. Dalrymple’s team will also teach the teachers.Barbara Cockrill, recently appointed as the School’s director of faculty development for the Program in Medical Education, will create and work with a faculty interest group on SGM health in the HMS Academy to design seminars, retreats, and online modules that prepare faculty educators at HMS and its hospital affiliates to teach the new curriculum objectives.In addition, the team will help clinicians across the HMS community increase their competence and confidence in caring for SGM patients.“Clinicians have the enthusiasm and compassion needed for health equity, but often lack the knowledge and skills because most of us had minimal exposure to gender and sexual minority health principles and practices as medical students,” said Keuroghlian. “We will provide opportunities for training in best practices as well as how to create inclusive and affirming health care environments.”Measuring successTo ensure that the initiative achieves its goals, the team will conduct outcome studies and recommend any needed adjustments. Dalrymple is prepared to lead this effort as faculty head of the Office of Educational Quality Improvement at HMS.“The M.D. curriculum at HMS is designed to perpetually evolve through iterative improvements and regular evaluation of its effectiveness,” said Hundert. “It is precisely this spirit of continuous improvement that allows us to integrate critical new material and ensure its effectiveness for current students and generations of physicians to come.”Dalrymple and colleagues will share their findings with clinicians and leaders in medical education at national and international meetings. HMS will also make all curricular and faculty development materials freely available online for other medical schools to use.It’s about the peopleLast but not least, the initiative will help HMS recruit more students, faculty, and staff from SGM populations or those who have interests or experience in SGM health, and support and retain those individuals.“This project interweaves with multiple efforts going on across HMS and our affiliated hospitals, including other health equity curriculum enhancements,” said Potter, who is also faculty adviser for LAHMS, the LGBT, queer, and allies student organization at HMS. “It’s a collaborative piece with value-adds for everyone.”“This grant to rewrite the way we train doctors works because it’s backed by five years of preparation at HMS,” said Halem. “Faculty members have been engaged and are excited to take this on. The student body has a large and growing interest in SGM health. Our affiliate hospitals have dramatically increased clinical care and outreach for LGBTQ populations. Federal and insurance policies have changed. The national conversation has evolved. We’re fitting in the final puzzle piece.” Harvard Medical School physician Mark Schuster shares a story that opens doors What it means when ‘The Doctor Is Out’ Reede leads the way with Medical School’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion When Perry Cohen experienced an urgent health concern earlier this year, his town’s only care provider who specializes in working with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) patients wasn’t available to see him. He went to a different doctor, then to a second. Both times, when the providers learned that Cohen was transgender, “their faces fell,” he recalled.“It wasn’t about malice; it wasn’t about not affirming me,” he said, “but rather, they had this look of, ‘Oh, no, I don’t know if I’ll be able to help this patient.’ They didn’t want to get it wrong, but they were out of their element.”Cohen’s confidence in both doctors ebbed.“I felt that their fear of messing up on a cultural or emotional level hampered their ability to do their usual rigorous critical thinking,” he said.Too often, for Cohen and countless other LGBTQ patients across the country, the problem begins not in the exam room but in the classroom — physicians lack sufficient training in how to provide competent, affirming care for patients who identify as members of sexual and gender minority (SGM) groups, especially for transgender people.This educational gap has led to alarming health disparities for SGM patients, experts report. According to Healthy People 2020, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, transgender people alone experience disproportionate rates of suicide, homelessness, substance use, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, mental health disorders, and victimization, yet they also confront barriers to accessing effective health care.Students, faculty, and staff at Harvard Medical School (HMS) are joining forces to change that.This fall, Harvard Medical School launched the Sexual and Gender Minorities Health Equity Initiative, a three-year plan to amend the core M.D. curriculum so that all students and faculty clinicians can become exceptionally well equipped to provide high-quality, holistic health care for sexual and gender minority patients of all ages. The plan encompasses curriculum reform, faculty development, continuous quality assessment, and global dissemination, as well as increased efforts to recruit and support students, faculty, and staff with interests or experience in SGM health.“The most powerful vehicle to effect durable, meaningful change across current and future generations of clinicians in all specialties caring for LGBTQ patients is singular: education,” said Ed Hundert, dean for medical education at Harvard Medical School.“We are immensely grateful to be able to embark on this exciting and important initiative, which allows us to transform longitudinal medical education for students, teachers, researchers, and care providers at Harvard Medical School and our affiliated institutions, and also share our curriculum, faculty development programming, and lessons learned with medical schools worldwide,” he said.“Our faculty, staff, and students are eager to do this work and to help right the health inequities that sexual and gender minorities confront throughout their lives,” said Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley. “We firmly believe that Harvard Medical School must lead this widespread change in medicine.”The initiative was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the Cohen and Bull-Cohen families.“We’re hoping this becomes part of a broader way of looking at transgender people and transgender health care across the U.S.,” said Cohen. “If we can train medical students, then they can go out into not just the few major hospitals that are doing great work for transgender patients, but also into local community hospitals and places further afield and bring high-quality care to transgender patients who might not live on the coasts.“We want transgender people to not feel so scared to go to the doctor,” he said.Changing timesHow do you conduct routine physical exams that respect the dignity of transgender or gender-nonconforming patients? What’s the best way to take thorough sexual histories for all patients? What are the unique cancer-screening needs of transgender men and women?“When I came to HMS as an LGBT student 30 years ago, there was no curriculum about LGBT health,” said John Dalrymple, M.D. ’91, the Dr. Mark and Karen Lawrence Director of Humanism in Medicine and associate dean for medical education quality improvement at Harvard Medical School. “Just being ‘out’ was a difficult circumstance.“It means a lot to me to see how far HMS has come and how far medical education has evolved, to the point that we’re not adding small components on SGM health but doing it in a global, transparent, candid, integrated, and meaningful way,” he said. “I’m thrilled.”Dalrymple now serves as principal investigator for the initiative. His co-faculty directors are Jennifer Potter, M.D. ’87, advisory dean and director of the William Bosworth Castle Society at HMS and co-chair of the Fenway Institute in Boston, and Alex Keuroghlian, director of the psychiatry gender identity and sexual orientation program at Massachusetts General Hospital, course director for the fourth-year clerkship Care for Patients with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities at HMS, and director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at the Fenway Institute.Together they will usher the initiative through its multiple components.First, the team is leading a committee of students and faculty members in conducting a comprehensive review of the School’s four-year curriculum and identifying areas that are ripe for enhancement with material on SGM health or that contain assumptions or errors about sex and gender, such as conflating sexual orientation with gender identity, presuming gender as immutable, or treating heterosexuality as a default. “It’s about rewriting the stories and the language we use, built around a better understanding of how sex and gender really work in people’s lives.” Jessica Halem, the LGBT program director at HMScenter_img Alongside further diversification of the faculty and student body, the team plans to engage more people from SGM populations in the curriculum-enrichment process as guest speakers in preclinical courses and as actual patients in clinical rotations.“If you want to reduce health inequities, you have to engage members of those populations in the effort of education and research,” said Potter. “We don’t want to base our decisions on what we think they need. Plus, studies show that students learn best when they meet authentic members of the community.”Along the way, the team hopes to change the learning environment for faculty and students so those who identify as sexual and gender minorities feel heard and respected, while others grow comfortable with SGM health topics that may be new to them, Potter said.“Understanding our differences makes everyone better,” said Dalrymple. “We learn better, we provide better care.”Dalrymple also anticipates that the initiative will inspire faculty to seek additional opportunities to innovate in SGM health education and research and lead more students to choose SGM health as their focus.“We’re just scratching the surface of what the impact could be,” he said.For additional information, visit the Harvard Medical School website. Related Champion of equity and social justicelast_img read more

Omaha utility proposing faster shift from coal to renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Omaha Public Power District is proposing more aggressive environmental goals to get electricity from renewable sources and natural gas.The electric utility’s board may vote next week on a new set of goals that would accelerate its shift away from coal to other power sources, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The utility is considering a policy change that would reduce the amount of carbon released while producing each megawatt of electricity for ratepayers.The change could increase the pace at which OPPD adopts wind and solar power projects with private providers, said Craig Moody, a utility board member who supports the proposed approach to environmental stewardship.The move would break from the utility’s approach since 2015, which focused on generating a certain percentage of local electricity from renewable sources.The draft policy calls for a 20 percent reduction in “carbon intensity” levels from 2010 to 2030. Choosing 2010 instead of 2017 for the baseline year for progress would require more carbon reductions. In 2010, the utility still operated Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, a carbon-free source of energy that has since shuttered.More: Omaha electric utility proposes new environmental goals Omaha utility proposing faster shift from coal to renewableslast_img read more

​Finnish foundations active but lack governance, study shows

first_imgFinland’s biggest charitable foundations are active direct shareholders, but many lack strong governance mechanisms within their own structures, according to a survey.It also showed that the €20bn-worth of assets controlled by Finnish foundations are heavily concentrated within the country itself, with little diversification of direct equity holdings.The survey, which analysed a sample of 900 Finnish foundations as investors, was commissioned by the Finnish Foundation for Share Promotion in connection with a new law for Finnish foundations, which is currently being drafted.It is the most comprehensive survey yet of Finland’s 2,850 foundations, covering the 10 years up till 31 December 2013. With assets of €1.5bn, the largest entity is the Kone Foundation, which promotes Finnish research, arts and culture.The next biggest are the Aalto University Endowment and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.The 10 largest foundations all have portfolios worth more than €1bn each, while the 50 largest control 77% of all assets by value.Typically, the biggest portfolios are made up of 62% in equities (mostly held directly), 17% in fixed income, 15% in real estate and 2% each in alternatives and cash.And more than 70% of foundations’ assets are invested in Finland – in equities, real estate and euro-denominated fixed income assets.According to the survey’s author Eeva Ahdekivi, researcher at Aalto University in Helsinki, this is because of favourable tax treatment, since foundations are exempt from paying any tax on investment income arising from domestic equities.In contrast, foreign dividends may be subject to, for instance, withholding tax.It is also a result of preference for investment items that foundations can understand and follow over the long term, she added.“The largest foundations are long-term equity investors,” Ahdekivi said.“This means they are risk-takers, but they mitigate that by investing close to home so they have local knowledge of companies. They achieve geographical diversification by choosing companies earning a large percentage of their revenue from global sales.”However, even the largest portfolios contain a maximum of only 60 different stocks, with a median of only nine stocks.Ahdekivi said this was because the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki Exchange only contained around 125 stocks, and foundations typically only held the largest and best-known companies.She said that, in contrast with equities, there was more appetite to invest in fixed income abroad, as this was seen as a less risky asset class. Meanwhile, the allocation to alternative investments was very low.Ahdekivi said one reason for this was that income from partnerships may be taxable for investors, which made private equity investments less attractive to tax-exempt foundations.Average investment returns were also calculated for around half of the Finnish foundations sampled: these were 5.4% for 2012, the latest period for which figures were available.The largest foundations told Ahdekivi they were incentivised not by dividend yields – as this could lead to value traps – but how strong a company’s value potential was.These foundations all have consultancy relationships with asset managers, on a consultative rather than discretionary basis.However, little money is spent on internal financial expertise, and it is often the foundation’s managing director who is in charge of investments.The survey highlights the absence of strong governance mechanisms within many foundations.Often, the board is the sole governing body, with no other forms of oversight, as foundations have no shareholders.Financial information is published on the websites of less than one-fifth of foundations.And in general, the non-profit sector is not subject to similar transparency requirements as pension insurers or listed companies.Ahdekivi said most potential problems arising from weak governance were likely to arise among the longer-established, richer foundations.She said: “Foundations with larger endowments are more open to moral hazard because of their financial cushion, which makes inefficiencies possible.“For example, the board may be unwilling to carry out much-needed changes, such as a merger with a similar charity, which might improve mission efficiency.”The new law on Finnish foundations is intended to update and clarify the existing law dating from the 1920s, in line with good practice.It will include provisions on transparency, including the obligation to publish annual accounts, rules on the general duties of directors and on related party transactions.There will also be specific guidance clarifying the existing legislation on investing by foundations.The proposals are currently passing through Parliament, with enactment expected in the next few weeks, and will take effect from 1 October 2015.last_img read more

Chelsea Striker Distances Self from ‘Negative London Comments’

first_imgChelsea striker Alvaro Morata has distanced himself from comments which insinuated that he does not like London.He further stated that he would “probably” pen a 10-year deal at Chelsea if possible.Earlier reports revealed that Morata had told an Italian newspaper that he did not see himself living in London “for very long”.When asked about the said interview during the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), Alvaro Morata said what he said was that he won’t stay in London after he retires.In his words, Morata said:“I’m really happy here and enjoying London with my wife.”“When I finish my career, I prefer to come back to my country. I prefer the place where I was born, that’s normal. When I say London is a stressful city, I’m talking about the traffic and a lot of people. It’s an incredible city.” he added.Speaking further, the former Juventus and Real Madrid star said:“If Chelsea proposed 10 years, I’d probably sign it,” he said. “I’m happy with everything. If I make good and improve, I can stay here more than five years.” Relatedlast_img read more