Les Miz Star Caissie Levy Looks Back on the Dream Role That Became a Reality

first_img View Comments What was the easiest thing about the job? Working with our cast. We have an exceptional group of actors at the Imperial Theatre, and I’ve loved being serious and silly with each and every one of them. Related Shows What advice would you give to future employees in your position? Think about Cosette, fight for her, and you’re golden. And don’t be a diva—embrace your chance to be on the barricade as part of the ensemble, and enjoy watching your friends act and sing the hell out of this gorgeous score. What will you miss the most? My friends. We’re always saying “hello” and “goodbye” in the theatre world, and it can be sad to go from bonding on a daily basis to only running into each other periodically on 8th Avenue. But I’ve collected a lot of wonderful people on this gig, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m grateful for it all. What skills do you think are required for future job applicants? Emotional availability and a great sense of humor to counteract the gloom. Also, acting and singing well come in handy. How did you feel when you first got this job? Thrilled, honored and a tiny bit nervous. In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are often asked to sit through an “exit interview” with HR about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, we love checking in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Les Miserables star Caissie Levy will say goodbye to the barricades on March 1, when she plays her final performance as Fantine in the hit musical. As Levy bids her Broadway dream role adieu, she looks back on her “challenging, emotional and fulfilling” run in Les Miserables. How do you feel now that you’re leaving? Thrilled, honored and a tiny bit nervous.center_img How do you think you’ve grown? I’ve toughened up quite a lot. I’ve learned to go a bit easier on myself. I’ve become a stronger actress. And I’ve used a more legit side of my voice which has been really exciting to explore, coming from the pop/rock world. Les Miserables What was the highlight of your time at this job? Playing one of my dream roles in the show that made me want to become an actress in the first place. Very, very cool. What was the hardest thing about this job? The emotional toll Fantine took on my heart and my spirit. And the physical toll it took on my body—that fight choreography is no joke! What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job? Challenging. Emotional. Fulfilling. Why are you leaving? It’s time. There comes a time in any run of a show when you realize you’ve learned what you’re going to learn from the experience and it’s time to pass the torch and move on to new adventures. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016last_img read more

Fungicide Resistance

first_imgThere are a limited number of compounds available to combat fungal infections in both plants and people. A team of University of Georgia researchers is helping to assess the risk posed by fungi developing widespread resistance to the stable of antifungal compounds used in the United States.Michelle Momany, professor in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of Plant Biology, and Marin Brewer, associate professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Plant Pathology, recently received a $197,798 contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study antifungal resistance in agricultural settings.For people with healthy immune systems, fungal infections — the ones that can cause problems like athlete’s foot or ringworm — are annoying, but easily treatable with medicines containing azole antifungal compounds. For people with compromised immune systems, fungal infections can be deadly, and azoles are essential, live-saving drugs. These compounds are also used to protect crops from fungi that cause plant diseases or produce deadly and carcinogenic fungal toxins in food and feed.Despite these powerful compounds, fungal infections kill about 1.5 million people each year, and almost all have immune systems diminished by chemotherapy or underlying disease. Fungal diseases also wipe out about one-third of the world’s harvest of staple crops, like rice, wheat and corn.The CDC contract, announced Oct. 23, will allow Momany and Brewer to focus on the Aspergillus fungus, which can cause serious lung infections in people with compromised immune systems and serious crop losses in staple crops, including peanuts, corn, cotton, onions and tree nuts.“Most people are surprised to learn that fungi are more closely related to animals than they are to plants,” Momany said. “This close relationship makes it hard to identify drug targets in fungi that don’t exist in humans. That’s part of why we have very few good antifungals that don’t also cause terrible side effects in humans. We can’t afford to lose any of the few good antifungals we have.”Medical professionals in Europe have documented azole resistance in human Aspergillus infections over the last decade, and some of these medical professionals theorize that this rise could be linked to increased agricultural azole use.“Azoles are vital for human health, both in terms of fighting fungal infections and protecting food supplies from plant disease and deadly or carcinogenic fungal toxins,” Brewer said. “If we can identify where and how antifungal resistance is developing in these settings, we can work on limiting its occurrence so that we can preserve the effectiveness of azoles in treating both plants and people.”Brewer and Momany will identify azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus strains on farms in Georgia and Florida and will identify the genetic mutations that fuel azole resistance. Another team of researchers at the CDC will look for azole-resistant strains of Aspergillus fumigatus in clinical settings and look to see if the same genetic mutations are responsible for azole-resistance in these settings.Brewer and Momany’s grant is part of a $9 million CDC grant package that will fund antimicrobial resistance research at 23 universities and hospitals across the United States. The work will focus on many different aspects of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic-resistant bacteria and will include one study — Brewer and Momany’s — on antifungal resistance.Both Brewer and Momany are members of UGA’s interdisciplinary Fungal Biology Group. For more information about research into fungi at UGA, visit http://research.franklin.uga.edu/fungi/fungi/fungi/.last_img read more

Puerto Rico’s 10 Biggest Vulture Funds (and the Individuals Behind Them)

first_img#10 STONE LION CAPITALEstimate of Puerto Rican Debt Owned: $325,377,000Headquarters: New York, N.Y., U.S.Part of an Alliance: Ad Hoc Group ($3.3 billion)Type of Bond: General Obligation Bonds, Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority BondsKey People: Gregory Augustine Hanley, Alan Jay Mintz, Danielle Schaefer Klyap, Claudia Lee Borg, Elan DanielsHistory: Stone Lion Capital was founded by Alan Jay Mintz and Gregory Augustine Hanley in 2008. These two men were once risky debt dealers at Bear Stearns, the bank that infected the financial market with toxic mortgage assets, received a bailout from the Federal Reserve Bank and was later sold to JP Morgan.In 2014, they requested $100 million from the Puerto Rico government’s junk bond issue and received $30 million. However, the firm is claiming, in total, more than $300 million in General Obligation bonds that may have been obtained before or after 2014. It also owns more than $15 million in bonds from Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority.Eric Michael Friel, senior managing director of Stone Lion Capital, was among the executives who attended the Ravitch event in New York this year. He was formerly a managing director and “risky debt” analyst at Bear Stearns & Co., one of the first banks to collapse in 2008.“Contrary to popular belief, I believe investors like hedge funds want many of the same things that the people of Puerto Rico want,” he said at the Ravitch event, citing government transparency and Medicaid funding as examples. Noting that his father was a teacher, he added, “I understand the value of a good education, and that’s the last thing we want to see taken away from the people of Puerto Rico.”However, the alliance of which Stone Lion is a member, the Ad Hoc Group, launched an offensive against the Puerto Rican health and education systems with a report commissioned in 2015 mapping  a debt repayment plan. The report, “For Puerto Rico, There is a Better Way,” recommended the dismissal of teachers, cuts in the subsidy granted to the University of Puerto Rico and trims to “excess Medicaid benefits,” among other austerity measures.At the Ravitch event, Friel spoke to press about the need for more transparency from the fiscal control board and the government of Puerto Rico. When CPI asked Friel to disclose the price at which Stone Lion Capital purchased Puerto Rican junk bonds in 2014, he said, “I don’t know the answer, and I think that’s the wrong thing to focus on. I think knowing that isn’t going to solve any of Puerto Rico’s problems. Literally. It’s not going to help anyone with anything.”Note: One of the top ten debtholders, SV Capital, a member of the ERS alliance that claims $389,851,034 in debt, is omitted from this list because we could not determine whether it was a vulture firm. The company is a phantom—it was registered as an anonymous firm in Delaware on August 2016 and is not registered with the SEC. We learned it may be related to the Carlyle Group. #4 MONARCH ALTERNATIVE CAPITALPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $606,600,000Headquarters: 535 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y., 10022 & 52 Conduit St., 6th Floor, London, England W1S 2YX, U.K.Part of an Alliance: Ad Hoc Group ($3.3 billion)Type of Bond:  General Obligation BondsKey People: Michael Weinstock, Andrew Herenstein and Chris SantanaHistory: Monarch Alternative Capital has a history of investing in coal power. In February 2017, it became the principal shareholder in Arch Coal, the second largest supplier of coal to power companies in the U.S. The hedge fund owns $190 million (nearly 11 percent of the company). Arch Coal has been accused by United Mine Workers of America of conspiring with Peabody Energy in a scheme to default on $1.3 billion in retiree pension and healthcare obligations.Monarch Alternative’s team includes former members of JP Morgan and Rothschild & Co, Stone Lion Capital, GoldenTree Asset Management, Davidson Kempner and Och-Ziff Capital.Founded in 2002 by Michael Weinstock, Andrew Herenstein and Chris Santana, former bankers at Lazard Frères & Co., as of June 30 Monarch managed approximately $4.6 billion and had 63 employees, including 20 investment managers in offices in New York and London.In 2015, Monarch bought $30 million in Four Seasons Health Care properties, the largest nursing home operator in Great Britain, which was carrying significant debt. In 2006, Monarch bought Oneida Limited, one of the world’s largest designers and sellers of stainless steel items, after that company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. #3 CANYON CAPITAL ADVISORS LLCPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $624,871,695Headquarters: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Floor, Los Angeles, Calif., 90067Part of an Alliance: Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition ($303,080,000)  and QTCB Noteholders Group ($321,791,695)Type of Bond: Cofina or Sales Tax Senior Bonds and General Obligation Bonds (Issued by the Public Buildings Authority)Key People: Joshua S. Friedman, Mitchell R. Julis, John Plaga, Jonathan Matthew Kaplan, Dominique MielleHistory: Canyon Capital Advisors LLC was founded in 1990 by Joshua S. Friedman and Mitchell R. Julis, both of whom have been intimately involved in stressed and distressed markets since the early 1980’s, according to information from the SEC.As of 2016, Canyon employed “over 200 investment professionals” and had offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Shanghai and Tokyo. The firm advertises itself as having “substantial experience with distressed financials, including liquidations and recapitalizations.”In 2014, Canyon was one of the hedge funds that jumped on Puerto Rico’s junk bond emission, and requested $50 million of those bonds. It got $28 million. #8 FUNDAMENTAL ADVISORS LPPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $432,140,000Headquarters: 745 Fifth Ave., 25th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10151Part of an Alliance: Ad Hoc Group ($3.3 billion)Type of Bond: General Obligation Bonds, Puerto Rican Sales Tax Revenue Bonds    Key People: Laurence L. Gottlieb, Hector Negroni, Dana S. Fusaris, Justin Vinci, Robyn A. Huffman and Bruce KayleHistory: Fundamental Credit Opportunities (FCO), a division of Fundamental Advisors, focuses on high-risk investments in states and cities under “financial pressure.”FCO CEO Héctor Negroni was one of three executives of firms holding Puerto Rican debt who attended a panel at Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York in June. Their presence was surprising, as the event was geared toward to journalists covering state and local fiscal issues, and executives from financial firms tend to shy away from media.During the panel, Negroni wore a vest with the FCO Advisors logo on top of his checkered shirt. Sitting in a back row of the room, he listened to the other lecturers, and when he did not agree, he raised his voice to speak sharply over the speaker. He argued that commonwealth of Puerto Rico “is completely solvent. There’s no reason to be in default, no reason to be in bankruptcy.” (Negroni also took advantage of a pause before the panel to take to the microphone and sing a song, Frank Sinatra-style.) Puerto Rico’s 10 Biggest Vulture Funds (and the Individuals Behind Them) THE REST OF THE DEBTThis is necessarily an incomplete list. The alliances, although they are the loudest voices in the proceedings, represent only about 21 percent of the total debt.Who are the missing players, and how much do they own? More transparency is urgently needed.Although most of the alliances are dominated by vultures, one, the Mutual Fund Group, is made up exclusively of three mutual funds:  Franklin Mutual Advisors, Oppenheimer Funds and Santander Asset Management. Another powerful voice in bankruptcy court is  the multinational investment firm UBS, which invested in mutual funds called Puerto Rico Family of Funds. UBS did not join an alliance, but has filed independent court briefs and claims $1.4 billion of the debt.Mutual funds theoretically represent the interests of small-dollar investors, but many of those involved in Puerto Rico, including UBS and Oppenheimer, have a long trail of fraud claims and lawsuits filed by those investors.More: Who Owns Puerto Rico’s Debt, Exactly? We’ve Tracked Down 10 of the Biggest Vulture Firms #5 GOLDENTREE ASSET MANAGEMENTPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $587,253,141Headquarters: 300 Park Ave., 21st Floor, New York, N.Y., 10022Part of an Alliance: Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition ($3.1 billion)Type of Bond: Puerto Rican Sales Tax Revenue BondsKey People: Steve ShapiroHistory: It is very common for vulture fund executives to be former bankruptcy attorneys, as is the case with Steve Shapiro, the executive director of GoldenTree Asset Management. He was a bankruptcy lawyer for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he represented bondholder committees and reorganized companies in Chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court restructurings.At the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference (an annual gathering of billionaires and global finance power players that cost $50,000 a head in 2017), Shapiro spoke on a panel titled “Trash or Treasure? Finding Value in Distressed-Debt.” He said his firm had its eye on General Motors’ liquidation and found “parts of Puerto Rico…very interesting.” He mentioned the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the government-owned corporation that is the sole provider of electricity to the island. PREPA was already mired in debt, leading to serious maintenance problems. When the hurricane hit, that degraded infrastructure was wiped out, causing 88.3 percent of people on the island to still be without electricity as of October 10, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.GoldenTree has not disclosed whether it currently owns PREPA bonds. #1 AUTONOMY CAPITALPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $937,585,000Headquarters: 90 Park Ave., 31st Floor, New York, N.Y., 10016 and Floor 2, Conway House, Conway Street, St. Helier, JerseyPart of an Alliance: Ad Hoc Group ($3.3 billion)Type of Bond: General Obligation BondsKey People: Robert Gibbins, Derek GoodmanHistory: Autonomy Capital is an affiliate of Autonomy Americas, which is incorporated in the tax haven of the Channel Islands in the English Channel and claims to manage more than $4 billion.Autonomy’s clients include insurance companies, foundations, public and private pension systems, and high net worth individuals. The minimum amount required to invest in Autonomy’s funds is between $5 million and $10 million.Autonomy Capital is one of two firms involved in an ongoing legal battle with the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority, a European watchdog, over millions of dollars worth of assets locked behind Iceland’s capital controls. Iceland, one of the only countries to aggressively regulate banks in the wake of the global financial crisis, instituted the controls after its biggest banks collapsed in 2008. #7 TILDEN PARK INVESTMENT MASTER FUND LPPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $466,084,719Headquarters: 452 Fifth Ave., 28th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10018Part of an Alliance: Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition ($3.1 billion)Type of Bond: Puerto Rican Sales Tax Revenue BondsKey People: Josh Birnbaum, Jeremy Primer, Sam Alcoff, Robert RossittoHistory: One of the biggest players—and biggest profiteers—in the U.S. financial crisis was Joshua Birnbaum, former managing director at Goldman Sachs and now chief investment officer of Tilden Park Capital Management. During this 15 years working at Goldman Sachs, he led transactions related to subprime mortgages that catalyzed the Great Recession.After the real estate bubble collapsed, Birnbaum received one of the highest payments in Wall Street history, raking in $17 million in compensation. In his 2007 performance self-evaluations Birnbaum discussed the “very profitable year” and “extraordinary profits” that came from shorting the mortgage market that year, according to the SEC.Birnbaum left Goldman Sachs in 2008 after he wasn’t named partner, raising much speculation. “The question is really, ‘What’s his encore?’ ” asked Geoff Bobroff, an asset management consultant, in an interview with The Telegraph.The answer was Tilden Park Capital Management, which Birnbaum cofounded with fellow Goldman strategist (and Morgan Stanley alum) Jeremy Primer. Tilden Park handles more than $16 billion in assets.The law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, which represents the Ad Hoc Group of General Obligation Bondholders in the Title III case, was in turn the legal agent for several Tilden Park transactions, including one of $1,479,825,500 conducted in January. #6 AURELIUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LPPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $473,417,000Headquarters: 535 Madison Ave., 22nd Floor, New York, N.Y., 10022Part of an Alliance: Ad Hoc Group ($3.3 billion)Type of Bond: General Obligation Bonds, Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority BondsKey People: Mark Brodsky, Samuel Jed Rubin, Esq., Eleazer Klein, Esq., and Jason Kaplan, Esq.History: Mark Brodsky, founder and manager of Aurelius Capital, is another former bankruptcy lawyer, who for 16 years worked in major law firms in New York.Much of that time, in the early 1990s, he served as an attorney and co-head of the bankruptcy practice at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel. (The firm went on to represent bondholders Franklin Mutual and Oppenheimer Funds in a successful challenge to Puerto Rico’s 2015 Recovery Act, which would have allowed the island’s electric authority (PREPA), sewer authority and transportation authority to restructure their own debt.)From 1996 to 2005, Brodsky was a partner in Elliott Management Corporation, a vulture fund owned by financial tycoon Paul Singer, who fought alongside Aurelius and other firms for the collection of Argentine debt.Brodsky founded Aurelius in 2006 with $325 million in capital, of which more than half came from pension funds and foundations. Aurelius Capital has $4.83 billion in funds under management and focuses on investing in high-risk debt.Aurelius has successfully profited from debt restructurings more than once. In Greece in 2012, in the midst of the European country’s financial turmoil, the government had to face what was described as a “small well-funded group of investors” who opposed a 75 percent haircut. Aurelius Capital was part of that group. In Brazil’s Petrobras, Aurelius forced a $54 billion default as a “precautionary measure.” The firm also attempted to upset a Tribune Co. bankruptcy plan in Chicago, Ill. that had been approved by most creditors; but in that attempt, they failed. #9 OAKTREE CAPITAL MANAGEMENTPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $410,216,768Headquarters: 333 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, Calif., 90071Part of an Alliance: ERS Secured Creditors ($1.4 billion)Type of Bond: Employee Retirement System BondsKey People: Howard Marks, Bruce Karsh, Jay Wintrob, John Frank, Sheldon StoneHistory: Oaktree Capital Management is an investment firm that manages $100 billion through various hedge funds. It has 900 employees and offices in 17 cities, including London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney. Oaktree’s clients include 75 of the 100 largest U.S. pension plans and 50 primary retirement plans, more than 400 corporations around the world and more than 350 foundations.Oaktree has major interests in infrastructure, real estate and energy. Its energy holdings add up to $2 billion and it holds a “controlling position” in more than 15 companies in that sector.In 2013, Oaktree Capital purchased 50 percent of Aerostar Airport Holdings, the operator of the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport San Juan. In May 2017, it sold its stake in Aerostar for $430 million to Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste and the Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board.The firm also purchased $25 million in Puerto Rico’s 2014 General Obligations junk bond issue.In Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy case, Oaktree Capital claims $410,216,768 in Retirement System bonds through seven funds : Oaktree Funds Opportunities Fund Holdings LP, Oaktree Opportunities Fund IX Delaware LP, Oaktree Opportunities Fund IX (Parallel 2) LP, Opps Culebra Holdings LP, Oaktree Opportunities Fund X Holdings (Delaware) LP, Oaktree Opps X Holdo Ltd and Oaktree-Forrest Multi-Strategy, LLC. #2 DECAGON HOLDINGS / THE BAUPOST GROUPPuerto Rican Debt Claimed in Court: $912,479,194Headquarters: 10 Saint James Avenue, Suite 1700, Boston, Mass., 02116 (Decagon is registered in Delaware)Part of an Alliance: Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition ($3.1 billion)Type of Bond: Puerto Rican Sales Tax Revenue BondsKey People: Seth KlarmanHistory: Decagon Holdings is a firm within the Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition and owns at least 29 percent of this alliance’s debt—as much as $912,479,194—split among 10 funds, according to court documents.The paper trail on Decagon is circuitous. These funds were incorporated in Delaware in 2015 as limited liability companies. Decagon is not registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the financial industry’s federal regulator, and it does not have a website.In a document related to the Puerto Rico government’s bankruptcy case, Decagon Holdings only provided a general address, with no phone number: 800 Boylston Street, the location of the Prudential Tower, Boston’s second tallest building, with 52 floors.On October 3, David Dayen of The Intercept unmasked Decagon Holdings’ real owner: The Baupost Group, a hedge fund that managed roughly $31.5 billion in regulatory assets as of December 31, 2016. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享In These Times:When Puerto Rico declared a form of bankruptcy in May, it was the largest municipal bankruptcy debt in U.S. history. Puerto Rico’s more than $74.8 billion in debt and $49 billion in pension system obligations surpasses Detroit, Mich.’s $18 billion bankruptcy in 2013. Much of that debt is interest. According to a report by the ReFund America Project, the financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup that helped structure the bonds built in astronomically high interest rates. Nearly half the debt—$33.5 billion—is interest, and another $1.6 billion comes from fees paid to these firms.To scrounge up that money, Puerto Rico has been struggling through austerity measures approved last spring by a U.S.-appointed fiscal control board, including school closures and utility bill hikes. In August the control board proposed even more draconian measures, such as massive furloughs.Then the hurricanes hit. Much of Puerto Rico still lacks access to water, electricity and basic services. Moody’s estimates that rebuilding will cost between $45 billion and $95 billion.The bankruptcy proceedings have been postponed while the island recovers from the hurricane. But while most of the island has been offline, lawyers for the bondholders have not stopped digitally submitting motions in the bankruptcy case.The financial firms have organized themselves into alliances to aid their quest to get paid. These alliances include the Mutual Fund Group, which claims $7.1 billion in Puerto Rico’s debt; the Ad Hoc Group, which claims $3.3 billion; the Cofina Senior Bondholders Coalition, which claims $3.1 billion; ERS Secured Creditors, which claims roughly $1.4 billion; and the QTCB Noteholder Group, which claims more than $600 million.The alliances can afford to hire prestigious law firms, like Jones Day, to file motions in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy case on their behalf. And with the exception of the Mutual Fund Group, these big alliances are dominated by vulture funds.Here are the top 10 vulture firms involved the bankruptcy case, listed in order of the amount of debt they’ve claimed in court We have compiled their names, addresses, and a bit of history on their business dealings.last_img read more

Trail Mix – The California Honeydrops

first_imgThe California Honeydrops are a band that doesn’t mind working.Witness, if you will, that this month they released Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2, their seventh record in just ten years, a wildly frenetic writing and recording pace that singer/guitarist/trumpeter Lech Wierzynski admitted to me is only a fraction of what the band is capable of.The band’s energetic nature is captured in both their recordings and live shows; Southern blues and soul blend with New Orleans jazz and West Coast funk to create a non-stop dance party.And audiences are taking notice.The California Honeydrops have become festival favorites, turning up on bills around the world, and have shared the stage with icons like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt.I recently caught up with Lech Wierzynski to chat about the new record, working with a music legend, and some of honey’s more surprising uses.BRO – Some of your earliest days in the band were spent playing on the streets of San Francisco and in Oakland subway stations. Best busking memory?LW – It’s hard to name just one, but last month we marched around playing music in my neighborhood in north Oakland and south Berkeley on a Monday afternoon while filming a video for “Call It Home.” There were so many moments of spontaneous joy and creativity with complete strangers in that one hour of just goofing off. As we marched past a homeless encampment, of which there are many due a lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area, a guy popped out of his tent on a unicycle and started juggling and another woman came out dancing and cheering. When we got to the train station, a random guy came out of his car and sang with us. That kind of stuff happens every day when you go out and busk and surprise people with good live music. It’s one of the purest ways to create and experience music.BRO – This is your seventh record in just ten years, and it’s a double album to boot. How do you keep up that kind of writing pace?LW – The music industry encourages you to narrow yourself down so you can fit in a box and be sold easily to some target demographic, but we want the album to reflect all the things we do and love in our ten years as a band, from playing in the streets, or naked in the woods, at barn dances, bars, festivals, and theaters. This album takes you to a lot of different places and genres that way. A lot of the songs come to me in my dreams, which is very lucky and speeds up the process of writing. If we didn’t spend so much time touring, we could have made twenty records by now, but I like performing way more than recording.BRO – We are featuring “Call It Home” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?LW – I had been complaining to my parents about the gentrification of the Bay Area and how upset I was to see so many friends, and ourselves, priced out. They listened and were sorry for me, but I cold tell by the tone of their voices that they were having trouble relating to my situation. My dad’s entire hometown of Warsaw (Poland) was literally reduced to a sea of rubble when he was seven years old during the Warsaw Uprising. They had come to the United States as political refugees forty years later, feeling from a hostile government. My grandmother who raised me survived the war in forced labor as a young adult. Thinking about the challenges they faced and the way they persevered made my troubles seem small and inspired me to write this song. It’s a song of hope about being uprooted and making a new home in a strong place with the power of love.BRO – “Call It Home” also features Americana legend Bonnie Raitt. What does it mean to you and the band to have her on this song?LW – It means Bonnie Raitt is a really cool person. She used to poke her head in to our dressing room when we toured with her and sing along with us while we warmed up. We said, “Hey! You should do that in the studio!” She agreed. Having somebody like Bonnie Raitt as your number one fans has been really great for us. All of a sudden, people started saying, “These guys are pretty good.” People today are always waiting for someone else to tell them what’s cool and good. So it’s nice to have an American music legend speak and sing on our behalf. That said, we have gotten a lot better since going out on the road with her and watching and learning from Bonnie and her band.BRO – Favorite use for honey?LW – One time, I cut my finger really badly and had to get a chunk of it sewn back on. After a week, the doctors said it didn’t look the finger was going to make it. I was scared I’d never play guitar again. So I took the advice of a new age hippie witch I met at a music festival and started putting manuka honey on it. It immediately regained color, vigor, and strength and healed up shredding faster than ever before.And honey on cornbread is great, too.The California Honeydrops will be all over the Southeast over the next ten days or so. Shows in Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia are all on the schedule. For information on how to grab tickets to these shows, the band’s other tour stops, or how you can get your hands on Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2, please surf over to the band’s website.And to hear “Call It Home,” along with tracks from Moon Hooch, Wood & Wire, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Hi Lo Ha, check out this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

Fantasia To Soulfully Soar at NYCB Theatre at Westbury

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When Grammy Award-winning R & B and soul singer Fantasia takes the stage at NYCB Theatre at Westbury August 30th, she’ll be putting her own heart and soul on full display for all those lucky enough to catch her.Fantasia doesn’t just sing, she transcends time and space, transporting listeners—through her bone-chilling, reach-down-inside-her-very-DNA-and-soar-to-touch-heaven vocals—to a place where pain and heartache and somehow, salvation, suspends personal anguish and gives life wings.Yes, that’s a lot. And it’s true.Hailing from High Point, North Carolina, Fantasia transcended the hardships of her own personal situation in 2004—when she was just 19, a high school dropout who was pregnant at 16—by winning season three of American Idol with her show-stopping performance of the Porgy and Bess standard, “Summertime.”The judges raved that hers was the single best performance out of any contestant, ever, in the show’s history—the tear-jerking victory propelling her debut single “I Believe” to the top of the Billboard charts and her debut album, Free Yourself, to platinum status and three Grammy Award nominations.That was only the beginning. Since then, she’s released three more albums—2006’s Fantasia, 2010’s Back To Me and last year’s Side Effects of You—to even more acclaim and accolades.For more unbelievable gigs at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, check out their page in The Island EarFantasia has won over audiences and critics with her award-winning portrayal of Celie in the Broadway play The Color of Purple and has won over the hearts of countless people throughout the world.Fantasia’s NYCB Theatre at Westbury appearance is a show you do not want to miss. Your heart, mind and soul will thank you for it.Fantasia will be performing at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, located at 960 Brush Hollow Rd, Westbury $49.50. 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. For tickets and more information about the gig, go to venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com.last_img read more

All marinas within ACI have become ISO holders

first_imgWe are constantly talking and emphasizing that the quality of services and products in tourism is crucial, and that we must focus on quality, not mass.And one of the first preconditions is precisely the quality infrastructure, from accommodation capacities, arrangement of tourist destinations, facilities, and thus marinas, when we talk about nautical tourism.Precisely from the above, the good news is that in July, all marinas within ACI became holders of as many as three ISO certificates. These are ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system, ISO 14001: 2015 environmental management system and ISO 50001: 2011 for energy management systems. The introduction of the fourth one related to information security (27001: 2013) is also underway. An additional recognition to ACI for sustainable management and management of the sea and coastal zone are the “Blue Flags”, which were awarded this year in as many as 18 ACI marinas.By the way, the daily consumption of sailors in 2017 averages 126 euros per day, and is 40 percent higher than the daily consumption of the average Croatian tourist. A third of that amount is spent by boaters on catering services, sports, entertainment and culture, which clearly shows that through nautical we can build all other forms of tourism and grow from a country of seasonal tourism to a destination of year-round tourism.ACI: Business results in the first nine months more than successfulIn the first nine months of 2018, the operating revenues of the Adriatic Croatia International Club (ACI) increased by 11% compared to the same period last year and amounted to HRK 173,7 million. Revenues from the annual berth service increased by 8%, from the monthly berth by 12%, from the daily berth by 6%, from the rental service by 17%, from other services provided to boaters by 16% while other operating revenues increased by 184%. The largest increase in operating revenues compared to the comparable period was achieved by ACI marinas Dubrovnik, Veljko Barbieri (Slano), Split and Korčula. Total expenditures decreased by 1%.Photo: ACIIn the observed period, the Company achieved a positive gross financial result in the amount of HRK 48,2 million, which is an increase of HRK 14,7 million or 44% compared to the comparable period. EBITDA increased by 22% and amounted to HRK 88,3 million. The physical indicators of the annual relationship remained at the level of last year, so on September 30.09.2018, 3.416. There were 91 vessels in ACI marinas, while 8 ships were on daily berth, which is a decrease of 10% compared to the same period last year. For the monthly berth in the reporting period there was an increase of XNUMX% in the ship for months.”During 2018, ACI dd is primarily focused on raising the quality of service provision and to that end is making a number of larger and smaller investments. The quality of service provision was also confirmed through the awarding of the CNTB – Tourist Flower – Quality for Croatia awards, in which the Dubrovnik and Split marinas received the award in the category of the best medium marina this year (2nd and 3rd place).”Point out the ACI.Investment cycle in raising qualityThe most significant investment project is the complete reconstruction of the ACI marina Rovinj, which is planned to open by the end of 2018, and will be the most modern marina on the Adriatic, characterized primarily by safety, luxury, advanced technologies and, of course, the ultimate beauty of architectural vision.As pointed out by ACI, the started investment cycle will follow with the reconstruction of ACI marina Korčula in 2019, for which the main and detailed design is underway, and for which purpose the land with the building next to ACI marina Korčula worth 4,7 million. Other significant investments in the reporting period include the reconstruction of the service mule plateau and the purchase of a 30-ton crane in the ACI marina Pomer, worth HRK 3,1 million, extension of piers in the ACI marina Pula, worth HRK 1,3 million, reconstruction of the complete pool plant in the amount of HRK 856 thousand in the ACI marina Dubrovnik and the construction of an additional parking lot in the amount of HRK 173 thousand. This season, the anchorage in the bays of Vozarica and Srednja Draga near the ACI marina Skradin has started operating, which has provided boaters with additional capacity to moor vessels up to 15 meters long.RELATED NEWS:/ / / ZIZOO: CROATIA IS STILL THE MOST DESIRABLE DESTINATION FOR SAILING AND VESSELS ON BOAT/ / / CALCULATION OF RESIDENCE TAX FEES FOR BOATERS IN 2019/ / / RESEARCH RESULTS PRESENTED “ATTITUDES AND CONSUMPTION OF NAUTICIANS IN CROATIA – TOMAS NAUTIKA YACHTING 2017.”last_img read more

Wednesday people roundup

first_imgAlpinvest – The €35bn private equity investor Alpinvest Partners has promoted Michael Hacker to managing director and Michael Camacho to principal. Hacker is responsible for transactions in the North American market, while Hong Kong-based Camacho is leading Alpinvest’s Asian business. Both joined Alpinvest in 2007. Alpinvest Partners is part of the €185bn asset manager Carlyle Group.Argos Investment Managers – Former investment banker and asset manager Nick Hamwee has been appointed to help build the UK business in London. Hamwee has a 25-year track record of building businesses. He returned to the UK in 1998 to join Credit Suisse First Boston with a similar mandate and in 2000 became co-head of CSFB’s US Cash Equity Business in Europe.Coeli Asset Management – The Sweden-based company has expanded its global equity capabilities with a new frontier markets equities team. The two senior portfolio managers Hans-Henrik Skov and James Bannan will join from BankInvest, where they manage the New Emerging Markets Equities fund.KPMG – Mike Walters has been appointed head of the financial risk management group. He joins from Barclays, where he was global head of compliance. His focus will be on KPMG’s key banking, insurance and asset management relationships.Mirabaud Asset Management – Kirill Pyshkin has joined the global equity team from Aviva Investors, where he was a senior fund manager in global equities. Before then, he worked at Credit Agricole Asset Management (now Amundi), JP Morgan and Sanford Bernstein.Pioneer Investments – The company has announced the completion of its new board of directors with the appointment of its fifth independent member, Robert Glauber, former chairman and chief executive at NASD (now Finra) and currently chairman at XL Group and Northeast Bancorp.JLT Employee Benefits – Martyn Bogira has been appointed director, responsible for the client management and development of the company’s defined contribution contract-based customers. He joined in January from Prudential, where he was head of corporate pensions. AP2, USS Investment Management, SPF, Alpinvest, Argos Investment Managers, Coeli Asset Management, KPMG, Mirabaud Asset Management, Pioneer Investments, JLT Employee BenefitsAP2 – Christer Käck has been appointed to the Swedish buffer fund’s board, effective immediately. Käck recently launched his own consultancy following 11 years as a portfolio manager at DnB Asset Management. In his nearly four decades in the industry, he has also served as head of fixed income at Skandia Asset Management and head of fixed income client relations at Götabanken.USS Investment Management – The asset management subsidiary of the £38bn (€45bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme has named JP Morgan veteran Clive Brown as a non-executive director. Brown was previously chief executive of JP Morgan’s Asian and European asset management businesses and has worked at PwC and Jardine Fleming.SPF – Doreth van den Heuvel has taken over as chair of the €2.5bn occupational pension fund for physiotherapists from Bert van Kuijck. Van den Heuvel has been a member of the scheme’s participants council since 2009 and a board member at SPF since 2012. She has been appointed as board member of the Pensions Federation as of 1 January. Van Kuijck has chaired SPF for 34 years.last_img read more

Aviva’s Waygood calls for international panel on climate finance

first_imgHe mentioned the names of others that had helped shape the idea of the need to create such a panel at the UN climate change conference in Glasgow later this year.Earlier Waygood had said that although demand for ESG had shot up “it’s nowhere near enough”, and that currently the capital markets were “not structured for sustainability”.“I think the world’s biggest market failure is that markets as they remain structured will not deliver the Paris Agreement,” he said.Waygood is also an influential figure in responsible investment. In addition to his position at Aviva he is, among other roles, a member of the Financial Stability Board Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosure and chairs the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and the World Benchmarking Alliance. Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, has called for the creation of an international panel on climate finance at the upcoming United Nations climate change summit (COP26) to improve negotiators’ understanding of the capital markets and the real economy.Opening a Principles for Responsible Investment forum in London last week, Waygood said negotiators were currently “blindsided on capital markets and have no real understanding of how the real economy is working”.He hinted that the idea was to create a climate finance version of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying the latter had done much over the last few decades “to make sure that science at least is better understood”.“We need to create at COP26 an international panel on climate finance that makes sure that negotiators at every COP thereafter understand the huge delta that exists between the existing market environment and the vision of the Paris Agreement,” he said.last_img read more

Young couple show doubters how a good home reno is done

first_imgThe bathroom after the renovation.The last piece of the puzzle was replacing the rotting back deck with a brand new, bigger one.“It was pretty bad,” Miss Lynch said.“The agent said; ‘I’m going to open the door, but don’t walk on (the deck) because it’s not structurally safe.”The end result is a three-bedroom house on a 506 sqm block with modern touches, a cool grey and white colour palette, and restored original features such as casement windows and intricate cornicing. The kitchen at the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, before and after the renovation. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoThe bathroom at the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, before and after the renovation. The kitchen after the renovation.Miss Lynch said friends who had initially doubted them were now impressed with their project.“We’re really proud of ourselves and what we’ve done,” she said.“We’ve got that beautiful home in a beautiful suburb — and we’ve done it on two average wages.” The back deck on the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, before and after the renovation. The living room before and after the renovation. The back of the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, before and after the renovation.The couple then set about painting the interior and exterior of the house and repairing, sealing and painting the roof, which was in poor condition.They knocked down three walls to reconfigure the inside slightly, turning the dining room into a third bedroom and making the kitchen and living area open plan.Most of the timber floorboards also had to be replaced. The kitchen before the renovation. The new deck after the renovation.They started with the two most challenging rooms first — the kitchen and bathroom — and lived in the house through the entire renovation. “When we first moved in, it was like ‘glamping’,” Miss Lynch said.“We didn’t have a bathroom for two weeks, which was manageable.“We showered at work and the gym. It was a good incentive to get off our butts and go to the gym!“We literally had a microwave oven and fridge and that was our kitchen.” The front of the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, before and after the renovation.center_img The front of the house after the renovation.Miss Lynch said the hardest part was sticking to their budget.“You can go crazy and want everything, but it was about trying to understand what we needed and knowing the costs upfront,” Miss Lynch said.“We don’t have built-in wardrobes, but that wasn’t the biggest priority for us.“The priority was bigger rooms and more space.” The young couple bought the house at 10 Burn St, Camp Hill, in 2017 and set about renovating it straight away. The front of the house before the renovation. Eyesore or renovation makeover? The bathroom before the renovation. The living room after the renovation.The property is being marketed by Michael Bacon and Simon Caulfield of Place – Kangaroo Point and is scheduled for auction on June 5. RENO FACT CHECKTime taken: 12 monthsTotal spend: $120,000 The original back deck was so rotten, it was structurally unsafe. Erin Lynch and Patrick Fortuna in their renovated home in Camp Hill. Image: John Gass/AAP.ERIN Lynch and Patrick Fortuna had to “beg, borrow and steal” to buy their first home together — and that was before the real work began.Two weeks without a bathroom, three months of living on Youfoodz and Lite n’ Easy, and sacrificing every weekend for a year as they restored their humble abode to its former glory.“People would say; ‘why would you do that?’, but this is what you have to do to own a house,” Miss Lynch said. “This is the smashed avo everyone talks about.” RELATED: Drab to fab apartment renovationlast_img read more

Ethiopia: Plans underway to build on other rivers other than the…

first_img“We want to take advantage of all our water resources,” he said.According to Mikasa, there are no conflicts with Kenya over the Gibe Dam. “We took into consideration the social and economic interests of the downstream countries,” he explained.With regards to the Renaissance Dam, Mikasa said at a press conference held after the ninth round of negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Cairo, that the dam will be beneficial to the three countries.“Negotiations on the technical presentation of the two consulting firms are in accordance with the recommendations of the International Technical Committee and the Principles Agreement signed by the leaders of the three countries in Khartoum,” he said.“And we have proposals to resolve the differences between the firms because we do not want to harm any party.”Mikasa confirmed, however, that Ethiopia will not stop the building of the dam, although it will commit to the results of the studies conducted by the firms.The minister said he expects the negotiations, which he called difficult, to result in an agreement. He also said that Ethiopia is willing to form a tripartite entity to manage joint water projects.He said the Renaissance Dam will generate environment-friendly hydropower, or green energy, so as to adapt to climate change and its ramifications on rainfall and drought.He also pointed out that there was 50 percent less Nile water this year due to climate change, which threatens Ethiopia with drought and famine. Ethiopian Minister of Energy and Water, Mutuma Mikasa, has announced that his government is planning to build new dams on rivers other than the Nile, where it is currently building the Renaissance Dam. He pointed to the Gibe dam, which has already begun construction along the Kenyan border.last_img read more