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Appeal rulings may lead to clarifications

first_imgNASCAR President Mike Helton: “If there’s a way for us to be more precise… the sport benefits from that” READ: Latest on Kenseth penalties WATCH: Big wreck at ‘Dega DARLINGTON, S.C. – Decisions in recent appeals may prompt NASCAR to clarify language in its rule book, in order to provide competitors with a better understanding of regulations.“I don’t know that we know exactly what the appeal members were thinking,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday at Darlington Raceway. “But from the experience, if there’s a way for us to be more precise in changing wording or adding wording to a rule so that the clarity of what we feel like our responsibility is [can be] translated to the member, and is obvious to anybody on the outside looking at it, I think that’s where we benefit, and I think the sport benefits from that.” Helton’s comments come after two recent penalties were amended by the sport’s appeals process. On Wednesday, three members of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel overturned some of the harshest penalties levied against Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team for a connecting rod in Matt Kenseth’s winning Kansas engine that was found to be too light in post-race inspection. Last week, Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook slashed suspensions to seven Penske Racing crewmen for rear-end housing violations discovered at Texas.In the Penske case, the seven team members involved. Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon — crew chiefs for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, respectively — had their suspensions cut from six points races to two, although Middlebrook left intact 25-point deductions to the drivers. After losing his initial appeal, Roger Penske said his team was working in undefined areas of the rule book.NASCAR may now work to provide those areas with more definition. “We do learn from the appeal process as to how we may be able to write or be more clear so that you can show a third party why we reacted the way we reacted. It’s part of our process. The appeal process has been a part of our sport just like the officiating and regulating has been ever since its existence,” Helton said.“I think there is evidence of NASCAR, particularly in the last decade or so, to try to be more clear with things, and every experience we go through gives us the ability to understand what ‘more clear’ means.”The Gibbs penalty involved a connecting rod supplied by a vendor, and placed in an engine made by Toyota Racing Development. The appeals board cut a points penalty to Kenseth from 50 to 12 points, reinstated Gibbs’ owners’ license, restored Kenseth’s victory toward Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualification, and reduced a suspension to crew chief Jason Ratcliff from six points races to one — Saturday night at Darlington.Helton said NASCAR would react the same way in the same circumstance. “Across the board, we put a lot of thought into our reaction to start with, and every time something like this occurs, we put a lot of thought into it,” he said. “The circumstances of each element are so different, it’s due that respect. But when we do make a decision, it’s well thought-out, and we’ll stick by our decisions, also understanding the due process has the ability to change it.”That rigid stance especially applies to engines, an area in which NASCAR has always taken a hard line, and engines are an element officials cannot inspect until after the race weekend is complete.“I think all of motorsports, from go-karts to the weekly tracks to the grass-roots level to all the national series that exist, engines are understood to be in that holy grail bucket, and we need to make sure we maintain the responsibility around the engine to be shared by the competitors,” Helton said. “Because it’s not realistic for us to take a motor down in advance of an event, like it is with parts and pieces … that are visible to us. The motor is something we cannot take apart until after our event is over with. So the entire industry has historically, and will continue, to share the responsibility in that engine being correct.”Helton added that he did not think the recent appeals decisions undermine NASCAR’s authority over the garage area.“I think the members that are involved in the sport — the team owners, the suppliers, the (manufacturers) and everything — understand our responsibility and how seriously we take it,” he said. “I don’t think this in anyway undermines what we do. In most cases, the process doesn’t come back with anything that really changes our mind much. We do our job and the due process exists for the members to have an opportunity for others to listen to it, and the decisions are made that way.”READ MORE: ___________________________________________________________________________________________Comments are currently unavailable. We’re working on the development of a NASCAR fan forum – please stay tuned. READ: Get more Sprint Cup headlines “I think the members that are involved in the sport — the team owners, the suppliers, the manufacturers and everything — understand our responsibility and how seriously we take it.”—NASCAR President Mike Helton WATCH: Victory Lane: David Raganlast_img read more

Finding the light

first_imgStanding on the roof of the Center for the Study of World Religions (built in 1960), you can see Jewett House (1913), Andover Hall (1911), and now, solar panels (2014).The juxtaposition highlights the Center’s and Harvard Divinity School’s commitment to sustainability and embracing a very modern technology on a campus steeped in history.“We, of all places at the University, should be doing this,” said Charles Anderson, assistant director for administration and finance at the CSWR. “The center’s vocabulary has included ‘ecology’ since the 1990s, long before its sibling, sustainability, became part of the modern lexicon. The Center’s commitment to sustainability is evident through the publication of its renowned Religions of the World and Ecology series and current junior fellowship studying nature and the environment. The solar project accentuates the Center’s core interests in the interrelationship of people and the environment.”The 70 solar panels, capable of producing enough energy to cover 25 percent of the Center’s current electricity needs, were installed beginning the week of October 13 and are expected to come online around the end of the month. The array is the first renewable energy installation on the Harvard Divinity School campus. In total, Harvard has over 1 megawatt of installed solar capacity on its campus including additional installations at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Athletics, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Forest. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Malala Yousafzai to receive Gleitsman Award

first_imgThe Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School has named Malala Yousafzai — the 2014 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and an inspiration across the world — as this year’s recipient of the Gleitsman Award. The award honors Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund, for her courageous leadership of a global movement to equip girls with 12 years of free, quality, and safe education.“Malala speaks powerfully to the strength and perseverance of women and girls who are oppressed,” said David Gergen, professor of public service at Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Center for Public Leadership. “Her remarkable story has inspired girls — and boys as well — to follow in her footsteps and has activated a generation of practitioners and legislators who are fighting for equality in their own communities.“Alan Gleitsman, whose philanthropy made this award possible, believed in individuals whose vision inspired others to confront injustice,” Gergen continued. “He was an ardent supporter of Harvard Kennedy School’s efforts to cultivate the world’s youngest changemakers and would be so pleased by today’s announcement.”The award and $125,000 prize are given annually by the Center for Public Leadership to an individual or team whose leadership in social action has improved quality of life in the United States and around the world. The award will be presented to Yousafzai at a public ceremony at Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. The ceremony will include a conversation with Yousafzai moderated by Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy Samantha Power.Yousafzai’s crusade for girls’ education began at the age of 11, when she blogged anonymously for the BBC about her experience growing up in Taliban-controlled Pakistan. Four years later, firmly established as a public figure in the fight for fair education, she was targeted for assassination by the Taliban. Following the assassination attempt, Yousafzai spent months recovering in the U.K., garnering international support from human rights organizations and governments around the world.Less than a year after the attempt on her life, Yousafzai was inspired to launch the Malala Fund with her father. At 17, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ensure that girls who are out of school are given the opportunity to receive a safe, free education. Yousafzai’s current efforts focus on the global refugee crisis, particularly the plight of migrant girls in the Middle East. Her forthcoming book is titled “We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

‘Spaces beyond words’

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Luke Martinez was in Berlin when DJ Saskia was born.By day, Martinez was working as an intern at the famous COLORS studio, a music platform with artists from around the globe, while at night, a proto-Saskia was exploring the city’s pulsating club scene, when the idea came for a house and techno music loving character.And so an alter ego was born of Martinez’s experience in the German capital.“It was so life-changing for me,” Martinez said. “I went there and I discovered so much about myself. I discovered my femininity [and] I discovered so much more about my queerness.”Saskia is a disc jockey, a producer, a performer, and, perhaps above all, the embodiment of the energetic, safe, and open environment of Berlin’s club scene, particularly among its queer and transgender communities.Wanting to share that with the bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, and questioning student community (BGLTQ) at Harvard, Martinez — along with fellow organizer and roommate Casey Goggin ’19 — created a fantasy world around Saskia. Almost like a Greek mythology origin story, except Saskia’s was centered on themed campus dance parties.“Falling into fantasy is kind of where I feel safest, because of my identity and because of people out in the world who don’t like what I look like [or dress like],” Martinez said. “A fantasy that I can create, a world that I control, always feels safer to me.”The parties, five in two years, were not only Martinez’s way of sharing that feeling with others, but also thumping hits, drawing big crowds and providing the type of space Martinez, Goggin, and other team members envisioned.It also brought people together around a core element in Martinez’s life: music.“I’ve always been obsessed with the spaces beyond words and the ways that art can help access that,” Martinez said. “Every time I play music or listen to good music, it’s a full-body experience.”Music is a longtime passion for Martinez, who even before arriving at Harvard from San Antonio had released a six-song EP. Setting out to explore the scene here, Martinez played bass in a band for the first-year talent show and worked at the student-operated radio station, WHRB (95.3 FM), and as an audio engineer at the student-operated Cambridge Queen’s Head pub.By the end of sophomore year, Martinez was managing the Recording Studio at the Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH), guiding students through producing and recording their own music by training them on the equipment and even mixing some of their tracks. Helping them hone their sound has been fulfilling, Martinez said.“One of my favorite things about being around other artists is seeing what they make when given the freedom to do so,” Martinez said. “The Recording Studio has allowed me to encourage people to take their own path and realize that art is their own journey to self-actualization.”Last year, Martinez, a music concentrator, released a six-song EP titled “Communion.” More recently, Martinez submitted a pop album as part of a creative thesis on the intersection between pop music and affect theory. In the thesis Martinez explores how pop music is used to mold people’s interests and is molded by people’s interests.,It was the Department of Music’s first pop music creative thesis.“Luke’s thesis pioneered a whole new hybrid format, bringing together composition, sound design, and collaborative performance,” said Mary MacKinnon, the department’s undergraduate and events coordinator.Coming soon from Martinez is “Saccharine,” an album inspired by the thesis and the concert organized as part of it.Martinez’s postgraduate plans are to move to Chicago and keep exploring a career making music.Reflecting on the space Saskia’s parties helped create for the school’s BGLTQ community, Martinez hopes the party keeps going at Harvard.“I hope there are people afterwards who continue to organize and who continue to create space,” Martinez said. “I hope that people can find and are encouraged to create their own communities here. Because that’s what Saskia’s was for me. I built my own universe to live in. And I invited other people to live there with me.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Brazilian band visits campus

first_img40 members of the Brazilian youth band Meninos do Morumbi arrived on campus Tuesday to visit the University and perform during the halftime show on Saturday at the Notre Dame-Stanford football game. In English, Meninos do Morumbi means “Kids of Morumbi,” the neighborhood in São Paulo, Brazil, where the band is based. The students will remain on campus until Sunday and are lodging at the Sacred Heart Parish Center. According to the Notre Dame Band website, in 2011, 66 members of the Notre Dame band toured Brazil and performed for Meninos do Morumbi in São Paulo, the country’s largest city and Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands, said he enjoyed the visit to Brazil. “They were very gracious hosts and shared their exciting music with our band,” Dye said. The band later invited the youth band to Notre Dame to perform and experience campus life. Dye is looking forward to the interaction between the Notre Dame Band members and the young performers from Brazil. According to their website, Meninos do Morumbi is a social project that gives youth an alternative to delinquency, violence and drugs through music. “We attend around 2,000 children and young from 22 slums of São Paulo,” Ana Paula Costa, the band’s spokeswoman,said. According to Costa, Meninos do Morumbi has had 14,000 youth participants thus far. Musician and current director Flávio Pimenta founded the band in 1996. “I originally invited children from the slums and poor communities found begging on the streets of my neighborhood to teach music in my studio in my house,” Pimenta said. “The idea was not and is not charity.” According to Pimenta, the band has greatly impacted the students’ lives. “Not only the music, but the experience of good values. We are a place for good values,” Pimenta said. According to a press release, the group provides an escape from situations of personal and social risk through many expressions. “We offer them a range of activities in the areas of culture, music, arts, education and sports,” Costa said. The band has performed for former U.S. President George W. Bush as well as singer Madonna, according to Costa. They have also performed in the United Kingdom and France. The band’s style of music interprets songs of Brazilian and African folklore. According to Costa, the youth play music from Brazilian genres including jongo, maracatu, funk and samba. Sandra Teixeira, a Notre Dame Portuguese professor originally from Brazil, is excited for the band’s visit. “The Portuguese and Brazilian studies program is very excited about this incredible opportunity,” Teixeira said. “The visit will share an important aspect of Brazilian culture, as well as our love for music and dance, with the entire Notre Dame community.” Meninos do Morumbi will participate in many events throughout Notre Dame’s campus. The band is holding a performance today and a Brazilian instrument and dance workshop at the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, the Brazil and Portuguese Language Clubs of Notre Dame will host a welcome reception and social hour in the ballroom of Lafortune Student Center from 3:30 to 5 p.m. “Besides having the unique opportunity to watch a vibrant and culturally infused show, students will be able to witness a very successful story of the determination and talent exemplified by these kids and mentors,” Teixeira said.last_img read more

STEM Wars Set For Next Month

first_imgImage by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – An annual event that aims to raise awareness for the need for skilled manufacturing in Chautauqua County take place next month at SUNY JCC.In the past 1,000s of students from area schools participated in the STEM Wars event that features science, technology, engineering and math activities, competitions, local manufacturing technology companies and on-site team building projects.Middle school and high school students are invited to participate each year, and work for weeks in advance to prepare their projects for competition.STEM Wars is co-presented by Dream It Do It Western New York and the New York State Technology and Engineering Educators’ Association. Event officials say there is still room for local manufacturers to participate in the career fair, and room for more schools to sign up. For more information, contact Tim Piazza at [email protected] or (716) 483-1833.The event will take place Thursday, March 12 at SUNY JCC’s physical education complex at 9 a.m. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cloud Peak Backs Away From Self-Bonding Program

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Cloud Peak Energy Inc. reported it will move away from the controversial practice of self-bonding its coal mining reclamation liabilities.Cloud Peak President and CEO Colin Marshall said on an April 28 earnings call that the company is in discussion with surety providers to increase third-party bonding. The company has also submitted applications to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to reduce its self-bonding requirements.Federal mining laws require assurances that mine closure and reclamation costs will be covered. Regulations allow certain qualifying companies in some states to self-bond those obligations by assuring their own obligations based on their financial health.Full article ($): loud Peak moving away from self-bonding citing ‘regulatory uncertainties’ Cloud Peak Backs Away From Self-Bonding Programlast_img read more

Lawyers needed for advocacy councils

first_img March 15, 2005 Regular News Lawyers needed for advocacy councils Lawyers needed for advocacy councils The Florida Local Advocacy Council currently has vacancies on its 37 local councils throughout Florida for the legal professional slots as designated by F.S. §402.164.The positions are by gubernatorial appointment for a term of four years. While the positions are volunteer status, council members are entitled to per diem reimbursement by the state.The attorney members will serve with nonlegal members, including individuals involved in the areas of child and adult abuse, mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other social service areas.Local Advocacy Council members are charged by the Florida Legislature with being an independent, third-party mechanism to monitor, investigate, and advocate on behalf of citizens who receive services from state government and private entities that have governmental contracts.Members of The Florida Bar who are interested in applying should call the Florida Statewide Advocacy Council at (850) 488-6173 or write to William E.C. Marvin, executive director, Statewide Advocacy Council, 4030 Esplanade Way, Room 315-M, Tallahassee 32399.last_img read more

Innovation not stagnation

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Dutch government considers extending pension-fund recovery periods

first_imgKlijnsma, however, said the regulator had concluded that, by extending the recovery period by one year, 24 pension funds would have to implement a 0.4% discount on average for 2m participants, including 190,000 pensioners next year.Under a 12-year improvement term, the necessary discount could be reduced to 0.4% at no more than 17 schemes.In her letter, Klijnsma took pains to emphasise the importance of the social partners, which, she suggested, could affect recovery conditions by adjusting pensions targets or by raising contributions.If, by the end of December, a Dutch pension fund’s coverage ratio has fallen so low it is unlikely to recover within 10 years, it must begin cutting rights immediately.The critical funding level can vary, depending on a scheme’s investment portfolio, but it generally stands at 90-95%.According to Aon Hewitt, on average, pension funds’ coverage stood at 100% last week.The nFTK calls for a minimum funding of 105% .Pension funds with a coverage between the critical level and the required minimum, however, can start implementing cuts later, as long as they are able to improve within the set 10-year period.The Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), in a report that was also submitted to parliament, said longer recovery terms would be particularly beneficial for older workers at pension funds less than 100% funded. Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary at the Dutch Social Affairs Ministry, has confirmed that the government plans to decide early next year whether to extend the 10-year recovery term for the country’s beleaguered pension funds.In a letter to parliament, she said the decision would depend on schemes’ financial position at year-end, which is the criterion for rights cuts, as set out in the new financial assessment framework (nFTK).Klijnsma warned that, based on the regulator’s Q3 funding estimates, 30 pension funds would be forced to discount pension rights – by more than 0.7 percentage points on average – for more than 2.1m participants and pensioners next year.Current recovery rules dictate that pension funds must cut pension rights by a equal percentage annually over the next 10 years, with a view to achieving the required funding level of 125%.last_img read more

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