Dialogue and Civil Discourse program to host conversation on mask-wearing, personal liberty

first_imgThe Dialogue and Civil Discourse program at Saint Mary’s will be hosting “Beyond the Mask Debates” this Wednesday on the O’Laughlin Patio at 6 p.m. The event will discuss the balance between public health and personal liberty surrounding wearing a mask.The Dialogue and Civil Discourse program was introduced to the Saint Mary’s community in 2017. Professor Zwart, associate professor and chair of the department of philosophy, and a few of her students formed the idea of a program that would focus on helping students have productive conversations about controversial issues with family and friends after seeing the results of the 2016 presidential election on relationships.After receiving a grant from Campus Compact in 2017, the course PHIL 291: Dialogue and Civil Discourse began. This one-credit course meets once a week and focuses on helping students develop skills to engage in conversations with others who have different views on social and political issues, such as abortion, the Second Amendment, kneeling for the anthem and racial justice, Zwart said.“I’ve had students tell me that they have learned skills that help them have productive conversations with family members for the first time in months, or that help them get through Thanksgiving dinner without tension,” Zwart said.The program has six student leaders involved in all aspects of the project. Junior Vanessa Hawkins is a leader in the project, and as expressed in her biography on the project’s GoogleSite, she said she understands the difficulty in expressing one’s beliefs and listening to others’ viewpoints on controversial topics.“I think the Dialogue and Civil Discourse project will have a large impact on the Saint Mary’s campus because we can promote and educate others about useful skills when engaging in difficult conversations,” Hawkins said.The event Wednesday on the topic of mask-wearing will be facilitated by Hawkins and senior Mia Marroquin, Zwart said.(Editor’s Note: Marroquin is the Saint Mary’s News Editor for The Observer.)“I have found that by vocalizing my beliefs about mask-wearing I can listen for my own inconsistencies,” Hawkins said. “My hope for this discussion is that others begin to recognize inconsistencies in their beliefs and behaviors related to mask-wearing.”It is expected that students will have differing opinions on the topic, Zwart said, but that is what makes the conversations interesting.“We’ll try to avoid the binary debate of ‘mask’ or ‘no mask’ and think critically about when the public good justifies some sacrifices of personal freedoms,” Zwart said.Students are not expected to do anything in particular to prepare for the event. The program will provide some context about mask-wearing debates and make connections between mask-wearing, public health and personal liberty.The project’s first event Sept. 22 was open to first-year students and was centered around building a strong community from the start.The group was small — only 7 students plus Zwart and two student leaders — but Zwart said the conversation was very thoughtful.“I appreciated the student leaders’ willingness to share their own experiences, including what they wish they had known as first-year students, and what they have learned since about productive dialogue, listening and engaging on social media,” she said.In years to come, Zwart said she hopes to see the program become more popular around campus. It has already grown since the one-credit class started in 2017, with a student leadership program and first-year workshops during orientation and the first year common course, SPLL 101.The project collects anonymous data from students who voluntarily fill out surveys throughout their involvement. The project is still collecting enough data to see if any evidence of larger change is reflected from students, but Zwart said she has already seen changes within different individuals.Soon, the program will reach faculty and staff through other programming.“I would love for this program, especially through the work of the student leaders, to set a tone on campus that we can be curious about others’ views, while still being passionate in our own convictions,” Zwart said.Tags: campus compact, Dialogue and Civil Discourse Program, mask wearing, personal libertylast_img read more

Eck Institute members host webinar to combat COVID-19 myths, misinformation

first_imgThe webinar series will be conversational in tone while also drawing upon the expertise of over 15 specialists in immunology, public health and public policy.“I think that we have a science literacy problem all over the world but [also] in the United States,” McDowell said. “And you know, I would say that’s really a fault of the scientists, in some ways, because we haven’t done a good job of communicating our work and making it accessible.”The two co-hosts want their series to be as accessible and conversational as possible to students and community members. They hope this approach can alleviate fears and increase cooperation with community guidelines set by teams of public health experts. McDowell also encouraged students to contact [email protected] with any questions or myths they want the series to address.Monday night, Consider This! went live for the first time. The two co-hosts began by discussing the current virus statistics in St. Joseph County. They continued on to a segment titled “Rumor Has It,” in which they confronted “herd immunity parties” on college campuses and the dangers they pose to young adults.The episode concluded with a conversation with University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. Miranda has a background in the field of children’s environmental health and, while provost, teaches in the applied and computational mathematics and statistics department at Notre Dame.The inaugural episode emphasized one thing: COVID-19 is still around and something that communities will have to learn to live with. Next week, Beidinger-Burnett and McDowell will talk with Brian Baker, department head in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, and Jeffery Schorey, a professor in the department of biological sciences.Registration for the webinars can be found under the Eck Institute for Global Health’s website.Tags: Consider This!, COVID-19, Eck Institute for Global Health, misinformation Heidi Beidinger-Burnett and Mary Ann McDowell, both of the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global health, are taking on misinformation and misunderstanding of the coronavirus pandemic with their new webinar series called “Consider This! Simplifying the COVID-19 Conversation.”Beidinger-Burnett serves as the director of the Eck Institute for Global Health and president of the St. Joseph County Board of Health. McDowell, an associate professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is an expert in infectious disease and immunology. Through their combined backgrounds, the two doctors said they hope to increase the scientific literacy of the Notre Dame community regarding the virus and public health policies.“We were finding misconceptions or myths about the science and public health of COVID-19,” Beidinger-Burnett said. “The idea for us is to simplify the conversation for people to be more comfortable with the terminology and to be more in control of the information.”Consider This! aims to cut through the growing distrust in the media and correct the common myths of the virus so that the Notre Dame and St. Joseph County communities can better protect themselves.McDowell said the myths that concern her the most are the beliefs that herd immunity should be embraced, that the coronavirus pandemic is over and that a widely available vaccine will arrive prior to election day or early next year.“We have a president who was saying, ‘We don’t need a mask, oh, it’s not masculine, I don’t need it.’ Remember, he made fun of Joe Biden,” Beidinger-Burnett said in an interview. “Well, Joe Biden was adhering to what CDC and all the others were telling us that we needed to be doing to safeguard ourselves. So that void in leadership has significantly contributed to the myths and the rumors that have been spread about this, and the distrust in the science.” The interview with Beidingerr-Burnett and McDowell was conducted after the news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s​ and ​University President John Jenkins’ diagnoses with COVID-19 had gone public.last_img read more

Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Alliance Names New Director

first_imgSubmitted imageCHAUTAUQUA LAKE — The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance has named Randall Perry as its new Executive Director.Effective Nov. 1, Perry will succeed Vince Horrigan, who has served as the organization’s Interim Executive Director since September 2019.Perry has worked for the Alliance since 2016 as its Project Manager, working on a variety of lake and watershed projects in partnership with Alliance Members from project development through funding and completion.Prior to joining the Alliance, he served as an Adjunct Instructor at the State University of New York at Fredonia teaching Geoscience and Environmental Science courses with a focus on water resources, geochemistry, surficial processes, and environmental assessment. Before that, he worked as a geological consultant specializing in environmental and water resource projects. Perry is a native of Maine and earned his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of Maine with a focus on environmental geochemistry.During his tenure with the Alliance, Horrigan worked closely with the Alliance Board of Directors and staff to evaluate the roles the Alliance serves, assess capacity and focus areas, and plan for the future, including identifying a new permanent Executive Director.At the same time, Horrigan and his staff continued to manage and administer the Alliance’s existing programs and projects – including securing over $600,000 in lake and watershed project funding for its Members in 2020. Under Horrigan, the Alliance also helped launch several new scientific and technical initiatives aimed at increasing unity of effort and operational efficiency for lake management and continuing to improve the understanding of lake and watershed dynamics and their effects on cyanobacteria and Harmful Algal Blooms on Chautauqua Lake.Perry has worked for the Alliance since 2016 as its Project Manager, working on a variety of lake and watershed projects in partnership with Alliance Members from project development through funding and completion. Prior to joining the Alliance, he served as an Adjunct Instructor at the State University of New York at Fredonia teaching Geoscience and Environmental Science courses with a focus on water resources, geochemistry, surficial processes, and environmental assessment. Before that, he worked as a geological consultant specializing in environmental and water resource projects.Perry is a native of Maine and earned his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of Maine with a focus on environmental geochemistry.“I want to recognize Vince for the amazing work that he has done and continues to do as the Interim Executive Director. We are all deeply indebted to him for his service,” said Pierre Chagnon, Chairman of the Alliance Board of Directors. “Randall has demonstrated impressive skills coordinating Members, engineers, and contractors in managing many successful Alliance projects. He has also developed solid skills in grant writing, grant administration, and funding management in the various platforms involved. He has been an incredible rock solid foundation for the Alliance through our extended period with an interim executive director.’ 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

After Summer Like Warmth Friday, Weekend Will Be Much Cooler

first_imgTonight, partly cloudy with lows around 30.High pressure will provide for a mainly sunny Sunday, although still cool with highs in the lower-50’s.A warm front will bring a return for rain late Sunday night into the day on Monday. Monday will again be mostly cloudy with showers likely. Highs in the low-50’s.Another cold front passing by Monday in Tuesday may bring a few wet snowflakes to the area early Tuesday morning, while some models keep it as just rain. Otherwise mostly cloudy skies on Tuesday with highs in the upper-40’s.The rest of the week looks dry, although the cooler weather looks to stick around with highs the remainder of the week in the lower-50’s.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.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) JAMESTOWN – Yesterday was unseasonably warm with highs in the upper-70’s, a cold front moved through last night that is ushering in cooler weather for the weekend.For Today, a few early morning showers or a thunderstorm are possible, otherwise the day will be rather cloudy. Highs in the upper-40’s.last_img read more

Les Miz’s Ramin Karimloo Cheers on His Faking It Pal Gregg Sulkin

first_img Star Files Les Miserables View Comments What does Les Miserables headliner Ramin Karimloo have in common with the mega-addicting TV series Pretty Little Liars? No, he’s not appearing on an upcoming episode (we wish!). He’s buddies with PLL fave Gregg Sulkin, who was in New York City promoting his new MTV show Faking It on April 22. Before his performance in Les Miz, the new Broadway.com video blogger popped over to Buca Di Beppo in Times Square for a reunion. Who knows, maybe Karimloo will convince the Wizards of Waverly Place and As the Bell Rings star to come to Broadway! Check out this Hot Shot of the duo hanging out, then catch Karimloo in the flesh in Les Miz at the Imperial Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 Related Shows Ramin Karimloolast_img read more

Update on Derek Hough’s Injury & Spring Spectacular Schedule

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 7, 2016 New York Spring Spectacular Derek Hough, whose role of Jack was played by understudy Taylor Frey on April 22, has had to withdraw from more performances of New York Spring Spectacular. As previously reported, the five-time Dancing with the Stars winner sustained an injury during rehearsals for the TV show’s 10th Anniversary special.A spokesperson for Hough said in a statement: “He has been diagnosed with a broken toe on his right foot and sprains to his left ankle on both the inside and outside aspects and a bone bruise on the same ankle. Derek will remain in Los Angeles this week to rehab his injuries and his understudy will be filling in for him for New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in New York.”Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner as co-creative directors, the show is penned by Joshua Harmon. The new production featuring the iconic dance troupe is a whirlwind adventure across the Big Apple that tells an inspiring and hopeful story about three New Yorkers who change each other’s lives in unexpectedly wonderful ways. Spring Spectacular contains 3D special effects, large-scale puppetry and a soundtrack of original songs, classics and pop hits.Spring Spectacular also stars Tony winner Laura Benanti and recently extended through May 7 at Radio City Music Hall. View Comments Related Showslast_img read more

Jonathan Groff Discusses Bringing the ‘Naughty’ to Hamilton

first_img Jonathan Groff Jonathan Groff has reclaimed the crown from Andrew Rannells at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, giving King George a Beatlemania makeover in Hamilton. The Tony nominee recently sat down with Charlie Rose to talk about the Broadway megahit, saying “I have not gotten sick of it. I’ve done it over 100 times…It’s like a drug coming out there every night.” Because of his relatively little (though memorable) stage time, Groff confessed to sneaking into the house during the off-Broadway run at the Public Theater: “I couldn’t not watch. I couldn’t not leave the stage and watch the show. It had this explosive energy.” And what, according to Groffsauce, makes the show so wonderful? “It is so naughty!” Hmm, naughtier than dick socks and anal covers? Hamilton Related Shows Star Files from $149.00 View Commentslast_img read more

Holiday Inn Will Release a Cast Recording

first_imgCorbin Bleu, Lora Lee Gayer & Bryce Pinkham in ‘Holiday Inn'(Photo: Joan Marcus) View Comments Star Files Related Shows Lora Lee Gayer Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musicalcenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 15, 2017 Corbin Bleu This album will be easy to dance to! Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical will release a cast recording. Featuring the vocals of stars Corbin Bleu, Lora Lee Gayer and Bryce Pinkham, the Ghostlight Records album will be available on a spring 2017 date to be announced.Based off of the Oscar-winning 1942 film that starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, the Gordon Greenberg-helmed tuner is scheduled to run at Studio 54 through January 15.Pinkham takes on Crosby’s role as Jim, who, upon leaving the bright lights of show business behind to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut, quickly discovers life isn’t the same without a bit of song and dance. His luck takes a spectacular turn when he meets Linda (Gayer); together, they turn the farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Christmas to the Fourth of July. Bleu follows in Astaire’s fancy footsteps as Ted, Jim’s best friend who tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood.In addition to Bleu, Gayer and Pinkham, the cast features Megan Lawrence, Megan Sikora and Danny Rutigliano. Bryce Pinkhamlast_img read more

Six More Plants

first_img Hosta sieboldiana ‘Patriot’ Hostas are great for shaded areas with moist, rich soils. However, certain varieties need some sun to get proper foliage color. Plant them 24 to 36 inches apart, depending on the variety. One word of warning — deer love this plant more than life itself. It’s a slow starter. But once it comes up, stand back. Physostegia virginiana ‘Vivid’ I’ve had this plant in my garden since 1990, and I’ve yet to become tired of it. Every spring it sends up fresh blue-grey-green shoots, followed shortly by scads of pink blossoms. It survives our summer heat and looks spectacular in the fall. Bath’s Pink is a sandy-soil, high-drainage plant. Don’t fertilize it heavily or water it often. In summer, be sure to pull debris and cut off any dead flowers or stems to reduce chances of disease. It’s so easy to propagate it’s almost embarrassing. You can simply pull 4-inch tufts away from the mother plant and bury half the length of the stems in garden soil. Kept moist and slightly covered by pine straw, the tufts root quickly and take off. I prefer to propagate them in early fall, or late spring, several weeks after the blooms are gone. Gaura lindheimerii (Swirling Butterflies) Lantana camera ‘Miss Huff’ Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Bath’s Pink’ You know you have the real Miss Huff when you see a fast-growing, huge lantana, profuse blooming with extreme tolerance to heat and drought — and no black seeds. This cultivar is sterile. It’s also deer-resistant. Miss Huff regularly gets to be a 5-foot mound with thousands of flowers in Georgia. Once it starts blooming, it attracts butterflies like a magnet. The flowers are bright yellow with orange, usually two or four per stem. It needs no pinching, except to control growth. It grows exclusively in full sun — the warmer, drier and sandier the soil, the better. It’s perennial through Zone 6 if you take three steps. Don’t cut the frost-killed stems back. Pile up leaves within the mound of branches once they’ve dried off. Don’t remove the leaves until May. Don’t expect new shoots until late May or early June. The first perennial in the Thomas garden was “Ryan’s Daisy.” I’ve added many mums since then. None compares to the original. Ryan’s daisy was discovered by Ryan Gainey, a well-versed garden designer with an incredibly fine sense of color coordination. This specimen has spellbinding pink flowers laced with a pale yellow eye. It has been used here in Georgia as the mid-planting between Helianthus angustifolius and deep purple, sun-lover coleus cultivars, patched with Salvia leucantha. The yellow, pink, crimson and purple combination is stunning in September, and it goes on into November in south Georgia. Pink is a rare color in fall gardens, and by itself this plant is a must. It forms wonderful 2- to 3-foot-high mounds. And it’s solid color by September. Pinching in June helps produce a bushy plant. But it doesn’t flop-out like other mums. Water and fertilize it often to get fast growth. “Obedient plant” flowers in mid- to late summer, with white cultivars flowering earlier than pink ones. Tubular flowers, arranged in rows on the spike, remain in place when pushed aside — hence the name. It’s easy to grow in most of Georgia and prefers moist soil. Plants grow 18 to 30 inches tall. Put them 15 to 18 inches apart in full sun. In southern Georgia, they may benefit from late-afternoon shade. I just love the cultivar called “Vivid.” It has bright pink flowers. It’s shorter, less aggressive and flowers much more abundantly than the others. I must tell you, this plant is anything but obedient. It grows more like a Sherman tank. Physostegia is good for large areas you want to cover with a tall, low-maintenance plant. One plant can fill in 3 square feet in one year. For a spot of sunshine where nothing else will grow, here’s a beautiful solution. This is a relatively new plant to Georgia gardens. A sun-loving perennial, it sends up tall, thin branches with hundreds of pure-white flowers. This heat- and drought-tolerant plant gets 3 to 4 feet in diameter within two years. It’s a great plant for hot, sunny places. It will rebloom all summer if you cut the old flower stems less than halfway back. Cutting the flower stems close to the main stem caused most of my gauras to die from disease. Once I stopped cutting so far back, my garden was aglow with gauras. A new cultivar on the market called Siskyiou Pink has pink flowers that cascade rather than stand tall. It looks fantastic in large containers and as a highlight to a perennial border. Be sure to plant this wonderful genus in fall or within the next few weeks. Gaura does best when it has time to get its roots established. Here are six more of my favorite garden perennials. These plants have all passed through the University of Georgia evaluation program. They’re essential plants for any garden. I chose them for their vigorous growth, garden center appeal and unusually good landscape performance over a range of soils. You may have to search for the cultivars, but they’re all in the market in Georgia. Chrysanthemum coreanum ‘Ryan’s Daisy’ Hostas are the No. 1 perennial in the country. And they should be. You can’t kill them, they look great and they’re real easy to propagate. Hundreds of cultivars cover a range of colors, shapes and sizes. Leaves may be smooth, ribbed, seersuckered, flat, wavy or twisted. Colors include light green, dark green, gray or bluish-green. As a bonus, it has lily-like flowers on stalks above the 1- to 3-foot foliage during the summer. There is a hosta for everyone. My pick? “Patriot” is the finest cultivar I’ve ever grown. Clean, bright, white borders on dark green leaves make a stunning garden display. It’s worth looking for.last_img read more

Valued Veggies.

first_img Some crops store well in a cool, dry place, such as a basement. These include potatoes, onions, winter squash, watermelons, pumpkins, dry beans and cushaw pumpkins (sometimes called crookneck squash). Some Require Refrigeration When you’re growing a vegetable to display in a fair or other special occasion, timing the crop for proper maturity is critical, says a University of Georgia expert. “Many vegetable crops don’t last long in the display, especially in hot weather,” says Wayne McLaurin, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. For crops that will mature ahead of time, McLaurin says, pick them slightly immature. And put them in good storage until a day or two before the show. Then take them out to let them ripen.center_img The rest require some refrigeration and/or moisture to keep them in good condition. Right after harvest, clean these and refrigerate them. Those with a naturally waxy or corky skin, McLaurin says, may be refrigerated dry. These include tomato, pepper, cucumber and cantaloupe. Store many root crops and leafy vegetables, he says, in loose plastic bags. Or sprinkle them daily with fresh water and keep them in the refrigerator vegetable crisper. Such crops would include green beans, carrots, beets, sweet corn, cabbage or other leafy vegetables.last_img read more