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In Pictures: Some much needed fun as first snowfall of 2021 hits Laois

first_imgHome We Are Laois In Pictures: Some much needed fun as first snowfall of 2021 hits… We Are Laois By Alan Hartnett – 7th January 2021 With temperatures set to remain very low over the coming days, we could see further snow flurries.While much of it has now melted away, we’re sure some of the creations will hang around for a couple of days at least.Check out all of the pictures below: Twitter Pinterest Previous articleCoronavirus: 10 additional deaths and 6,521 new cases – 82 in Laois – as ASTI instructs teachers not co-operate with 3-day planNext articleDeaths in Laois – Friday, January 8, 2021 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Electric Picnic TAGSSnow Twitter SEE ALSO – Talking Sport Podcast: GAA news, Covid times and local lads on Connacht rugby success Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date WhatsApp In Pictures: Some much needed fun as first snowfall of 2021 hits Laois Facebook Council WhatsApp Facebook Electric Picnic Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival We put the shout out, and as usual, you did not disappoint.While the snow didn’t arrive over Christmas, most of us woke up to a fair dusting over it this morning.The first snowfall of 2021 was predicted by Met Eireann – but it was nonetheless greeted with delight by the majority of people it seems.After the tough times we’ve all endured lately, a bit of snow and the joy that it brings certainly seems like it was needed.With the children off school due to the Covid-19 surge, the snow provided a great distraction for them too.We asked our followers to send us in some of their best pictures and we were inundated with snaps from all over the country.Our Facebook and Instagram message inboxes are jammed but we did our best to pull out as many of your pictures as we could.We had adults, children, snowmen and snowwomen – with plenty of animals too. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Mary Sweeney elected Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District for next 12 monthslast_img read more

Payment protection insurance key point of complaint for U.K. clients

first_img IIROC drops expanded OBSI reporting proposal Keywords Complaints,  United Kingdom James Langton Share this article and your comments with peers on social media When does poor service become a regulatory issue for online brokerages? Related newscenter_img Retail trading surge on regulators’ radar, Vingoe says Financial services firms in the U.K. received more than three million complaints and paid £1.9 billion in consumer redress in the second half of 2016, according to new data the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released on Wednesday. Payment protection insurance (PPI) was the product that drew the most complaints, accounting for almost 900,000, and accounted for £1.6 billion of the redress paid to consumers in the second half of 2016, according to the FCA’s report, which is based on the complaints that firms reported under new complaint-handling rules that took effect in June 2016. The new data on industry complaints are more informative because they provide greater insight into the products that consumers complain about, and they show the number of complaints against size of the business, the FCA’s report states. “Greater transparency of complaints information will enable consumers looking to invest or buy products to be better informed about the products that have caused concern for other consumers,” the report notes. “Consumers want a simple way to complain that does not leave them out of pocket,” says Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition with the FCA, in a statement. “And they want to be assured that their concerns will be dealt with fairly and quickly. These data will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints including new detailed data to show where industry is potentially failing consumers at product level.” Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

IIAC seeking nominations for 2019 Hall of Fame

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IIAC calls for Hall of Fame nominations IE Staff Related news 41791403 - red carpet event with spotlights award ceremonypremiere 123RF A maximum of three living and two posthumous candidates will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. They must have spent most of their careers working in Canada’s investment industry, held leadership or influential roles, made a positive impact for Canadian investors, and/or served as lifelong supporters of (or ambassadors for) the investment industry.Inductees are chosen by members of an independent selection committee comprised of distinguished Canadians who either currently or previously worked in business, politics, law, academia or the investment industry.The inductees will be recognized and celebrated at a gala dinner on Oct. 24 in Toronto.Details on eligibility and selection criteria are available here. Keywords IIAC Hall of FameCompanies Investment Industry Association of Canada The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is in search of nominations for the 2019 class of Investment Industry Hall of Fame inductees.The deadline to submit nominations is May 15 at 5 p.m. ET. Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

Industry seeks clarity on MFDA proposal regarding discretionary trading

first_imgClose up of an executive hands holding a pen and indicating where to sign a contract at office Antonio Guillem/123RF Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Merger of B.C. financial services, real estate regulators nears completion On Wednesday, PMAC submitted its comments on the proposal, seeking clarity on a number of issues, including the amount of discretion MFDA dealers would have in such an arrangement, and what proficiency requirements and standard of care would apply.“We’ve got to keep the standards high,” PMAC president Katie Walmsley told Investment Executive.The MFDA proposal, for example, would require members to either register as restricted portfolio managers to engage in discretionary trading or be granted an exemption. PMAC questioned what that registration would entail, what the proficiency requirements would be and when exemptions would be granted.“From an investor protection point of view, PMAC is concerned about MFDA Members and their Approved Persons not having the same proficiency and regulatory obligations of restricted portfolio managers while still being permitted to manage client assets on a discretionary basis,” PMAC wrote in its submission.PMAC also called for all MFDA members engaged in discretionary trading to be registered either as associate advising representatives (AARs) or advising representatives (ARs).“We respectfully submit that the current proficiency requirements for registration as a dealing representative of an MFDA Member are objectively considerably less stringent than those required for ARs and AARs,” the association said in its submission.In addition, PMAC questioned whether the MFDA intended to impose a fiduciary standard of conduct on members involved in discretionary trading, since the proposal says such members would be subject to the “portfolio manager standard of care in respect of any discretionary trading.”If it is the MFDA’s intention to impose a fiduciary standard, PMAC asked, would that duty apply only when a member was engaging in discretionary trades?“Our view is that when you have a fiduciary duty as a professional, it governs all your actions in working with your clients,” Walmsley said. “It’s hard to just turn it on and shut it off, like a transactional fiduciary duty. We wanted to understand the parameters around that and how that was going to work.”If the proposal were to move forward, it would be essential for a client to understand the nature of their relationship with their advisor, Walmsley said. Questions she would like addressed include, “Is it a discretionary arrangement? Is it a dealer arrangement? Is there some discretion under different circumstances, and does the client understand that? What are the parameters or boundaries that exist within that discretion?” Read PMAC’s submission here.Firms supportive, investors waryComments also came in from MFDA members, including Toronto-based Assante Financial Management Ltd., Winnipeg-based Investors Group Inc., Mississauga, Ont.-based Investment Planning Counsel and London, Ont.-based Quadrus Investment Services Ltd.Member firms supported the proposal, saying that allowing MFDA members to engage in limited discretionary trading would improve the customer experience, reduce the regulatory burden and reduce costs.They also brought up the issue of proficiency standards, as well as the expectations for supervision of discretionary trading.“As MFDA dealers have not had to provide oversight of discretionary asset management, we believe it is important for the MFDA to clearly identify the minimum educational and/or experience proficiency requirements of individuals responsible for supervising this activity,” wrote Sean Etherington, president of Assante Financial Management, in his letter.For its part, the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) asked for more clarity on the details of the proposal, including how a fiduciary duty would apply to MFDA members performing discretionary trading.“We believe this uncertainty can be eliminated by expressly restricting discretionary rebalancing to registrants who are subject to a statutory or regulatory fiduciary standard,” wrote Neil Gross, chair of the IAP. “Short of this requirement, the IAP would have concerns that the Proposed Amendments could result in situations where discretionary trading may not always be conducted in the best interests of the portfolio’s investors.”The Canadian Council of CFA Societies offered support for the proposal, but questioned the extent to which MFDA members would be permitted to change asset allocations within a client’s portfolio.“For example, tolerance around strategic asset weights in the range of +/-2% might be appropriate, while more substantial changes could be more problematic,” it wrote. “We believe that additional constraints on a Member’s discretion might be warranted.”The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) commended the MFDA on its “efforts to be flexible and responsive to the needs of its Members and for taking steps to encourage innovation.” But, like PMAC, IFIC said it would “appreciate clarification regarding the proficiency and experience requirements that will be required for advising representatives.” Greg DalgettyMelissa Shin Related news Keywords Mutual fund regulations,  Portfolio managers,  Mutual fund dealers,  RegulationCompanies Portfolio Management Association of Canada, Mutual Fund Dealers Association Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Along with others, the Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) has voiced concerns about a proposal to allow mutual fund dealers to engage in discretionary trading on behalf of clients.In April, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) proposed rule changes that would allow its members to rebalance clients’ model portfolios on a discretionary basis. FSRA updates title reg proposal Title protection in Ontario on track for 2022last_img read more

New campaign launches to challenge perceptions about palliative care

first_imgNew campaign launches to challenge perceptions about palliative care Palliative Care AustraliaNew survey data released today during National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) has highlighted limited community understanding around the broader meaning of palliative care and a general reluctance to engage in conversations on death and dying.In direct response, and also launching today; an innovative national education campaign – Palliative Care It’s more than you think. – has been created to engage the community in a conversation about the benefits of palliative care.The multimedia campaign developed by Palliative Care Australia (PCA), with the support of the Australian Government, seeks to challenge perceptions that palliative care is a ‘last resort’ and empower individuals to engage with their health care professionals early in their diagnosis in the hope to live as well as possible for as long as possible.It is conservatively estimated that in addition to the 40,000 Australians receiving palliative care, there are at least a further 40,000 Australians who would also benefit from palliative care treatment.Three quarters of Australians (76 per cent) say they would ask for palliative care for themselves or a family member when first diagnosed with a terminal illness. However, there is strong evidence that Australians do not fully understand the full breadth of palliative care and its benefits, which then presents as a barrier to accessing timely care.Fewer than four out of ten Australians (39 per cent) correctly understand that palliative care can be requested when a person is first diagnosed with a terminal, chronic or degenerative illness.And only three out of ten Australians surveyed correctly understand that General Practitioners (GPs) are among those who can provide palliative care.Almost 90 per cent of Australians surveyed last month agree that people should plan for end-of-life and think it is important to start thinking and talking about their wishes and preferences for care if they were to become seriously or terminally ill.However, far fewer Australians; in fact, half of all respondents have done nothing regarding their end-of-life wishes, finding the subject of death and planning for the end of life too difficult to talk about and think talking about their preference for end-of-life with their family will upset them.PCA Chair Professor Meera Agar, says the campaign will help Australians better understand that palliative care helps people living with a life-limiting illness to live as well as they can by managing pain and symptoms to ensure their quality of life is maintained.“At its heart, it is a clear and simple message; the campaign is aimed at informing, empowering and encouraging Australians living with a life-limiting illness to engage with their health care professionals early in their diagnosis, so as to live as well as possible for as long as possible,” Professor Meera Agar said.Adopting a light-hearted, ‘vintage’ style of animation, the Palliative Care It’s more than you think. campaign seeks to challenge perceptions and start conversations about end-of-life care.Stage one of the campaign will see it roll out nationally on television, in print and online over the months of May, June and July.The series of original animated vignettes were designed in response to the initial question, What is palliative care?, with different scenarios created to respond with answers and activities not usually associated with palliative care, such as golfing, fishing, gardening, travelling and even ticking off one’s bucket list by parachuting.The new campaign website, https://morethanyouthink.org.au/ explains clearly and simply what palliative care is, who it is for, who can provide it, and where palliative care can be provided, together with answers to frequently asked questions.“Palliative care really is more than you think. It’s for anyone of any age – from babies to older adults – who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, and it can be provided alongside curative treatments, or when those treatments have ended,” Professor Agar said.And while the true definition of palliative care is much broader than the care provided at the end-of-life, as many Australians incorrectly believe, Professor Agar says all palliative care shares one key characteristic in common.“All palliative care is about quality of life and helping people with a life-limiting illness live their lives as well as possible for as long as possible,” Professor Agar said.National Palliative Care Community Survey – Key Findings· 76% of respondents are likely to ask for palliative care for themselves or someone close to them if they had a serious, prolonged or terminal illness· Only 39% of respondents think a person can first ask for palliative care when they are first diagnosed with a terminal, chronic, or degenerative illness· Only 31% of respondents think that GPs can provide palliative care· 78% of respondents agree that people should plan for the end of their life and 88% of respondents think it is important to start thinking and talking about their wishes and preferences for care if you were to become seriously or terminally ill· 50% of respondents have done nothing regarding their end-of-life-wishes· Respondents believe that talking about their preferences for the end of their life with their family will upset them (54%) and find the subject of death and planning for the end of their life too difficult to talk about (48%).[END]Broadcast-ready campaign creative (TVC’s, digital artwork) available upon request Professor Meera Agar is /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:animation, Australia, Australian, Australian Government, campaign, community, death and dying, diagnosis, digital, education, General Practitioner, Government, older adults, palliative care, Professor, treatmentlast_img read more

WATCH: Clark County TODAY LIVE • Tuesday, June 9, 2020

first_img Posted by Jacob Granneman|Monday, June 8, 2020 |in : NewsJoe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter Three Today is the 76th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of WWII. A year ago ClarkCountyToday.com and its partners elsewhere in Washington had the immense privilege of speakin…Read more Vancouver hair stylist and clients are ‘happy’ Clark County is now in Phase 2 of reopening Restaurants across Clark County are ramping up for dine-in service as Phase 2 gets underway, though the new normal brings its own uncertainties.Read more WATCH: Clark County TODAY LIVE • Tuesday, June 9, 2020Posted by ClarkCountyToday.comDate: Tuesday, June 9, 2020in: Newsshare 0 WATCH: Restaurants and hair dressers reopen to eager customers in Phase 2 ; Vancouver sets listening sessions amid racial tensions ; Heritage High School hosts online sports awards show ; Skyview teachers say goodbye to students ; Micro-documentary of D-Day veteran now live. Posted by Paul Valencia|Tuesday, June 9, 2020 |in : SportsHeritage High School finds fun way to celebrate sports This year is the 76th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of WWII. A year ago ClarkCountyToday.com and its partners elsewhere in Washington had the immense privilege of spe…Read more Posted by ClarkCountyToday.com|Tuesday, June 9, 2020 |in : YouthSchool closure doesn’t keep Skyview seniors from honoring their teachers Clark County restaurants adjust to new normal in Phase 2 Joe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter One Posted by Chris Brown|Tuesday, June 9, 2020 |in : BusinessClark County restaurants adjust to new normal in Phase 2 Crews from Clark County Fire & Rescue were able to control a garage fire and safely rescue a dog in Woodland Sunday evening.Read more Posted by Jacob Granneman|Saturday, June 6, 2020 |in : NewsJoe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter One Posted by ClarkCountyToday.com|Monday, June 8, 2020 |in : NewsClark County Fire & Rescue controls garage fire in Woodland School closure doesn’t keep Skyview seniors from honoring their teachers Skyview High School seniors were able to participate in the annual Circle of Life celebration Monday.Read more The HESPYS, Heritage High School’s equivalent to ESPN’s ESPYS, were “broadcast” in video form this year due to stay-at-home order.Read more Clark County Fire & Rescue controls garage fire in Woodland This year is the 76th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of WWII. A year ago ClarkCountyToday.com and its partners elsewhere in Washington had the immense privilege of spe…Read more AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyLatestshare 0 Previous : Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is beginning to increase recreational access to park grounds and trails Next : Clark County restaurants adjust to new normal in Phase 2AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Joe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter Three Joe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter Two Vancouver hair stylist Betty Rae Wiant is one of many area self-employed business professionals who were able to return to work after Clark County was allowed to enter Ph…Read more Heritage High School finds fun way to celebrate sports Posted by Jacob Granneman|Sunday, June 7, 2020 |in : NewsJoe Was There | D-Day Veteran Micro-Doc Chapter Two Posted by Ken Vance, Editor|Tuesday, June 9, 2020 |in : BusinessVancouver hair stylist and clients are ‘happy’ Clark County is now in Phase 2 of reopening last_img read more

CU-Boulder Seeking Requests From Community Organizations And K-12 Schools For New 'Wish List' Project

first_imgFaculty and students at the University of Colorado at Boulder may soon be granting wishes for Colorado schools and nonprofit and community organizations as part of a new program called the Wish List. In an effort to encourage academic partnerships with Colorado communities, CU-Boulder is compiling a list of needs and requests from around the state. The Wish List will serve as a resource for faculty and academic programs that want to incorporate experiential learning opportunities into the course curriculum. School principals, district superintendents and community organization directors are being invited to submit requests for projects they do not have the time or human resources to accomplish. The requests will be reviewed by faculty members and evaluated for their appropriateness as classroom experiences. Professor Dennis Van Gerven, 1998 Colorado Professor of the Year and director of CU-Boulder’s honors program said, “Taking knowledge from the classroom and putting it to use in a community setting is an invaluable experience for our students. Not only does it enhance what our students have been taught, but it builds civic responsibility as well as leadership skills.” Wish List items are not limited to a specific discipline or area. In fact, some already existing partnerships have resulted in the following projects: * kinesiology students working to outline more effective learning habits for young children based on exercise and nutrition; * business projects building needs assessments and marketing plans for nonprofits; * engineering projects developing special aids for disabled citizens as well as addressing water quality issues for entire towns; * English as a second language activities; * and mentoring and tutoring. Wish List items are subject to the academic calendar and course schedule at CU-Boulder, and not all items will be selected by faculty.  To submit items to the CU-Boulder Wish List, send an email to [email protected] or call Wynn Martens in the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder at (303) 735-5186. People who submit an item to the Wish List will be contacted at the beginning of each academic year to confirm continued inclusion on the list and project details. Published: July 28, 2002 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Special Committee on Criminal Justice to study three issues for lawmakers

first_img Oct 25, 2019 By Jim Ash Senior Editor Top Stories Special Committee on Criminal Justice to study three issues for lawmakers Organizers of The Florida Bar’s 2018 Criminal Justice Summit were back in Tampa October 18 to assess their progress and lay the groundwork for the upcoming legislative session.Called by former President Michelle Suskauer, last year’s three-day event featured an unprecedented gathering of Bar leaders, legislators, prosecutors, public defenders, academics, reform advocates, and other legal experts.Suskauer unofficially marked the summit’s first anniversary by presiding, with Co-Chair Hank Coxe, over a meeting of the Bar’s new Special Committee on Criminal Justice, one of the summit’s key legacies.Convening at the Bar’s Fall Meeting, the 17-member special committee consists of lawmakers, Bar section leaders, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, court clerks, and other experts. It’s charged with working “with legislative and criminal justice stakeholders on criminal justice legislation . . . to provide subject-matter expertise without advocating for any particular legislative position.”President John Stewart kicked off the agenda with encouraging news.In a series of recent meetings with legislative leaders in Tallahassee, Stewart was asked for the Bar’s technical assistance with key reform legislation, including researching conviction integrity units in state attorneys’ offices; the post-conviction process, including access to DNA and other evidence; and the use of solitary confinement for juveniles.“A lot of legislators are really interested in criminal justice reform,” Stewart told the committee. “Now, that may mean different things to different people, but they’re definitely interested.”Stewart said legislative interest in criminal justice reform, and in tapping the Bar’s technical expertise, is the most intense he’s witnessed in six years.And the special committee, Suskauer promised, is ready to respond.Special committee staff is preparing a letter to send to the relevant legislative committee chairs identifying the Bar committee’s members, and when appropriate, their leadership roles in various associations. Special committee member Carolyn Timmann, for example, is the Martin County Court Clerk and Comptroller, and treasurer of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers.Since the summit, criminal justice reform has risen substantially on the legislative radar, aided by a growing, bi-partisan awareness of the economic and social costs of mass incarceration, the skyrocketing expense of an aging prison population, and what corrections officials are calling a dangerous shortage of prison guards.On the final day of the last session, the Legislature signed off on a 296-page, bi-partisan criminal justice reform package called “The First Step Act” that sponsors say is designed to reduce Florida’s 100,000-inmate prison population and address historic disparities.“The rule of law is about what you do, not who you are,” said Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, and a special committee member. “Our goal is to make sure we have the fairest, most just criminal justice system in the country and today we take a large step in that direction.”Among other things, the legislation made it easier for felons to obtain professional licenses, a move designed to combat recidivism. The legislation also gave prosecutors power over “direct-file,” or whether juveniles charged with serious crimes should be tried as adults.And the First Step Act raised the monetary threshold for felony theft from $300 to $750, eliminating Florida’s distinction as having the second-lowest threshold in the nation.Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, a leading Senate advocate of criminal justice reform, was disappointed that the compromise package didn’t go further. Brandes is also a member of the Bar’s special committee.Lawmakers failed to agree on a Brandes proposal that would have given judges more discretion to depart from minimum mandatory sentences for certain non-violent drug offenses. He also pushed unsuccessfully for a measure that would have allowed some non-violent felons who agree to participate in rehabilitation programs to be released after serving 65% of their sentences, instead of the mandated 85%.A legislative analysis showed the measure could have saved the state $860 million by 2024 and would have emptied prisons of 9,000 inmates.Sponsors are vowing to try again this session.Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, is sponsoring SB 436, which would bar the use of solitary confinement for minors, with certain exceptions. A companion measure, HB 347, was filed earlier this month by Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee.Meanwhile, use of solitary confinement for minors will be the topic of one of three informational research papers legislative leaders have asked the Bar’s special committee to draft.Another topic deals with a potential statewide mandate for conviction integrity units. The subject is likely to receive some push back from prosecutors, said special committee member R. J. Larizza, State Attorney for the Seventh Circuit.“I think that there is a lot of diversity of opinion in the circuits about how to do this,” Larizza said. “What I’ve found is that circuits do things in different ways based on where they are, what their population is, and what their resources are.”The third request for a research paper deals with post-conviction relief, access to evidence, and who should bear the costs associated with DNA testing. The discussion will include reviewing F.S. §§925.11 and 925.12, and whether changes are needed.Suskauer urged special committee members to begin compiling background information as soon as possible. Lawmakers are already convening committee meetings in advance of the January session.After the meeting, Suskauer stressed that the special committee does not advocate for legislative positions. But she said she was “thrilled” that lawmakers are recognizing it as an important resource.“The chief justice, Sen. Brandes, so many others have come together to really help move the needle,” Suskauer said. “The Florida Bar is thrilled to have a seat at the table.”last_img read more


first_imgHomeLifeEntertainmentArtsCulture Watch – HAVEL’S “LARGO DESOLATO” AT CITY GARAGE Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:01 amArtsColumnsCulture WatchEntertainmentEventsFeaturedNewsCulture Watch – HAVEL’S “LARGO DESOLATO” AT CITY GARAGESarah A. Spitz1 year agoCharles DuncombeCharter 77City GarageCivic ForumCzech RepublicFrederique MichelLargo DesolatoRuth Flinkman MarandyTom StoppardVaclav HavelVelvet RevolutionPhoto Credit: Paul M Rubenstein. HAVEL’S “LARGO DESOLATO” AT CITY GARAGEYou’re a popular dissident, your political writings spur action against a totalitarian government, your admirers depend on you, begging you not to weaken, as you sit in your house paralyzed by fear of the knock at the door that could take you away at any minute. Oh, and you’re not writing anything these days, either. That’s the “action” in Vaclav Havel’s semi-autobiographical play, “Largo Desolato,” in a stellar production at City Garage (Bergamot Station).For those of you who might need the history lesson, Havel was an intellectual and playwright who became a President: the last one for the nation of Czechoslovakia, and after it broke apart, the first one for the new Czech Republic. He’d been a political activist whose writings were banned in his own country. He was part of Charter 77, a manifesto calling for the government to honor its commitments to human rights, leading to creation of the Civic Forum party that sparked the “Velvet Revolution,” which helped bring down the Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe.But in a police state, writing and signing such a document, considered a political crime, will get you locked up, and in Havel’s case, it did, a number of times, the longest for four years, 1979-1983. The play was likely written following his release; he was under continual surveillance by the state.FALLING SLOWLY“Largo Desolato,” a musical reference, means a slow, grand, solitary phrase. And that’s what Leopold Nettles, a professor whose writing has made him a target of the authorities, is experiencing: a very dark night of the soul, when those who look up to him want too much of him, while others worry about his state of mind or are fed up with his self-isolation; when those who love him find him unable to reciprocate, while authorities threaten punishment if doesn’t deny he was the writer of his own words. He’s questioning himself and definitely leaning neurotic.To put it mildly, he’s paranoid and anxious, he’s not the man he used to be, and he’s drinking and taking drugs to ease the fear. Troy Dunn does an extraordinary physical and verbal job of conveying Leopold’s tightly wound OCD behaviors, and his jittery interactions with the friends who stop by. One question here is: do they? Or does this play take place entirely in Leopold’s mind? Regardless, it works on all levels.Apparently separated but still living with someone who may be his wife, Suzanna (Emily Asher Kellis) and her boyfriend Edward (Gifford Irvine) stop by, asking if he’s eaten, if he’s gone out, if he’s “gone” (as in, to the toilet). They can’t stay, they’ve got a date for the symphony or maybe it’s the ballet. Next up it’s the two Sidneys (well-played by Anthony Sannazzaro and Aaron Bray). In their blue uniforms and caps, they’re “men of the people” from the paper mill, who’ve come to let Leopold know how much he’s loved and counted on, and how important he is to everyone. In a neat casting trick, we’ll see them again.Next his lover Lucy tries hopelessly to pull him out of his rut through love and seduction, but he’s an empty vessel, and his anxieties prevent him from performing. Angela Beyer gives a superb and convincing performance.Another friend from the political sphere Bert (a woman, played by Trace Taylor), does a monologue about how Leopold needs to buckle down and get back into the game. I interpreted her as his conscience.Then the two Sidneys, now in black trench coats and fedoras, come back as the “the chaps,” aka the government goons. If Lionel wants his situation to improve, all he needs to do is sign a document disavowing that he wrote what he wrote. He asks for time, and they drag Lucy away.REPUDIATE YOUR BEINGIn Act II, an adoring student Marguerite (Marissa DuBois), inspired by his philosophical writing on love, comes to “rescue” him, attempting to do what Lucy could not. Again, unsuccessfully.The two Sidneys return with paper from the mill for him to write on, and documents they’ve stolen for him to write about, hoping to reenergize Leopold’s political writing career.Later, after Leopold makes up his mind that he’d rather go to prison than sign the document, the two goons return to further dehumanize him by saying his case has been adjourned “for the time being”—leaving him in limbo—and making him superfluous. Now not even his signature matters.Definitively directed by Frederique Michel, with beautiful production design by Charles Duncombe, Largo Desolato was translated by Tom Stoppard, an English playwright who was born in Czechoslovakia; Havel dedicated the play to him.Don’t miss this production. It’s at City Garage through March 1. Call (310) 453-9939 or visit www.citygarage.org (Link: Brown Paper Tickets).As one of LA’s premiere local theatres, why not support City Garage? Philanthropist and President of Santa Monica-based Flinkman Management Inc., Ruth Flinkman Marandy, will present an exclusive concert there on March 15 at 3 pm.From Charles Duncombe, Executive Director of City Garage: “Ruth and her husband Ben Marandy are generous local philanthropists. She is also is a great singer and former child performer (back in her New York days).” It’s an afternoon of popular song, musical hits and personal stories, taking you on a musical journey from the Bronx of her childhood to the Los Angeles of today. Tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4526963Sarah A. Spitz is an award-winning public radio producer, retired from KCRW, where she also produced arts stories for NPR. She writes features and reviews for various print and online publications.Tags :Charles DuncombeCharter 77City GarageCivic ForumCzech RepublicFrederique MichelLargo DesolatoRuth Flinkman MarandyTom StoppardVaclav HavelVelvet Revolutionshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCrime Watch – Theft in Third Street PromenadeNew enforcement operation focuses on meth trafficking hubsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoEntertainmentLifeNoteworthyTales of Two DaughtersCharles Andrews12 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author12 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agolast_img read more

Operators mull pan-European network – report

first_img Author Richard Handford Europe’s leading operators are considering the creation of a pan-European infrastructure partnership to better integrate national telecoms markets, says a report in the Financial Times.The idea followed a meeting between Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition chief, and top executives from operators such as Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telefonica and Telecom Italia.However, the report says establishing a EU-wide network-sharing agreement “would be fraught with financial and technological obstacles, given the myriad differences in infrastructure and national rules”.But such a move would bring Europe more in line with the US and China which have just three or four large operator groups, says the FT. Such an arrangement might also deliver consumer benefits in terms of single-rate pricing.While opposed to national mergers that reduce competition, Almunia has indicated more enthusiasm for cross-border tie-ups that support a single, integrated EU market, a key aim for the commission. Luz verde a la fusión entre Telefónica y Liberty Global en el Reino Unido Previous ArticleChina proposes MVNO trialNext ArticleTeliaSonera board stands firm against criticism Deutsche Telekom France TelecomTelecom ItaliaTelefonica Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including… Read more Relatedcenter_img Telefónica refuerza la seguridad de las cadenas de bloques AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 09 JAN 2013 Home Operators mull pan-European network – report Español Tags Telefonica bolsters blockchain securitylast_img read more