LoBiondo: Ocean City Beach Project Coming in Fall, Flood Insurance Bill a Good One

first_imgOcean City Mayor Jay Gillian and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo on Thursday at the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce membership meeting.U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd) updated the Ocean City business community Thursday on a handful of issues of vital interest to the local economy.LoBiondo addressed the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce at its monthly membership meeting during a luncheon at the Flanders Hotel.The congressman said a federal Army Corps of Engineers replenishment project for the eroded beaches of Ocean City’s southern end is still scheduled for the fall. He touted his support of funding that has brought $170 million worth of beach rebuilding to Cape May County alone during his tenure.Because Superstorm Sandy contributed to the erosion, the federal government will pay 100 percent of a multi-town project (with Strathmere and Sea Isle City) estimated to cost more than $60 million for the Ocean City portion alone.“It’s a big break for taxpayers in the Second District,” LoBiondo said of the one-time deal.LoBiondo also explained his support for a flood insurance reform measure — “not a perfect bill but a good bill.”He had voted to support the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act that triggered substantial premium increases in an effort to dig the National Flood Insurance Program out of more than $24 billion in debt and avoid the lapses in funding that temporarily crippled the real estate industry (with mortgage companies requiring flood insurance  before property sales could close).But LoBiondo said imperfect implementation of Biggert-Waters led to the need for a reform bill that eases the burden on local property owners.LoBiondo said such measures are not just about insurance and wide beaches — but about protecting the real estate and tourism industries that provide jobs and fuel the economy.Gary Jessel, broker and president of Fox Real Estate, thanked LoBiondo for his work and his experience in protecting local interests.Jessel said the sales market for the spring is doing very well and the rental market is “off the charts.”On other issues, LoBiondo said he thought the City of Ocean City “acted in good faith” in facilitating $1.2 million in emergency repairs to a federal housing project in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He said he hoped the local Housing Authority, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city could sit down to end a dispute and come to an agreement on reimbursing the city for the work.He also said he would support construction of a natural-gas pipeline that would help the B.L. England Generating Station meet requirements to burn cleaner fuel.“If the feds had a say in this, I would be voting to get that pipeline built,” LoBiondo said.last_img read more

African and African American Studies at 50

first_img Painting unveiled of College’s first African-American graduate Recognizing prominent architect Julian Abele and his role in designing Harvard’s Widener Library In 1968, a black student group placed an advertisement in the Harvard Crimson calling for the College to give black students, faculty, and scholarship more support and greater representation on campus. Following months of negotiations, amid a general atmosphere of student unrest and demands for change, the campaign eventually led to the creation of the Afro-American Studies Department in 1969.In the ensuing decades, the interdisciplinary department has changed its name to African and African American Studies (AAAS), established a strong identity on campus, and expanded in size and influence, nationally and internationally, across fields more numerous than its name might suggest.To mark its 50th anniversary, AAAS will launch a two-day symposium beginning Friday, commemorating its history and celebrating the continuing work of its students and scholars. The events, which include panel discussions, musical performances, gallery displays, and keynote addresses, are free and open to the public.“In many ways, I wanted to emphasize the things that have changed” in the past decades, said Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy. Shelby serves as department chair of AAAS and organized the event with input from its faculty, students, and staff. “This department was initially established as one that was focused on North America, and now it is very much part of our mission that, in addition to African American studies, we also try to cover much of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa as well. We want to highlight the breadth of what we’re covering and the fact that the department is now so much bigger than it was.”,“No one could have imagined that 30 years ago we’d be where we are now,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, who joined the department in 1991 and served as its chair for 15 years. “African and African American Studies is inextricably intertwined with the intellectual life and culture of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.”Events will include a roundtable discussion with founders, performances by the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, panels on scholar-activism in the field and the future of graduate studies, and keynote addresses by Columbia University Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin ’85 and Wale Adebanwi, a professor at Oxford University.Today, the department has the largest African languages program in the world, 41 full-time faculty members, more than 40 undergraduate concentrators, and 35 doctoral candidates.Its origin story began with student-led demands for change at all levels of the University. In 1968, an ad hoc committee of black students negotiated with University leadership on a path forward. After further protests and changes to their requests, the faculty approved the students’ demand to establish the department. The first class of 14 Afro-American Studies concentrators graduated in 1972; the graduate program was developed in 2001, and African Studies and African American Studies merged in 2003.,In his 1985 report for the Ford Foundation on the first decades of the department and the struggle for black studies across U.S. campuses, historian and former Afro-American Studies department chair Nathan I. Huggins wrote: “The demand of black students was for a discussion of what they saw to be the inherent racism in … normative assumptions for a shift in perspective that would destigmatize blacks and reexamine the ‘normalcy’ of the white middle class.”This reexamination came in the form of new courses and areas of study that examined the African American experience across history, literature, sociology, and other humanities and social sciences fields. In its first year, the department offered 25 courses. This year students can choose from more than 200, including 18 African language classes.The department was at the forefront of major Harvard milestones in the 1970s and the 1980s, including the hiring of musicologist Eileen Southern, who served as department chair for four years in the 1970s and was the first black woman granted tenure at the University. But it also faced challenges such as declining concentrator numbers and a lack of tenured faculty members, due to the complications of hiring established scholars in an emerging discipline.By the mid-1990s, the department looked very different than it had a decade earlier. There were more than five tenured faculty members, including Gates, historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, sociologist William Julius Wilson, and philosophers Kwame Anthony Appiah and Cornel West.,“I say that the ‘church’ of Harvard’s African and African American Studies Department was designed by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and [Lawrence] Bobo, but our pews were filled by Cornel West,” said Gates.Henry Rosovsky, Geyser University Professor, Emeritus, in the Department of Economics, who served as chair of the faculty committee on African and Afro-American Studies in the late 1960s, credited Gates and former Harvard President Derek Bok with being instrumental to the growth and success of the department.Neil Rudenstine, who was president of Harvard from 1991 to 2001, also highlighted the importance of Gates’s recruiting top talent throughout the 1990s. He said the visibility of AAAS illustrates its important role as an intellectual and cultural cornerstone of the Harvard experience.“It was really [Gates’s] vision and the people he brought with him who made the whole thing work, because they had the sense that they were like everybody else in terms of what they wanted for Harvard, and what they wanted for the department,” said Rudenstine. “They did not want to be an enclave that was to be separated out [from the rest of the School]. They wanted their own identity that was special, but they wanted to be integral to the place. The impact was profound, and there was a sense that something had been created, which was not just unusual but really extraordinary, and it was deeply felt throughout the institution.”,Gates also pointed to the work and support of others, including former President Drew Faust, former Edgerly Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith, and Harvard students who lobbied for change throughout the department’s existence, for playing key roles in the growth and development of AAAS.“Having the president behind you gave all the right signals throughout the University that this was not a token effort. This had nothing to do with making noises about ‘diversity.’ This was a very genuine intellectual commitment,” said Gates.Today, the department’s influence can also be seen across Harvard in spaces including the Hutchins Center for African American Research and the Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art. Multiple faculty members hold chair appointments and deanships across the humanities and social sciences, including Edgerly Family Dean of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay, who is a professor in AAAS and government, and Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and divisional dean of social sciences, a former AAAS Department chair.“It is obvious that African and African American Studies is now recognized as a successful department” both at Harvard and in wider scholarly communities, said Rosovsky.Rudenstine echoed the sentiment, saying, “I think there cannot be any question that what happened at Harvard made a difference to African American studies nationally.”In addition to its standing in the field, the department has also been integral to student life on campus. For Sangu Delle ’10, the department was a crucial social and intellectual space while he was an undergraduate living far from his home in Ghana. “Having the president behind you gave all the right signals throughout the University that this was not a token effort. This had nothing to do with making noises about ‘diversity.’ This was a very genuine intellectual commitment.” — Henry Louis Gates Jr. Shining a light on a genius “The AAAS Department played multiple roles for me. It was my academic home, but more than that, it was a place where I really felt at home as a student of color,” said Delle, an entrepreneur and clean-water activist who received a bachelor’s degree in African studies. “Beyond having the world-class faculty and access to resources, what differentiated the department were the additional benefits of having so many faculty of color who could be great advisers. Many students have an emotional, sentimental attachment to the department that you would probably not find in many other places.”Delle, who also received a law degree and M.B.A. from Harvard, was one of the first students to participate in the department’s Social Engagement Initiative, launched in 2006 under the direction of Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies. The program served as a way to bridge intellectual pursuits and civic responsibility for students in the department through coursework and theses.“The scholarship that came out of the Social Engagement Initiative is rooted in transforming communities, being embedded in them, and implementing intellectual questions” learned in academic environments, said Higginbotham, pointing to successful thesis projects in places as diverse as Zimbabwe and Detroit, by students with strong connections to the communities in which they worked. Founding director Bunch recounts the creation of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture center_img Portrait of a trailblazer: Richard Theodore Greener, Class of 1870 The story of a museum and of America Related “The department was founded out of a demand for scholarship on the conditions of black people in the United States and around the world, and more scholarship that could be useful in our communities,” said Higginbotham. The Social Engagement Initiative and other community-based scholarship in the department are examples of ways for students “to be successful and do good. We can be generous in helping others with our expertise, and social engagement gives a way to bring knowledge to people on their terms.”As the department celebrates its history, students and faculty are also looking to the future of the discipline and its place at Harvard, as the political and academic landscape shifts again.“We’ve moved beyond the debate over legitimacy for the field in academia, and I want to turn our attention to questions of training, curriculum development, and methodology,” said Shelby. “I’m hoping this event can be an opportunity to talk about some of those things with people in the field, from Harvard and outside. It’s the beginning of a dialogue.”last_img read more

Philippines eyes Indonesia-made combat vehicles

first_imgPindad president director Abraham Mose said the Philippine representatives could observe the production process at the factory directly, thanks to the MoU.”The government-to-government MoU also allow Philippine representatives to make direct appointments or bidding for Pindad’s products,” he said.Manila had ordered two strategic sealift vessels from state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL, as well as two NC-2121 medium cargo aircraft from state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia.”We have a deal with the Indonesian government to buy military equipment we’ll use, while at the same time, we will work to develop our defense industry with other suppliers from Indonesia,” Elefante said.Defense Ministry Director General for Defense Potential Bondan Tiara Sofyan, who accompanied Elefante on his visit to Bandung, said the government would support Indonesia’s strategic defense industries.“We will seize every opportunity. Hopefully, such an MoU for logistics and defense cooperation can support Indonesia’s defense industries to export their products, especially to the Philippines,” said Bondan. (dpk)Topics : The undersecretary expressed particular interest in Pindad’s armored personnel carriers (APC), such as the Anoa and Komodo, as well as in the Harimau medium battle tank recently developed by the weapons manufacturer.Elefante, however, admitted that the 30-ton medium tank might not be suitable for the country. “Our bridges can’t hold vehicles of such weight.”He went on to say that other vehicles manufactured by Pindad had the potential to complement the country’s defense systems.Read also: Indonesia grows muscles as arms manufacturer The Philippine National Defense Department has expressed interest in buying combat vehicles from Indonesia’s state-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad.”If our end user is interested, we will get [the combat vehicles] from Pindad and other [Indonesian] industries,” the department’s undersecretary for finance and material, Raymundo Elefante Elefante, said during a visit to Pindad’s factory in Bandung, West Java, on Friday.The visit was a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries on logistics and the defense industry.last_img read more

Sole Power in July Cup mix

first_img Press Association Eddie Lynam won last year’s Darley July Cup with Slade Power and the County Meath trainer could fire a formidable twin assault in a bid to take the prize back to Ireland once more, with multiple Group One winner Sole Power joined by younger stable companion Anthem Alexander. “We know we’ve got the horse good enough he just needs a good draw and luck in running. If he gets that, I’m sure he will be there at the finish.” Doyle will be teaming up with Brazen Beau for the first time in the July Cup as the colt now runs in the blue of Godolphin. The rider partnered Waller’s runner in a spin at the track last week and while he has plenty of faith in his mount, he is aware of the threat posed by Commonwealth Cup hero Muhaarar. He said: “We did a little bit more than last week and he was great. “Obviously we respect Muhaarar as that was a freakish run at Ascot. “Brazen Beau should be fine on the track as he had a feel of it last week and has now had a second spin on it so that should be no problem to him.” In all, 17 sprinters have been confirmed for Saturday’s feature event with Muhaarar’s owner Hamdan Al Maktoum also represented by Muthmir who has been left in by trainer William Haggas following his narrow defeat in the King’s Stand Stakes. Sprint Cup hero G Force needs to bounce back from a disappointing run in the King’s Stand for David O’Meara. “G Force looks well. He’s been to Ascot twice now and run the worst two races of his career, so we’re putting it down to that,” said the trainer. “Mustajeeb isn’t running, obviously Brazen Beau looked good at Ascot but after that you’ve got the likes of Tropics, who we’ve beaten a few times.” Tropics was runner-up 12 months ago and is back for more for Dean Ivory, as is his stable companion Lancelot Du Lac. Other horses in the mix include Astaire, Danzeno and Mattmu. Sole Power wasn’t quite at his sparkling best when fifth in the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting last month but was a brilliant winner at the Dubai Carnival as recently as March and ran well in this race in 2013. The three-year-old Anthem Alexander could take on older horses for the first time having finished third in the Commonwealth Cup last month following an impressive reappearance success in Group Three company at Naas. The other two possible challengers from Ireland are Aidan O’Brien’s Due Diligence and Evanna McCutcheon’s stable star Maarek. Chris Waller has his eyes set on July Cup glory after watching Brazen Beau go through his paces in Newmarket on Monday morning. The Australian trainer was on hand as his Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up worked under big-race jockey James Doyle on the July Course ahead of Saturday’s feature event. The three-year-old, who is a dual Group One winner in Australia, was beaten just half a length by Undrafted at Royal Ascot and Waller believes that with a fair draw and some racing luck, Brazen Beau is more than capable of landing the weekend’s six-furlong prize. He said: “I was happy with that. It was pretty standard work for him, we just let him quicken up over the last 400 metres. “It was really just maintenance work. We don’t need to improve him, we have just got to keep him happy and keep the speed in him. James seemed happy with him. “He seems very well and his run at Ascot was very good and what I saw this morning, I was happy with what he achieved. The track here has more undulations than at Ascot so it is good for him to have a go on it. “It’s a privilege being in here in England and we have been well looked after. It was great to get a taste of the action at Ascot but a success would be so much sweeter. last_img read more