Help with kids. And pets. And …

first_imgWhen Tessa Lowinske Desmond’s husband was offered a tenure-track position at Harvard in 2010, the opportunity proved too enticing for the academic couple to resist. But the Desmonds’ dream job was also every new parent’s nightmare: a distant relocation to a city where they knew virtually no one.“We moved from Wisconsin, with newborn in arms, excited to be at Harvard but nervous to not have any resources,” Desmond said, referring to child-care help for her son, Sterling, now almost 3. Last year, the Desmonds turned to a resource that has been gaining ground among Harvard parents: the WATCH Portal, an online child-care hub that helps connect faculty, staff, and graduate student parents with student sitters.“It was just a huge blessing for us,” said Desmond, the program administrator for ethnic studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).Heartened by early success stories like Desmond’s, the Office of Work/Life and the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (FD&D), which jointly developed the WATCH Portal last year, are expanding the site’s features.The WATCH Portal (Web Access to Care at Harvard Portal) grew last month to allow postings for a variety of odd jobs. Anyone with a Harvard PIN can now post and view listings seeking Harvard students (or the teenage children of Harvard employees) to help with yard work, dog walking, house sitting, and other chores.“It’s not just parents who are juggling multiple tasks, and Harvard gets that,” said Nancy Costikyan, director of the Office of Work/Life. “This expansion is one more way that Harvard can support the very busy lives of all our faculty and staff.”The update was in part spurred by direct requests from faculty, said Judith Singer, senior vice provost for FD&D and Harvard’s James Bryant Conant Professor of Education. Already, posts have sprung up on the site seeking everything from a housekeeper to a personal chef willing to cook vegetarian meals.“Some people with older children said they no longer needed child care, but would welcome tutoring for their teenagers,” Singer said. “Others without children said they’d love to get a student to help with odd jobs, from dog sitting to stacking wood.”In its first year, the WATCH Portal garnered 1,566 users; two-thirds were parents, the rest were job-seeking students. And visitors were making real connections: Nearly 700 emails have been sent between baby sitters and parents using the site.When her former baby sitter became unavailable, Mylène Priam, an associate professor of Romance languages and literatures in FAS, said she immediately thought of the WATCH Portal.Priam had used Craigslist to look for a nanny before the portal launched; she liked that WATCH was vetted and easy to use. That access is free, compared with other online services she’d seen that charge a fee for entry to a database of vetted sitters, was another draw.“I’m grateful it was there when I was in a conundrum,” said Priam, who routinely uses a baby sitter for her 6-year-old daughter on nights and weekends. “It was great to know there was something like that already out there, that I didn’t have to wrack my brain.”Then there are Harvard parents like Desmond and her husband, Matthew, an assistant professor of sociology and a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, whose jobs entail after-hours commitments that are essential to their developing careers. He had faculty dinners; she had evening events with students and visiting scholars to manage.Having easy access to baby sitters who lived on campus was crucial, Desmond said. Harvard students often meet her at her office, pick up her son, Sterling, and spend a few hours at the Cambridge Public Library or playing in the Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS) lounge; they’ve even taken Sterling to their Houses.“He was meeting other students and going to the dining hall, which he thought was great,” Desmond said. “I’m going to tell him he was running the halls of Harvard when he was 2 years old.”Desmond said she may use the site for dog sitting or house sitting, now that those options are available.“Having access to the WATCH Portal made our work and our life so much easier,” she said. “It made everything more seamless, and it made it possible for me to be fully present at my job.”last_img read more

US Ambassador to Holy See examines Vatican reforms

first_imgRosie LoVoi | The Observer United States Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett speaks at the Eck Visitors Center on Friday afternoon.“Pope Francis has kept the Church’s vision sacred, but uses it to influence policies and actions more dramatically than has been done in a long time,” Hackett said.Considering he is more radical than his predecessors, Hackett said it was inevitable that some people would disagree with his vision.“When a new boss arrives and implements new ways of doing things … there’s going to be resistance,” Hackett said.Hackett said one controversial action was Pope Francis’ appointment of a financial overseer for many Vatican sub organizations.“When an institution has evolved over so many years, and its sub organizations have grown accustomed to a certain degree of operational and financial autonomy, you’re bound to have some tensions,” Hackett said.Hackett said this initiative is part of Pope Francis’s plan to rid the Church of its excesses and refocus attention on the poor and suffering.“He counsels [bishops] to move amongst their people, and to shed the trappings and the luxuries of higher office,” Hackett said.Pope Francis does this himself, Hackett said, by interacting frequently with the deprived and lowly.“His preference is generally to meet and have encounters with the simple, the meek, the troubled, the sick, the prisoners, and the homeless,” Hackett said.According to Hackett, Pope Francis ensures his actions and reforms are just by consulting a group of nine cardinals from around the world.“He uses these cardinals as a sounding board, and as a kitchen cabinet,” Hackett said.Hackett said the best example of Pope Francis’s collaborative reform is seen in “Laudato Si’,” his encyclical on climate change.Pope Francis realized the importance of meticulous research when formulating this encyclical, Hackett said.“He was prepared and aware that if he was going to issue an encyclical on climate change, he would have to apply tough, scientific rigor, since it would be picked apart,” Hackett said.Hackett said Pope Francis assembled a diverse team of experts to help write the environmental encyclical.“He came with a group of international legislators from around the world who were interested in environmental climate change, and they met in the Vatican and shared their research,” he said.The resulting encyclical, Hackett said, has had a profound impact because of how it framed climate change as a moral issue.“The encyclical gave moral cover to those politicians who had to make very difficult decisions and commitments on climate change,” he said.Hackett said the impact can be seen in particular in Mission Innovation, an initiative signed by the United States, China and several other countries focusing on expanding clean energy research, and the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which aims to make large corporations more sustainable.According to Hackett, Pope Francis helped to catalyze these reforms.“He was influencing the global agenda,” Hackett said. “It was an agenda that resonated for many in the United States and worldwide.”Hackett said these reforms and the widespread influence they have had are helping to rebrand the Catholic Church.“These changes are gaining credibility for how the Church and the pope are perceived on a world stage,” Hackett said.Tags: Climate change, laudato si’, Pope Francis Ken Hackett, the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, spoke about Pope Francis and his vision for the Catholic Church at Eck Visitors Center on Friday afternoon. Hackett, who works closely with the Vatican, said Pope Francis is the most reform-minded pope in recent history.last_img read more

Can-Can, Hunchback & Ever After on Tap for New Paper Mill Season

first_img View Comments A revival of 2010’s Broadway musical Elf will be mounted for the festive season. Adapted from the 2003 film starring Will Farrell, the show tells the tale of Buddy, an orphan who is mistakenly transported to the North Pole and raised by Santa’s elves. Now, as a grownup, he embarks on a journey to discover his true identity. With a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin, the production will play November 26 through January 4, 2015. Star Files Sierra Boggess The American premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will run March 4 through April 5, 2015. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Peter Parnell and directed by Scott Schwartz, the show is an intimate retelling of the famous love story.  Paper Mill’s 76th season will close with the world-premiere of Ever After, a new musical adapted from the 1998 film starring Drew Barrymore. The production will be directed and choreographed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. Casting has not yet been announced for any of the shows but Audience Choice Award winners Sierra Boggess and Jeremy Jordan headlined the most recent industry-only workshop of the piece.center_img Jeremy Jordan Paper Mill Playhouse has announced a packed 2014-15 season. The lineup includes the Broadway-bound Can-Can, revivals of Elf and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the U.S. premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the world premiere of Ever After. Next up will be the Tony-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which will run January 21 through February 15, 2015. Christopher Durang’s play mixes four distinct characters and dishes up a hilarious stew. First up is the Broadway-bound revival of Cole Porter’s Can-Can. Directed by David Lee, the show will feature a book by Abe Burrows revised by Lee and Joel Fields. Pistache, a Parisian café owner, decides to feature the scandalous dance, the Can-Can, but will her defiance of the law end her business and her love life? With choreography by Patti Colombo, the production will play October 1 through October 26.last_img read more

Meet New Beautiful Star Scott J. Campbell!

first_imgScott J. Campbell photographed by Caitlin McNaney for at Paramount Hotel Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 27, 2019 Age: 29Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario, CanadaCurrent Role: Gerry Goffin, Carole King’s talented but troubled first husband and songwriting partner in the Tony-nominated bio-musical Beautiful.Stage & Screen Cred: Campbell made his Broadway debut as a swing in Jersey Boys and appeared in the national tour of American Idiot alongside Jake Epstein, who originated the role of Gerry Goffin in Beautiful.“I was a big water polo enthusiast in high school. Water polo is vicious. You better hang onto your Speedo, because people will try and rip it off you!”“Growing up in Waterloo was like growing up in Silicon Valley North. It was home to Research in Motion, who created the Blackberry—which is still a phone! It’s still a thing.”“I’ve tried my hand at a lot of different jobs. I  was a pizza delivery guy, a gas station attendant, a household mover, a manual laborer, a personal trainer, a waiter, a telemarketer and a phone salesperson. But acting is the one that feels the best.”“Jake Epstein and I are buddies, so I was really happy for him when he first got the role in Beautiful, but I auditioned on tape for the workshop and again for the pre-Broadway run. There’s something about this role, about Gerry Goffin and this piece that really resonates with me.”“The first time I saw Beautiful was after I was already cast—after I had already moved to New York for the show! I remember coming into town and trying to see it with my mom during Tony nominations, but there was no way to get a ticket.”“Gerry Goffin is survived by a lot of loved ones who really care for him, and this role means a great deal to a lot of people, including myself. I’m playing a historical figure, so it’s important to me to do so with respect, dignity and truth.” Beautiful: The Carole King Musicalcenter_img Related Shows View Commentslast_img read more

Brazilian Service Members Combat COVID-19

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo May 27, 2020 The Brazilian Armed Forces are employing their logistics structure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of service member has been crucial in fighting problems in the vast national territory with 8.5 million square kilometers. Ten joint commands, strategically activated across the country, carry out these operations.An example of these activities is the distribution by Northeastern Joint Command of 45,000 basic food basket items to socially vulnerable people in the state of Pernambuco. Local business owners donated the supplies — more than 150 tons — that  have been delivered weekly, since April 15.Service members provide support to socially vulnerable people. (Photo: Brazilian Armed Forces Northeastern Joint Command)The Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) deployed 30 vehicles and 350 service members from the 14th Motorized Infantry Battalion, and the 7th Field Artillery Group, in Pernambuco. “The logistics support included security, embarkation, transportation, and delivery of supplies to locations selected by the group of local business owners responsible for the donation,” said the Northeastern Joint Command’s Public Affairs Office.EB Lieutenant General Pedro Paulo de Mello Braga, commander of Northeastern Joint Command, told Diálogo that the activity planning was a result of teamwork between service members from EB, the Brazilian Navy, and the Air Force, which are part of the joint command, as well as other sectors of the government and civil society. “The EB, our ground force, was responsible for executing the distribution,” he said.Northeastern Joint Command is also setting up tents as screening stations at hospitals, emergency, and urgent care facilities; carrying out vaccination campaigns; distributing water to those experiencing drought; and donating blood. Service members trained in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense are also disinfecting public spaces. “We are deployed to fight the pandemic and provide support to the population,” said Lt. Gen. Braga.Solidarity in the South as wellAt Southern Joint Command, EB service members of the 3rd Supply Battalion participated in the manufacture of face shields to protect health care professionals who provide services to patients infected with COVID-19. A partnership between the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul’s Engineering Department, which was responsible for the project, arms manufacturer Taurus, which provided its headquarters in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul for work to take place, and EB, which provided the manpower for production, made the operation possibleThe production of the protective equipment, initially manufactured with a 3D printer, was considerably increased at the Taurus factory. According to Southern Joint Command, service members put in extra effort to produce as many shields in the shortest time possible. About 30 service members worked in the assembly process on three shifts — morning, afternoon, and night — making 3,000 face shields daily.In total, they manufactured 60,000 face shields. The production went to health care professionals who worked at hospitals in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Armed Forces hospitals, and public safety professionals.last_img read more

West Hempstead Attorney Sentenced for $6M Theft

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former attorney from West Hempstead was sentenced Monday to three to nine years in prison for stealing more than $5.7 million from clients and spending the funds on personal expenses.David Frankel pleaded guilty to grand larceny in January at Nassau County court.Prosecutors said the 52-year-old man represented seven realty companies with overlapping ownership in eight Brooklyn properties that the owners refinanced and placed $5,769,281.17 in escrow while they decided how to use the money in 2012.Days after the deposit was made, Frankel started using the money to fund his own unsuccessful investments and to make payments in unrelated real estate transactions—all of which was unauthorized—until only of $836.81 was left two years later, authorities said.Frankel was arrested in October 2015 and later disbarred.last_img read more

Do our kids have the money smarts to live in the real world?

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Neale GodfreyThis could be a really short article, because the easy answer to the question posed in the title is: “No.”  Simply put, our kids are financially illiterate.You have all witnessed the following scene at your local convenience store: The total bill comes to $11.93 and you hand the 16-year-old cashier a $20 bill and three cents.  The teenager looks at the amount you’ve handed them with a blank stare, struggling to figure out the change.  You have completely stumped them, but fear not; the cash register will make the change.  Remember the good ‘ole days when we were taught how to make change?  Those days are gone!You might say, “So, what is the big deal; let kids be kids.”The big deal is that these kids not only have access to money now, they will inherit a bundle from us (approximately $59 trillion) in the future.  And, without proper guidance and education, our kids will end up the way that many Americans have… in debt.A sobering stat: continue reading »last_img read more

Property companies love shopping

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Dow Netherlands willing to compensate scheme for lower returns

first_imgCurrently, Dow pays its pension fund a costs-covering contribution, with its workers contributing 1.82% of their pensionable salary.The closed scheme, with a declining number of participants, is currently reducing its investment risk in order to stabilise the financial results.Last year it gradually started divesting its alternatives, including real estate and infrastructure, in favour of fixed income holdings.It also decided to reduce its equity allocation from 30% to 25%, while increasing its fixed income portfolio to 75%.The pension fund further indicated that it would raise the interest hedge of its liabilities from 75% to 85%.It added that, while it was recalibrating its investment portfolio, it would assess the extent of its credentials on socially responsible investing.The Dow scheme reported an investment loss of 1% for 2018. It said it lost 4.9% on equity, while returning 9.7% on its alternatives. Fixed income generated 1.2%.The pension fund has approximately 1,470 active participants, 1,045 deferred members and 2,770 pensioners.At August-end, its funding stood at 115.9%. Employer Dow Chemical is willing to increase its pensions contribution in order to compensate for lower returns generated by its Dutch pension fund, after it has reduced its investment risk.In a newsletter to its participants, the €2.5bn pension fund explained that an increased contribution would reduce the risk that the employer would have to fill in a financial shortfall at its defined benefit (DB) scheme during economic headwind.The sponsor’s willingness goes against the usual practice of employers aiming at a steady premium by switching to a defined contribution (DC) plan, removing the requirement to plug financial gaps at their pension fund.Both the employer and the pension fund declined to provide additional information.last_img read more

Gold Coast mansion’s sale rakes in huge profit

first_img MORE NEWS: Rainforest motel up for grabs Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:29Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:29 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWays to get into the property market for less00:29 The Isle of Capri mansion at 25 The Corso sold for $4.5 million.A GOLD Coast resident has pocketed an extra $1.5 million on the sale of their waterfront mansion less than four years after buying it.The seller splashed $3 million on the Isle of Capri mansion in July 2016 and offloaded it for $4.5 million in January.The four-bedroom house had been listed for about seven months, with several agencies trying to sell it before it was taken off the market in October.Ray White Prestige agent Jackson Paradise eventually found a buyer through the agency’s extensive database.“It was sold to a local buyer,” he said.“They loved the position of the home and the view, and the finishes inside are impressive.“They’re planning on moving in to enjoy the lifestyle.” MORE NEWS: Coast’s cheapest suburb to rentcenter_img It previously sold in 2016 for $3 million A local buyer snapped up the property.The contemporary two-storey home is on a 567sq m waterfront block and has a pool and pontoon.A black and white scheme and stone and timber finishes throughout give it an air of sophistication.The indoor and outdoor spaces flow seamlessly and include several statement features, such as a glass-encased wine cellar and eco smart bioethanol fireplace.There are two bedrooms on the ground floor and a further two upstairs including the main, which has a wraparound balcony.The house’s north-facing position offers panoramic views of Adams Basin, Girung Island and the Surfers Paradise skyline.Mr Paradise, who had previously been marketing the house with Jordan Thams, said demand for premium properties in the prestige enclaves of Surfers Paradise was outstripping supply, with cashed-up buyers from Melbourne and Sydney leading the charge. The waterfront property has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoIt has spectacular views of the city skyline.“We did have a lot of buyers that were interested (in The Corso),” Mr Paradise said.“We’ve still got buyers left over who want to purchase in those areas.”Surfers Paradise recently became the Glitter Strip’s most expensive suburb for houses.Mermaid Beach had long held the title but its $1.38 million median house price now trails that of Surfers Paradise, which sits at $1.65 million, according to REA Group data.The figure is based on 82 sales in the city’s tourism heart, which includes the exclusive enclaves of Chevron Island, the Isle of Capri and Paradise Waters.Latest data shows Surfers Paradise’s median house price has jumped 36.9 per cent in the past five years.The median apartment price has climbed 10.4 per cent in the same period to $370,000, which was based on 855 sales in the past year.CoreLogic’s Best Of The Best 2019 report revealed Surfers Paradise recorded the highest value of unit sales in the country last year at $498,220,700.last_img read more