Last night marked the first of Phil Lesh’s “From Darkness To Light” series, with a show that has a “darkness” theme to open the two-night run. Playing with a group of friends that included Neal Casal, Jackie Greene, Cass McCombs, Adam MacDougall, and Mark Levy, the show featured a number of classic Grateful Dead tunes and rock covers, all centered around a theme of darkness.The show opened, naturally, with “Dark Star,” and segued into Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” on the Dark Side of the Moon album. “Mountains of the Moon” and CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” came next, plugging away at the moon themed tunes before the Stones classic “Paint It Black.” The show featured a number of great songs throughout the night, as well as an acoustic encore, and you can see the setlist below, courtesy of Osty Gale.Setlist: Phil Lesh & Friends “Darkness Show” at Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA – 7/5/16Set: Dark Star > Eclipse > Mountains of the Moon > Bad Moon Rising > Paint It Black, Comfortably Numb, I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain, Hurricane, Black Peter, Darkness Darkness, China Doll, Terrapin Station, Black Muddy River, Who Knows Where The Time Goes?Encore (acoustic): Box Of Rain, I Shall Be Released, Bird Song, Uncle John’s Band
When digital becomes dinosaur, most people simply get inconvenienced. But librarians and archivists get seriously concerned.Ensuring that digital content — whether it’s a short story by John Updike or a very rare audio recording of a vanished Native American language — lives on past its initial platform is one of the most pressing issues in preservation science. Harvard is one of a handful of cultural institutions in the first wave of adopting a technology and process to preserve its digital content.Libraries and archives at Harvard hold thousands of unique items across hundreds of digital formats, including aging technology such as CDs, floppy disks, tapes, and cassettes. To retrieve content prior to total obsolescence or decay of digital formats, librarians are using digital forensic software commonly employed by the police or the FBI to solve crimes, which enables them to identify content noninvasively and migrate it to a more stable platform.Digital forensics was developed to create authentic, unimpeachable source data suitable as evidence in criminal trials. Library staff members hold themselves to the same high standards and model some of their workflow on law-enforcement practices. After all, altering a document literally rewrites history.But librarians and archivists face mounting urgency in this task. For centuries, data meant print. Paper was far and away the best medium to record and preserve information, and for good reason. It is relatively affordable, easy to make, and stands up well to benign neglect. Open a book that was placed on a shelf 200 years ago, and its pages will still provide the same information, tell the same stories.With the comparatively quick shift to digital content delivery, and the even faster evolution of digital hardware from Mark III-era behemoths to today’s sleek iPhones, an increasing amount of content is born digital, created, disseminated, and accessed completely on computers, existing as 1s and 0s instead of printed type, engraved texture, or magnetic coding — all of which are more robust than more modern technologies.Now, collections might come in with digital material that is already on the brink of decline. Digital degradation doesn’t follow a steady curve like books. Items can be fine for decades, and then quickly decline from perfectly accessible to completely useless. For some formats, experts don’t know what that plateau and drop-off might be, and it can even vary among individual items kept in the same condition. The situation poses problems for preservation, access, and collection development.“People outside of the field hadn’t anticipated how quickly this would become such a pressing issue,” said Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University archivist. “It happened practically overnight.”The presence of digital materials in incoming collections has risen exponentially over the past decade or so as professionals who started their careers on paper and migrated to digital hand over their work to the library to preserve. All-paper collections are becoming rare.When the first hybrid hard-copy and born-digital collections came into the library in the 1980s, the digital formats were treated as objects or artifacts instead of content. A disk might have been noted but was not accessed, and was tucked back in with the papers it arrived alongside.“We certainly have that issue of these hidden problems riddled throughout the collections,” Sniffin-Marinoff said. “I don’t think people were imagining the extent of the implications. It’s added a layer of complexity to our work that’s pretty unbelievable.”Archivists are now much savvier when assessing incoming collections. They try to uncover these issues in a collection as soon as it comes in — sometimes even before it arrives at the door. University archives staff members take a mobile forensics kit to the offices, basements, attics, and studies of donors and are equipped to survey materials onsite, like members of a forensics SWAT team.Harvard’s first collection to be preserved via digital forensics was at the Business School’s Baker Library. One recent acquisition left librarians pondering how to capture the significant portion of born-digital information and integrate it with the print items in the collection.“Our collections range from the Medici family to Lehman Brothers,” said Rachel Wise, Harvard Business School archivist in Baker Library’s Historical Collections, who started the digital forensics program. To get more specialized knowledge for the recent acquisitions, officials hired a consultant and worked with other institutions to learn about essential tools and workflows. Since acquiring their initial digital collection, the program has grown to include discs from new collections such as the Wang Laboratories Inc. records and faculty research collections.Essentially, to retrieve content from an obsolete format, three components need to align: the hardware, the software, and the technician. Once the staff has procured the hardware — a drive or reader — the digital forensics software does much of the remaining work.The first and most crucial step is imaging, which creates a copy of the source medium that replicates the structure and contents of a storage device independent of the file system.To retrieve data from a 5¼-inch floppy disk, a drive is connected to a “writeblocker,” a device that ensures information only flows one way, preventing data from being overwritten. The writeblocker is plugged into a computer, which extracts all the content and builds the disk image on the new drive.HBS was the first to use a FRED (Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device), a black computer tower with myriad plugin and reader capabilities that combines drive readers and writeblockers. Several other FREDs are now in use across the library. Staff members have come together at training sessions and to share best practices.The Harvard Law School Library has less variety of format types in its collections so far, and can manually create the imaging environment by using pristine, functioning, but now-obscure drives and hooking them up to a regular office computer with the writeblocker. Entering the library’s digital collections workspace is like going to a computer museum, or hopping into a time machine. Zip and floppy-disk drives of various sizes are strewn about.Once a disk is imaged and the content is off the original carrier, the content can be processed. Since imaging is the more urgent and sensitive step, most librarians try to image as much as they can first, and process information later. Occasionally, bit rot (or data rot) corrupts files.In the processing step, analysis with a forensic tool kit is performed on the imaged disk, preserving the original. Then a decision must be made about how the material will be accessed.There are two options, migration and emulation. Migration moves the information forward from one format to another, like converting a mid-’90s Corel WordPerfect file to an Adobe PDF. It is the easiest option for allowing researchers to view material, but may not perfectly recreate the original document. There could be a change as small as a shift in margin or spacing, or as large as rearranging the text.At the Law School Library, the curator uses XENA, open-source software developed by the National Archives of Australia, which recognizes hundreds of old and unusual file formats and quickly migrates them forward to current standard formats.Emulation recreates the original computing environment in which content was created, like an entire software suite, thus enabling a document to be viewed in its native form. Some types of files must be migrated because, while at a bit level the 1s and 0s are preserved, the lack of an appropriate operating system precludes the possibly of emulation. In either case, seeing a document in a form as close to its original is immensely valuable to researchers.“There is something about looking at these that evokes a different time and how faculty did research,” said Wise.Librarians sample the content after it’s extracted to make sure the work was successful. Afterward, more typical steps — common for paper records — are taken for access. The items are described and cataloged and opened up to researchers.Working in digital formats makes some things easier and some harder. “We can make high-level decisions,” explained Wise. “There’s a lot of intelligence you’re gaining in the process.”But frequently there are more decisions for archivists to make. In paper collections, the subjects often unintentionally “curated” content as it was created. After all, it would be impossible to keep every scrap of paper from a 60-year career without turning into a packrat. That’s not so with born-digital material; as device sizes decreased, storage size increased. Archivists and librarians don’t know how big a digital collection might be until they open it, and the volume is usually much greater than anticipated.“It’s a sort of closet that goes on and on,” Wise said. In addition to the increase in content in general, duplication is common, since disks were used as transport and backups as well as delivery tools. While the digital forensic software can “de-dupe” content, curators have to be careful. Sensitive personal information may need to be kept for an accurate original record of the contents, but must be removed from the files accessed by patrons until enough time has passed for all of a collection to be released.“There’s a lot of digging to be done,” said Margaret Peachy, curator of digital collections at the Law School Library. In addition to duplicates, copyrighted materials like music the creator listened to or e-publications he or she read are on the drives, and need to be removed. “It’s easier in some ways and a lot harder in others than paper processing,” she said.There’s also the issue of which items to reformat first. Since researcher requests do play into prioritizing library workflows, sometimes that affects the sequence. Whose it is or what it is also plays a role in determining priority. Where it makes sense due to cost and rarity of materials, Harvard outsources some of this kind of work to vendors.Each School has approached the problem differently, depending on the needs of the collections and their community of users, but they meet regularly to share best practices and learn from other areas, like Harvard’s Media Preservation group.Consideration for digital has seeped into many areas of library management. Gift agreements with the library have been re-engineered to include access to donor accounts on password-protected websites, like Facebook. Patron-access policies also have been adjusted, since some materials are restricted to viewing inside a reading room.One thing on which all the librarians and archivists agree: Even when the content is retrieved, the original media may need to be retained. Advancements now allow retrieval of content on formats that previously were written off as lost causes, such as the IRENE system for audiovisual materials, which photographically retrieves enough information to produce sound.Elizabeth Walters is Harvard Library’s preservation librarian for audiovisual materials, but sees almost everything while surveying collections. She said the problem won’t disappear soon. “If it’s physical media, there’s hardly a format left that’s not obsolete or obsolescing,” she said.As such, the churn of technology in collections will be something to keep addressing, but the Harvard Library is increasingly equipped to incorporate that in its collecting, processing, and preservation workflows. Maybe one day an iPad will cross an archivist’s desk and be kept as an artifact right next to a Bernoulli disk drive. In any case, the true treasures of Harvard’s collections — writings, recordings, and images — will be migrated forward, safe for generations.
Ceph is ideal for implementing software-defined storage (SDS) environments. We are proud to have delivered advanced SDS solutions powered by Ceph for our customers like University Alabama Birmingham, and Monash University. At Red Hat Summit we are previewing new SDS architectures jointly designed by Dell and Red Hat and powered by Ceph. These new SDS architectures illustrate how to fine tune and optimize Ceph storage for IOPS performance and scalability. Visit the Dell kiosk in the Storage Ecosystem Showcase in the expo hall to learn more.Red Hat has announced Ceph Storage 2, At Red Hat Summit Dell will preview a new open source storage solution – the DSS 7000 storage server with Red Hat Ceph Storage 2. We built the DSS 7000 to deliver maximum density and performance. It provides up to 720 TB of storage capacity using today’s 8TB drives. Visit the Dell expo booth #701 to experience the DSS 7000 and Ceph 2 live in person!Cloud performance benchmarking – Dell leading the way The SPEC Cloud IaaS 2016 Benchmark is the first specification by a major industry-standards performance consortium that defines how the performance of cloud computing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) can be measured and evaluated for cloud platforms, either public or private. Get more details on SPEC Cloud in this recent blog. Dell is the first – and so far only – cloud vendor either private or public to successfully execute the benchmark specification tests and to publish results. Learn more in our session on SPEC Cloud, Wed 06/29, 3:30 PM, room #2007. OpenStack Cloud – yes we have containersThe Dell Red Hat Cloud Solution is now in its 5th generation and is built on the solid foundation of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8, and we integrate the latest generation PowerEdge server platforms with Intel Xeon E5-2600 V4 family of processors. Working with Intel and Red Hat we have completed phase one in our “on-ramp to cloud” program that developed and refined enterprise capabilities for VM migration, Instance HA and Host maintenance capabilities in OpenStack.At Red Hat summit we are pleased to introduce two new validated extensions for our OpenStack cloud solution powered with Red Hat OpenStack Platform.OpenShift by Red Hat: Platform-as-a-service (Paas) empowers developers to easily develop, deploy, and run applications. Integrates with a standardized container model powered Docker and Kubernetes to provide container-based write once/run anywhere capabilities.Red Hat Cloud Forms: Implements a unified management framework with advanced life cycle management and hybrid cloud capabilities across OpenStack and other infrastructure and cloud platforms.Extensions to our core architecture are all thoroughly validated just like the core architecture to ensure a consistent seamless cloud environment that just works. Guidance for implementing and optimizing all of the validated extensions is provided in technical guides posted on Dell Tech Center. Visit the Dell expo booth #701 to learn more about Dell and Red Hat OpenStack cloud solutions.Dell Sessions at Red Hat Summit 2016What is Red Hat Summit without some interesting and compelling sessions! Experience open source with Dell in our sessions and in Tuesday’s general session.Dell Keynote – Tues June 28 1:45pm, Jim Ganthier, Vice President and GM, Engineered Systems, HPC, and CloudEnterprise Ceph: Everyway, your way Tues, June 28, 10:15 am, Room #3007, Amit BhutaniRepeatable, reliable, OpenStack deployments –pipe dream or reality? Thurs, June 30, 4:45pm, Room #2007, Randy PerrymanMeasuring performance in the cloud: A scientific approach to an elastic problem Wed, June 29, 3:30pm, Room #300, Nicholas Wakou Red Hat Summit 2016 is upon us and the theme this year is “Learn. Network. Experience open source.” Dell is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of Red Hat Summit 2016. We invite attendees to experience Dell and Red Hat’s industry propelling solutions powered by open source engines. At this Summit we are showcasing our OpenStack Cloud and Software-defined Storage solutions with Red Hat Ceph, and exploring developments around new cloud performance benchmarks.Storage formally known as Inktank Before Ceph was acquired by Red Hat they were known as InkTank Storage. We have been integrating Ceph into our solutions for a number of years, and it has been a fun journey to work with the Inktank and Ceph teams and watch Ceph evolve and grow into a de facto standard for open source storage. Dell has probably the widest set of solution offerings with Ceph in the industry. At Red Hat summit we are showcasing Ceph in multiple solutions:Ceph plays a key role and is the default storage environment in our Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution. Ceph delivers massively scalable block and object storage and we have engineered this architecture to bring together the combination of a powerful, scalable core architecture with a portfolio of validated extensions. Visit us at Red Hat Summit expo in booth #701, connect and network with Dell experts, and take a deep-dive into trending topics. We hope to see you there!
Pope Francis’ recently released list of 19 men who will soon become cardinals included a Notre Dame graduate and bishops from Haiti and Burkina Faso, highlighting the current patriarch’s commitment to pastoral leadership and inclusion of the poor, director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life John Cavadini said.“[Pope Francis] appointed cardinals from places that have never had a cardinal before … and that certainly indicates the desire to reach out,” Cavadini said. TORI ROECK | The Observer Pope Francis’ list of new cardinals included Kelvin Edward Felix, archbishop emeritus of Castries, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Felix received a master of arts degree from Notre Dame in 1969, according to the Notre Dame Alumni Association.“Of course he wasn’t elected because he is a Notre Dame alum, but because of his servant leadership in the Church for many years as bishop,” Cavadini said. “But it certainly shows [Notre Dame] can produce Church leaders.”Lawrence Cunningham, Church historian and theology professor, said the pope’s attention to marginalized countries will allow those regions of the world the possibility of participating in the College of Cardinals’ main responsibility, naming a new pope.“It’s usually around this time of year, the beginning of the year, that the pope typically nominates bishops and archbishops to the College of Cardinals,” Cunningham said. “One of the reasons he does that is to be sure that the Catholic world is represented in the College of Cardinals because the most important thing that the College does is to elect a new pope.“The most interesting thing … was the fact that he named a cardinal from Haiti and a cardinal from Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is one of the poorest, most wretched countries in Africa, and I think that that was done so that those bishops will have in the College of Cardinals a voice for the forgotten part of the world, not the third world but basically the fourth world, or the poorest countries of the world.“The most important thing is that it says something about [Francis’] tremendous concern for the poor of the world.”Cavadini said Pope Francis’ appointments of Archbishop Philippe Ouèdraogo of Burkina Faso and Bishop Chibly Langlois of Haiti reflected his attempt to promote the Church’s core mission.“Pope Francis wants to emphasize that the Church is not really here for its own sake, not here for itself,” Cavadini said. “The Church is here to serve. The Church is here to be a witness to God’s love and that means especially in places where that love seems to be most absent .“In one sense, [Francis] wants the whole Church to be a church of witness to the belief that God is love and so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son.”Cavadini said Pope Francis had continued Pope Benedict’s return to the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, but Francis’ commitment to pastoral ministry signified a different approach.“Pope Benedict had a lot of concern for getting back to basics of the faith like God is love; that was his first encyclical,” Cavadini said. “ What Pope Francis is really doing is translating that into a pastoral strategy.“So if you’re going to propose to get back to basics that God is love, then you should have a pastoral strategy that organizes the Church according to those principles more obviously.”Cavadini said the pope had set an example of his own emphasis on pastoral outreach by reaching out more frequently to those in his own archdiocese.“He adds a kind of personal touch to this,” Cavadini said. “I think he kind of expects us to have that touch.“For example, he says Mass every morning where he lives in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, in the [Vatican] guesthouse, for just regular people from the Archdiocese of Rome. In other words, he’s emphasizing that he’s the Bishop of Rome.”Cunningham said few of the bishops or archbishops on Francis’ list surprised those who follow Vatican decisions closely since the bishops and archbishops of certain major cities or regions almost always become cardinals.“He named a Canadian, but no one from the United States, and that’s because the places where you traditionally find cardinals named are already cardinals,” Cunningham said. “For example, if you become the Archbishop of New York, unless you do something egregiously stupid or egregiously immoral, you’re going to be named a cardinal.”Tags: cardinals, Catholic church, Notre Dame, Pope Francis
LONDON — As the weather warms up in the United Kingdom, so has the political climate. Britain is on the verge of a historic vote on whether or not to stay in the European Union, an election which many are calling the “Brexit” vote.A Brexit — a portmanteau of “British exit” — would create questions about the strength of the European Union, which has seen recent economic crises in Greece and Cyprus. The U.K. has been a member of the European Union — formerly called the European Community — since 1973, but does not use the Euro currency.Keith Surridge, a professor of British history at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, said the push for a Brexit arose due to fears about immigration.“They’ve been swamped by a load of foreigners,” he said. “Some call it an invasion in certain parts of the country where there’s small communities that have had a lot of Eastern Europeans arrive recently.“There are others who look at immigration and say there’s just too much of it and it’s affecting the economy, the [National Health Service] — that sort of thing. Britain can’t cope with the influx of people. I think immigration is at the heart of it.”Surridge also said leaders of the Brexit movement, including former mayor of London Boris Johnson and head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage, have argued the EU is not helping Britain’s economy.“On the other end, there’s a view that the European Union is economically moribund,” he said. “It’s not growing — the problems in the Eurozone have shown that — and that it’s holding Britain back. Britain has a more dynamic economy that’s been growing in the last few years, unlike virtually all the other European economies.”Josh Copeland, rector of Notre Dame’s housing in London at Conway Hall, said the financial implications are perhaps the most important aspect of the referendum, and a Brexit could have a negative impact on the world economy.“When the polls for [a Brexit] have gone up and it looks like the leave campaign is going to win, worldwide markets have started to slip,” Copeland said. “And when it seems like the remain campaign has actually been polling stronger in the last few days, markets have stabilized around the world.”Copeland said if the U.K. voted to leave the EU, several financial questions would be raised about London’s status in the international banking community.“[International banks] couldn’t and wouldn’t necessarily want to do business here anymore, so things would change,” he said. “We don’t know how [much] — that’s the thing.”But unlike most votes, Surridge said the Brexit referendum will not play out solely on party lines. He believes many Labour Party members will vote to leave, which is against the party’s official position.“It’s becoming a class issue,” he said. “I think many working-class communities, who you would normally expect to vote Labour, are voting to leave.”Surridge also said leaders are working across their typical party boundaries in order to achieve their desired outcome.“I think [Prime Minister] David Cameron, the leader of the conservatives, campaigned with the leader of the Scottish National Party to remain. Normally they’re deadly enemies,” he said.The passions the referendum has sparked are also unusual, and the debate has turned venomous, Surridge said.“When we have general elections here, you don’t get that sort of nastiness generally,” Surridge said. “Here, it’s become much more emotive … People are being called liars.”Tensions were also heightened by the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour member of Parliament. Cox was killed last Thursday in West Yorkshire, allegedly by Thomas Mair.How much the killing had to do with the Brexit vote remains to be determined, but it has certainly caused voters to rethink their positions heading intoThursday, Copeland said.“It is getting really heated, and the tragic murder of [Cox] this week by someone who seems to espouse some really right-wing, fascist ideas — it’s a bit of a scary time, and everyone’s had to stop and take stock of what the conversations actually look like in this campaign, which has been tough,” Copeland said.The effect a potential Brexit would haveon future Notre Dame students studying abroad down the road appears to be minimal, according to Copeland.“Our visas, for those people who need visas here — and a lot of [our] students are on an arrangement that’s not strictly a visa, because we’ve worked that out with the border agency — it could be impacted a bit,” he said.The impact a Brexit would have on the financial market is more likely to affect students staying in the U.K., Copeland said.“[It] will change everything down to the value of the change in your pocket to what it takes for us to run a program like this,” he said. “I have no doubt that Notre Dame will see our way through it, but every business and every academic institution could be impacted one way or another.”Surridge said a Brexit may even have a positive consequences for students studying abroad.“The remainers say that if we do have Brexit, that will affect the value of the pound — and it will go down,” he said. “And that can only be good for students coming here and their parents paying for it.”Mark Pruitt, a sophomore currently participating in Notre Dame’s London program, said the impact of the campaigns have been minimal during his travel experience.“You see the campaigns, but you ignore it, because it’s not relevant to you,” he said. “It seems like it’s everywhere. It seems like it’s a huge deal. People on both sides are warning of negative consequences if things don’t go their way, but it doesn’t seem like that’s for students studying abroad, more for people living here.”And although students currently studying in Notre Dame’s London program will not be impacted by the results of the vote, that has not kept some of them from staying informed on the issues and drawing their own conclusions.“From a business perspective, [I think] the only option is to stay. From a sovereignty and British pride perspective, there is incentive to escape the rules and regulations of the EU,” Justin McCurdy, a sophomore also studying in the program, said. “I would vote to stay. For economics, global stability, and hegemony, it just makes sense to stay. The results of leaving are just a big question mark, and it’s not worth it.”Greg Trinkl, another sophomore in the University’s London program, also weighed the economic ramifications of the vote.“Most publications here in the United Kingdom highlight the long-term implications of the Brexit, which could be disastrous to global deal-making and economic efficiency,” Trinkl said. “That’s why I think they should remain.”Surridge said the vote will be very close, but predicts his home country will stay in the EU.“I think it’s going to be a lot closer than people thought,” Surridge said. “I think the fear factor will be tipped in favor of remain.”Tags: Boris Johnson, Brexit, David Cameron, European Union, Jo Cox, Nigel Farage, referendum, United Kingdom
To help keep diseases out of your winter annual flowerbeds, University of Georgia plant pathologist Jean Williams-Woodward recommends starting with disease-resistant plants.“Selecting powdery mildew resistant cultivars of crape myrtles is easy. Just buy the ones with the Indian names,” said Williams-Woodward, a scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. These include the white flowering, ‘Natchez’ and the lavender flowering ‘Muskogee.’ Selecting disease resistant flowering annuals takes a little more thought.Pick the right varietiesWhen adding pansies to your winter landscape, she recommends selecting from this list of leaf spot resistant varieties: ‘Bingo Red & Yellow,’ ‘Crown Blue,’ ‘Crown Golden,’ ‘Crystal Bowl Supreme Yellow,’ ‘Crystal Bowl True Blue,’ ‘Dynamite Red & Yellow,’ ‘Majestic Giants Yellow’ and ‘Viola Sorbet Blackberry Cream.’ “Leaf spot resistance doesn’t mean they are totally immune to disease,” she said. “It means they get less disease than a susceptible variety.”If Patiola pansies are your flower of choice, Williams-Woodard recommends buying Purple Passion Mix, Pure Yellow, Pure Lemon and Pure Orange. These varieties are all less susceptible to Cercospora leaf spot than the Colossus series cultivars, she said.Remove infected plantsThis season Williams-Woodward expects to see snapdragons and pansies with downy mildew. This disease likes wet, humid and cooler weather. “The best control method is to remove the downy mildew infected plants because it spreads very fast,” she said. “You can send the plants to me because I personally love mildews. Once it spreads in your flowerbed, you won’t be able to control it.”Impatiens, another Georgia landscape favorite, is often infected by downy mildew. Williams-Woodward says home landscapers who saw the disease on their impatiens last year, will see it again if they plant in the same spot. “It can be hard to spot the symptoms – rapid defoliation, subtle leaf discoloration, downward cupping of leaves and white sporulation on the leaf underside – but eventually your impatiens will look like bare stems or twigs,” she said.You get what you pay forRoot rot disease is also a major problem in winter landscape beds. Georgia has had a fairly wet winter, which will make conditions ideal for root rot disease.“If you buy cheap plants from the ‘almost dead rack’ you are buying and bringing home problems,” Williams-Woodward said.To help prevent root rot diseases, she recommends installing plants at a higher elevation, not planting too deeply, improving soil drainage and redirecting water so plants are not overwatered. “And try not to till in old plants and plant materials,” she said. “If you had disease there before you are just incorporating that material back into the area.”Root rot diseases thrive in moisture, so inspect plant beds and make sure there are no sources of extra water, such as a downspout aimed into the bed or an irrigation pattern that directly hits the area.Numerous cases of black root rot (Thielaviopsis basicola) are being reported. It produces black spores in chains that survive in soil. In large numbers they cause the roots to look black, thus the name.“We are seeing a lot of it this year but some years we don’t. It favors cooler temperatures and alkaline soils, so keeping the pH below 5.8 will reduce it,” she said.Avoiding susceptible plants will also help fight black root rot. Susceptible plants include vincas, pansies/violas, snapdragons, impatiens, petunias, calibrachoas, verbenas and begonias. Less susceptible plants are salvias, geraniums, marigolds, zinnias, dusty millers, coleuses and celosias.“I haven’t met a calibrachoa yet that isn’t susceptible to black root rot,” she said.Follow these tipsOverall, to help reduce the amount of disease growing in your landscape flowerbeds, Williams-Woodward recommends following these tips:Follow good sanitation practices.Propagate from clean stock.Plant the correct plant in the correct location.Manage and modify the environment. (But don’t over water.)Use resistant cultivars.Eliminate disease-prone plants.Use, but don’t rely on, chemical control.Keep your tools clean. “Keeping track of what diseases you have in your beds now will help you plan for your landscape in the future,” she said.
I believe that the Mayor’s measure is very wise because it creates a culture of peace in that country. I hope that every Mayor of every country follows that example. I hope that in my country, the Dominican Republic, they make this measure a reality, since the measure saves lives. PETRO…DOESN’T LOSE ANYTHING, THE ONES WHO LOSE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT OUR CITY. ALL THE PROJECTS THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO DO FALL APART, THEY HAND THEM OVER AND STILL WON’T ADMINISTRATE BECAUSE THEY KEEP SPENDING MORE MONEY UNNECESSARILY. I DON’T AGREE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WANT OTHER ELECTIONS. DO NOT WASTE THIS CITY AND LET’S LEARN FROM MEDELLIN WHERE THERE’S PROGRESS; AND WHAT IS THAT COUNCIL DOING, DAYS GO BY AND NOTHING GOOD IS DONE FOR THE CITY BECAUSE THEY CAN’T COME TO AN AGREEMENT JUST WAITING FOR THE ALLOWANCE WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING POSITIVE. The new mayor of Bogota, formerly a gun-toting leftist rebel, underscored his break with the past by announcing a ban on carrying firearms in the violence-ridden Colombian capital. “As mayor and police chief, in accordance with the constitution, carrying weapons will be prohibited 24 hours a day in Bogota,” Mayor Gustavo Petro proclaimed at a ceremony marking the start of his four-year term. “Bogota told the world it is a weapons-free zone and so, we will not wear them,” he declared. “It is one thing to own a weapon and another to carry one on the street, in the nightclubs, on the bus and in the parks,” he told a crowd of some 4,000 people at a ceremony in Bogota’s Bolivar Square. Petro, a former senator and onetime leftist with the M-19 guerrilla group, was voted into office in October 2011. By Dialogo January 05, 2012
By Steven McLoud/Diálogo June 07, 2019 For two weeks, noncommissioned officers (NCOs) from the Colombian Army — as well as four from Brazil — attended the bi-annual PISAJE program held in the United States. PISAJE (a Spanish acronym for Senior NCOs Integral Program) is a mil-to-mil engagement between the Colombian Military Forces and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. The visit to the United States is the culmination of a five month course Colombian NCOs take before they graduate, consisting of an academic curriculum that includes tactics, logistics administration, and leadership courses. During the first week of the U.S. visit in Fort Bliss, bordering Texas and New Mexico, participants attended briefings and panels on leadership and competencies. While in Fort Bliss, soldiers from U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH) and the Colombian and Brazilian delegations conducted physical readiness training and received an overview of the U.S. Army Basic Leader Course at the Fort Bliss Noncommissioned Officer Academy. “Visiting Fort Bliss, we learned the educational process at their NCO academy, and that was very important for us,” said Colombian Army Sergeant Major Argemiro Posso, military senior enlisted advisor to the Joint Chief of Staff. “We’ll be able to take these lessons learned back to Colombia and embed them into our curriculum at our own academies,” he said. “For me, the highlight was the NCO academy and their organization, professionalism, and the structure they had,” added Colombian Army Sergeant Major Carlos Arturo Gómez Rincón. “It opens the door for us to one day soon, we hope — with the support of our army commander as well as the ARSOUTH commander — to form our own future leaders and establish our own NCO academy for all of Latin America.” Following their visit to Fort Bliss, NCOs were then brought to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, Florida, for the second week where they attended briefings to learn about the interagency focus in addition to joint experiences from different components and joint staff organizations. Best practices were learned when the components gave their briefings on the operations they conduct and how they interact with the Colombian military by combatting the common threats Colombia and the United States share. During one of the briefings, Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of SOUTHCOM, spoke to the NCOs about the importance of the relationship the commander and the command sergeant major (CSM) must have — a relationship built upon mutual trust and honesty. “He should be able to look me in the eye and provide me honest and candid feedback, but also tell me when I’m wrong,” Adm. Faller said, and added that a CSM should be a leader of presence and be the pulse of the organization. During this last iteration of PISAJE, the focus was on Executive Leadership provided by the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence and Sergeants Major Academy at ARSOUTH as well as operating in a joint environment provided by the SOUTHCOM senior enlisted leaders. The next PISAJE is scheduled for October-November. “The plan is to continue PISAJE and obviously we follow the guidance from SOUTHCOM,” said U.S. Army Sergeant Major José Bueno of ARSOUTH’s Security Cooperation Division. “[The] United States continues to be the partner of choice because we share a lot of knowledge with them, exchange ideas, lessons learned, and they take them back and apply them to what’s best for their army.” ARSOUTH’s mantra is “Junto Podemos” (Together We Can) and it’s a sentiment echoed by the Colombian NCOs. “The United States and Colombia share common threats and they can always count on us to help combat those threats, said Sgt. Maj. Posso. “We have a strong alliance and a great friendship.”
With school districts now awaiting guidance from New York State, U-E officials say all they can do is prepare for every possible situation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are faced with an uncertain future as the upcoming school year approaches. U-E officials are starting discussions about what the year could look like. “There are three possible models that we are going to have to think about,” said Union-Endicott CSD Superintendent Nicole Wolfe. However, for each situation, there’s a long list of concerns officials have to plan for, from nutrition, to social needs, athletics, and more. (WBNG) — Union-Endicott Central School District is working with other local districts to plan for all types of situations in the upcoming school year. The first of those models would have all students back in the classroom for the entire year. Another model would do the opposite, having students and staff conduct remote learning throughout the year. The last of the models, a hybrid model, would combine both situations. “It could look like students going to school on days one, three, five, and on two, four, and six, they’re remote. On two, four, and six, another group is in school, and one, three, and five is remote,” said Wolfe. “New York doesn’t have a plan, we’re all kind of at a disadvantage right now because we don’t even know what we’re planning for,” said Wolfe. A hybrid model would allow students to split time between the classroom and remote learning. “If school was going to start tomorrow, I would say we need a hybrid model. I think it’s the most complicated because it could take so many different forms,” said Wolfe. Wolfe says U-E officials will be meeting this week to further discuss options. She says she is also looking at reopening plans in other states, as well as working with local school districts to create a more unified plan.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDear Chuck [Schumer],You’re probably unaware that when you made the decision to give the interests of your party priority over the interests of your country, you would be writing your legacy and your epitaph, “I shut down the government.”Stephen B. AmesMaltaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists