Homicide suspects ‘exploited’ blind spot in California jail to escape, authorities say

first_imgMonterey County Sheriff (MONTEREY, Calif.) — The two homicide suspects who escaped from a California jail over the weekend, were able to “exploit” a “blind spot” in the facility, according to authorities.Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, escaped from the Monterey County Jail in Salinas, a city about 60 miles south of San Jose, in the early morning hours on Sunday but were not reported missing until about 8:15 a.m., Capt. John Thornburg, public information officer for the Monterey Sheriff’s Office, told reporters during a press conference Monday.Fonseca and Salazar were able to create a hole about 22 inches wide in the ceiling above a bathroom in their housing unit, which enabled them to climb in and work their way through, Thornburg said.On the other side of the bathroom wall, which is a space that houses pipes for plumbing, they kicked in a hatch that led to the outside. Since the jail is under construction, the outdoor area was covered in construction fencing, rather than security fencing with barbed wire, and the two were able to leave the jail’s grounds, Thornburg said.The vulnerability is unique to the unit that the pair was being housed in, and maintenance crews are currently addressing how to fix it, Thornburg said.The jail experienced another escape about five years ago, but in that case, the inmate climbed through a ventilation duct in a different housing unit, Thornburg said.Authorities are investigating how long they were planning their escape. When asked whether they had help on the inside by employees, Thornburg replied, “absolutely not.”Fonseca and Salazar were both arrested by the Salinas Police Department for homicide and other violent crimes, Thornburg said.Fonseca was booked on June 7, 2018, for charges of murder and attempted robbery on a $2.25 million bond, according to court records. He allegedly shot and killed two people earlier that month, The Californian reported.Salazar was arrested on July 7, 2018 for a murder that was committed in October 2017, according to the Salinas Police Department. He and an unnamed minor were charged with killing a man and attempting to murder his girlfriend after Salazar allegedly fired into the couple’s car with their 18-month-old child inside, The Californian reported. The child was not injured in the shooting.Other charges Salazar was being held on include vehicle theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, violation of probation and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to court records.They were both born in Salinas and are affiliated with gangs, although it appears that they are affiliated with opposing gangs and did not have a connection prior to being jailed in the same unit, said Thornburg.Authorities are asking for the public’s help locating them, but warned not to approach the suspects, who are considered to be armed and dangerous. They are currently wearing jail-issued clothing, he added.A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the inmates’ arrest. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Storms causing travel headaches on both coasts ahead of Christmas

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Storms on both coasts are bringing trouble to holiday travelers to start out the week. One storm is causing flooding and gusty winds for the Southeast while the other has brought heavy rain to Southern California and snow in the mountains. The storm in the Southeast is bringing heavy rain from southern Florida all the way to the Carolinas on Monday morning. Flooding has been reported in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the airport briefly had to close down, and parts of the region got more than 8 inches of rain in the six hours after midnight.The storm will slowly move through the Carolinas by Monday evening with drier conditions expected for Florida. Up to 5 inches of rain is possible in South Carolina through the next 24 hours. West Coast stormThe western storm is bringing very heavy rain to Southern California on Monday morning, including Los Angeles and San Diego, with some flooding possible. In the mountains of Southern California some areas could see up to a foot of snow. In the L.A. area and San Diego, as much as 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible.Heavy rain will also spread into Arizona later on Monday and into the nighttime hours, with some areas seeing up to 1 inch of rainfall. Snow will spread into the southern Rockies from Utah to Colorado, where some areas could see more than a foot in the next 36 hours.Christmas thawOutside of the two travel trouble spots in the Southwest and Southeast, it will be a very mild, spring-like Christmas for most of the eastern U.S. Temperatures will reach the 50s close to Chicago and the 40s into the Great Lakes and the Northeast.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Ghislaine Maxwell again denied bail

first_imgiStockBy: JAMES HILL, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A $28 million proposed bail package and letters of support from more than a dozen relatives and friends failed to persuade a federal judge to release Ghislaine Maxwell from custody in advance of her criminal trial next year.U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, in a brief order Monday, denied Maxwell’s second attempt at pretrial release, concluding that none of the new information altered the court’s previous determination that Maxwell, an alleged co-conspirator of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, posed a flight risk if granted bail.“[T]he Court again concludes that no conditions of release can reasonably assure [Maxwell’s] appearance at future proceedings,” Nathan wrote.Maxwell’s legal team spent months preparing what they billed as a “comprehensive bail package” containing “substantial information” that was not available to present to the court at Maxwell’s initial detention hearing in July. Several friends and family, whose names were redacted from the public court filings, had pledged assets and offered to co-sign the bond.The renewed bail application also revealed for the first time that Maxwell, 59, has been married since 2016. Her husband wrote in a letter to the court that he had “never witnessed anything close to inappropriate with Ghislaine; quite to the contrary, the Ghislaine I know is a wonderful and loving person.”But prosecutors continued to oppose Maxwell’s release, arguing that she remained an “extreme flight risk” because of her foreign ties, her alleged “lack of candor” with the court and her “willingness and sophisticated ability to live in hiding,” according to court documents.The government balked at the notion that her marriage would keep her from fleeing the country and faulted Maxwell for an “apparent willingness to deceive” the court initially about her spouse and assets after her arrest.Maxwell’s lawyers claimed prosecutors had effectively ignored her new arguments and were holding her to an “impossible standard” because of the government’s acknowledged failures in connection with Epstein’s death while in federal custody last year.“With regard to any other defendant, this record would readily support release on strict bail conditions, perhaps even on consent. But this is Ghislaine Maxwell, the apparent substitute for Jeffrey Epstein,” wrote Maxwell attorney Mark S. Cohen in a court filing earlier this month.Judge Nathan has temporarily sealed the analysis and explanation for her decision until her order is reviewed by Maxwell’s lawyers and prosecutors for “potentially confidential information” that should be redacted before the document is made public.Maxwell, the youngest daughter of the late British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, has been held in a federal detention center in Brooklyn, New York, since early July. She pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment alleging that she conspired with Epstein in a multi-state sex trafficking scheme involving three unnamed minor victims between 1994 and 1997.Prosecutors contend Maxwell not only “befriended” and later “enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein, through a variety of means and methods,” but was also, at times, “present for and involved” in the abuse herself. She also faces two perjury charges for alleged false statements she made in 2016 during depositions in a civil lawsuit against her.Maxwell’s trial is scheduled for July 2021.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Letting agent apologises after mistakenly trying to charge tenant illegal fees

first_imgHome » News » Letting agent apologises after mistakenly trying to charge tenant illegal fees previous nextRegulation & LawLetting agent apologises after mistakenly trying to charge tenant illegal feesCautionary tale shows how careful agents must now be when issuing documents to ensure old charges aren’t included in tenancy agreements.Nigel Lewis6th August 20190941 Views A letting agent in Liverpool has been investigated by the BBC after trying to charge a tenant illegal fees.Graduate Lewis Ridley, 23, who had recently finished his degree at the city’s John Moores University, applied to move into a one-bedroom flat within the city’s Baltic Triangle area (pictured, above) after securing his first job.But he was then asked for £180 as a combined administration and referencing check fee.He was also told by the letting agent involved that he would be charged a £70 fee to renew his tenancy contract in 12 months’ time and £25 to be sent a letter if he paid his rent late and had to be chased.Ridley (pictured, below) put details of the fees on Twitter calling them ‘sickening’ and pondering how people on low wages afford them.But the media studies gradiate, despite his advanced level of education, was unaware of the tenant fees ban.“Usually I’m quite plugged into stuff but the news about tenancy fees and 1 June just passed me by,” he told the BBC.After being informed on Twitter that the fees were illegal he alerted his letting agent, who then apologised.The company subsequently sent him a letter saying: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I am fully aware of the tenant fee ban instated [sic] on the 1st June.“We have altered all our adverts and materials to coincide with this but our template tenancy agreement must have been overlooked. I will get this amended and resend to yourself this afternoon.”Liverpool letting agent tenant fees ban August 6, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

IS IT TRUE JANUARY 21, 2019

first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? IS IT TRUE that we have just confirmed that Ben Trockman is poised to announce that he will be a candidate for the 1st Ward City Council seat?  …we are told that Ben will run as a Democrat in the Republican 1st Ward? …if Ben is elected as the 1st Ward City Councilman he shall be the first Democrat to win this seat since Paul Hatfield did 52 years ago?IS IT TRUE we were just informed that 5th Ward City Councilman, Justin Elpers (R) will be having a Democratic opponent in the upcoming City Council election? …we’ve been told that his opponent is extremely well known in the 5th Ward and that she will be well funded?IS IT TRUE LT. GOVERNOR SUSAN CROUCH is doing an incredible job? …she works day and night for the betterment of the citizens of this great state?  …that Lt Governor Crouch is respected by members from both sides of the political aisle? …that our crystal ball predicts that one day she may have the title of Governor of The State of Indiana?IS IT TRUE that last week we posted a comment stating that “FUNK IN THE CITY” raised over $200,000 to support charitable activities in the Center City and the Hayne’s Corner areas over last 10 years?  …we forgot to say this organization may have been under the direct control of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau for the last 9 out of the 10 years? …we been told that “FUNK IN THE CITY” now have their own Board of Directors and are currently applying for non-profit status with the IRS? …we are hearing that the “FUNK IN THE CITY” Board of Directors are hoping that CVB kept detailed accounting records of the money raised by this group and how they used this money for charitable activities during the last 9 out of 10 years?IS IT TRUE back in 2017 we reported that the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation was the proud owner of a far Northside golf course?…it was alleged EVSC purchased this golf course on the far Northside for the handsome sum of $3.5 million dollars? …in 2017 we also stated that golf was a declining sport and we consider this to be a questionable venture? …early this year the family that sold this golf course to the EVSC announced that are now selling this property to any interested developer?  …we wonder what happened to this $3.5 million dollars deal between the golf course property owners and EVSC? …we wonder if the Supt. of the Evansville/Vanderburgh County Schools or members of the EVSC Board would spend their personal money the same way they spend our tax dollars on questionable projects?  …we bet you know the answer to this question?IS IT TRUE that our good friend Marty Friend is having some serious health challenges?  …over the last six (6) month she has been in and out of hospitals? …we ask that you join up in praying for Marty’s quick recovery? …we also give praise to her loving husband, John for being with her every step of the way during this most difficult time?IS IT TRUE several years ago the Evansville DMD purchased the Knotty Pine Restaurant on North Main street and demolished it for a paved public parking lot?  …that today this property is nothing more than a corner vacant lot full of weeds? …we wonder if the Executive Director of the Evansville DMD or the members of the ERC Board of Directors would spend their personal money the same way they spend our tax dollars on questionable projects?  …we bet you know the answer to this question?IS IT TRUE we are told that the lawmakers of the State of Indiana are trying to set the stage that all of the state agencies will be getting more casino tax dollars if “Sport Books” gaming is approved?…we remember back when casino gambling was first approved the politicians proclaimed that it was going to be the “manna from heaven” that will have a major impact in the funding of public education? …later on our elected officials declared that those gaming dollars could be redirected to help pay for new infrastructure projects?…here we are more than 20 plus years later our city officials are now borrowing $25 million against future “casino gaming tax money” to pay for projects that will not impact the economy any more than Weinzapfel’s folly Ford Center did?IS IT TRUE that ECHO Housing Corp has just completed a housing project for the homeless located at 101 North Garvin Street in Evansville, Indiana? …this old office-warehouse building was converted into a 27 one bedroom apartments for the homeless at an eye-popping price of $6.1 Million dollars?…this project works out to $225,000 per one bedroom apartment?…unless these apartments are going to rent for $1,750 per month the taxpayers of the United States, Indiana, and Evansville are getting hosed in a big way?…given that such apartments will likely be in the Section 8 pool of properties the rent for a one bedroom apartment will not exceed about $550 month? …we wonder how the homeless, unemployed and economically disadvantaged are going to pay their rent and utilities once they move into these very nice one bedroom apartments? …we wonder how many two bedrooms Habitat type homes that ECHO Housing Corp. could have built with this $6 million dollars State grant earmarked for providing housing for the homeless and economically disadvantaged?IS IT TRUE that CCO contributing author Joe Wallace and his wife Karen were recently seen having dinner with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice? …Wallace and Rice first met at Stanford University back in the 80s when they were both young energetic whippersnappers and should have much to talk about what they were both up to their eyeballs in?…perhaps the most activist thing that happened on campus back then was the establishment of a ragtag group called Mandella Free University that was demanding that Stanford divest it’s holding of all things tied to South Africa until Nelson Mandella was set free from the Robbin Island prison?…that worked like a charm as divestment drove justice without firing a shot, setting a fire, or breaking any windows?… Did mandella go on to become president of South Africa and lead his country elegantly through troubled times of change?IS IT TRUE that CCO contributing author Joe Wallace has been writing an extremely exciting book during the last several years?  …we were sent a for-your-eyes-only draft copy of his book and must say his reference to the City of Evansville was spot on? …we predict that Mr. Wallaces will be well received among those who have a passion of starting an “Angel Fund” and thinking outside the box?IS IT TRUE during the last two years as many as a third to half of the federal agency executive positions have remained vacant, either because they resigned, was never confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, or we’re never nominated to begin with? …according to the nonprofit group Partnership for Public Service who has been keeping tabs on key executive branch nominations that require Senate confirmation — including Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsels, and agency heads for many years?  …this group reports that they are currently tracking roughly 700 vacant executive branch positions and only 433 have been confirmed?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you think that the Republicans will take control of the Evansville City Council in 2019?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected] comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers. 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Local Eagle Scout Launches Computer Classes for Vets

first_imgMichael Doliszny is in student and Boy Scout mode in this photo collage. (Photos courtesy of Doliszny family) By Tim KellyThe proliferation of new technology has helped make many tasks easier for many people. However, some folks have a more difficult adjustment than others to the digital age. Michael Doliszny, an Ocean City Eagle Scout, wants to make life with computers easier for our veterans, particularly older ones.“It’s a real problem for many vets,” Michael said in a recent interview. “Job applications, filing for veterans’ benefits and many other instances occur in which veterans must go online. Digital technology can be a great thing, if it’s used right. My goal is to help veterans feel more comfortable using computers, which in turn makes them more self-sufficient.”To that end, Michael is in the process of launching a free technology course for veterans. The first class takes place on Saturday at the Atlantic Cape Community College computer lab at the campus in Cape May Court House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A free lunch and refreshments will be provided.Michael’s veterans’ program is a spinoff of his original Eagle Scout service project. He developed a smartphone app that locates electric car charging stations throughout Cape May County. Last January, the Cape May County Freeholder Board unanimously supported the project.Any money raised through the app was to be donated to local veterans’ organizations. In facilitating the donation, Michael interacted with the freeholders and veterans, and became aware of the need for many vets to become more computer-literate. “By improving veterans’ computer skills, we are able to improve their quality of life,” Michael said. “That’s something I wanted to address because our vets have given so much to our community, and I wanted to do more to give something back.”Michael Doliszny and Freeholder Marie Hayes are joined by representatives of local veterans’ organizations.Michael, an 18-year-old senior at St. Augustine Prep, recently spoke before a group of more than 100 veterans to explain his idea, and he was warmly received. He also raised nearly $19,000 in donations and pledges to help sustain the course in the future.“This young man has given of his time, effort and computer skills, all for the betterment of our veterans,” Freeholder Marie Hayes said. “The freeholders support Michael wholeheartedly and we hope our community does the same.” Michael raised the funds from local individuals, organizations and businesses over the last six weeks. The money will pay for a total of 52 courses to help approximately 375 veterans, he said. Congressman Jeff Van Drew also has pledged to support Michael’s initiative.The program is in collaboration with the Citizens/Veterans Advisory Council of Cape May County (CVAC), ACCC, the freeholders and local veterans groups.Michael feels computer literacy for veterans is a concept whose time has come.   “Computer literacy can make veterans more employable, more independent, and simply make their lives less stressful and more enjoyable,” he said. “Our vets have experience and skills to offer employers and the community. Sometimes it is lost or underutilized because the veteran might not have the required basic tech skills. That’s the idea behind the course.”Congressman Jeff Van Drew is one of the elected officials who have supported Michael Doliszny’s project to help area veterans with computer literacy.ACCC donated the use of its computer labs to host the course, and one of its computer science faculty members worked with Michael to develop the curriculum.The first class is full, Michael’s mom Kristina Doliszny said, with the next one scheduled for March 30 at the Free Public Library of Ocean City. Other classes will take place at the Wildwood Public Library and other locations to be announced. Call Nelson Gonzalez at CVAC to secure a spot in the next available class at (609) 413-1451. Each class is limited to 22 students and spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.“Technology doesn’t have to be something that gets in the way. It should be something that is helpful,” Michael said.Click on link for program flyer:https://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Vet-Computer-Skills-Flyer-updated.pdflast_img read more

National Starch takes on fat

first_imgIngredients supplier National Starch Food Innovation has launched a new speciality starch for the reduced-fat cake market. This can be used by bakery manufacturers to create cakes using up to 75% less margarine, butter or shortening.It has been designed to meet the challenges bakers face in producing products with reduced-fat content, while retaining the same taste and quality.The starch-based solution also allows a 30% reduction in calories in high-ratio cakes. Other bakery products such as muffins, cookies, cake fillings and buttercream can also benefit from using up to 30% less fat.”Consumers are often disappointed by the inferior taste and texture of reduced-fat cakes, which affect their best-laid healthy eating plans,” commented Alison Knight, European technical development manager, bakery, National Starch Food Innovation. “By reducing the use of butter by up to 75%, bakery manufacturers can achieve a more significant fat reduction than has previously been possible.”[http://www.foodinnovation.com]last_img read more

Press release: Fund for bright disadvantaged pupils launched

first_img£23 million programme to support the brightest pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential Today’s announcement builds on wider efforts to support disadvantaged pupils and raise standards across the country, including: New work to raise education standards for the country’s brightest pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds will begin today (27 April) as Education Minister Nick Gibb invites organisations to manage new funding designed to support their academic attainment.The £23 million Future Talent Fund programme will test new and innovative ways of helping the most talented disadvantaged pupils to remain on their high performing trajectory and prevent them falling behind their more affluent peers.The new fund manager will run and evaluate a trial of projects from January 2019 which will help all schools to support their most able, disadvantaged pupils – to address the drop off in academic performance between key stage 2 and key stage 4.This will help to build on the government’s record, with 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 and the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrowing by 10% at secondary and 10.5% at primary since 2011.School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said, Academic standards are rising following the introduction of a more rigorous school curriculum and gold standard GCSEs and A levels to bring our education system level with the best in the world. Latest performance data shows: The attainment gap between disadvantaged secondary school pupils and their peers has narrowed by 3.2% since last year and 10% since 2011; and Enrichment activities: which could include after-school classes, extra-curricular activities or visits. The £23 million programme will deliver at least 30 trial projects between January 2019 and July 2020 following two bidding rounds. The scheme will champion best practice and encourage evidence-led interventions, including those that could be funded by schools using their Pupil Premium funding.In the autumn, a variety of organisations will be eligible to apply for the funding. This will include state-funded schools and multi academy trusts, charities and research organisations, independent schools and universities. Projects supported by the fund must be delivered in non-selective, state-funded secondary schools in England and will cover at least one of the following strands of work: Transition between key stages: such as summer schools or transition practices in schools; and Academic standards are rising, with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than 2010 and importantly, the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrowing. But we want to make sure every child reaches their full potential and is not held back because of their circumstances. Through this Future Talent Fund we will test new and innovative approaches so that we can find out what works best to ensure the brightest pupils from the most disadvantaged families can excel in their education. Applications open for organisations to manage fund, which runs until 2020 Mentoring and tutoring: including academic mentoring, community based mentoring, school based mentoring, one-to-one tuition, group tuition or peer tutoring; Parental involvement: which could include aspiration interventions, engagement through technology or behavioural insight techniques; Curriculum: such as broadening or deepening what is covered in the curriculum; 75 projects sharing £25million to provide more support for schools, many of which will increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills, and help to the attainment gap. The government’s social mobility action plan Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential which focuses £800million of resources on helping children make the most of their lives; and £72 million to support 12 Opportunity Areas to improve the life chances of young people in disadvantaged communities; Pedagogy: for example, individualised teaching, the use of digital technology or feedback; In 2017 72% met the expected standard in reading, 75% in maths and 77% in grammar, punctuation and spelling at KS2 and overall, the proportion reaching the expected standard has improved by 8 percentage points on the previous year; More pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, Special Educational Needs (SEN) pupils and pupils on free school meals are being entered for English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects compared to last year, ensuring pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success.last_img read more

Tango with a serious message

first_imgAn East Asian history concentrator while at Harvard, John Weidman ’68 never imagined that his knowledge of modern Japan would prep him for Broadway. But an idea he had for a play about Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853 excursion to the island nation struck a chord with theater producer Hal Prince, who enlisted legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. The result became the Tony Award-winning musical “Pacific Overtures.”“I thought: What do I know about that other people don’t? East Asian history,” Weidman recalled recently while discussing the origin of that 1976 success in the lobby of the Loeb Drama Center during a rehearsal break for the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) tango-infused show “Arrabal,” for which he wrote the book.Life can provide zigzags, a fact that Weidman knows better than most. After Harvard, he attended Yale Law School but then realized he “didn’t want to be a lawyer.” Since he was both a longtime baseball and theater fan (he and his college roommate wrote a Hasty Pudding show), he sent out two letters in 1973, one to the commissioner of Major League Baseball and one to Prince, hoping to secure an internship. The baseball executive wasn’t interested, and the producer didn’t hire interns, but he liked Weidman’s idea for a play. Three years later, “Pacific Overtures” debuted on Broadway.With that unlikely start, Weidman found his calling and didn’t stop, parlaying his early triumph into a career as a librettist, creating the words for musical theater and opera. He also wrote for the National Lampoon — a spinoff of the Harvard Lampoon, to which Weidman belonged — and for “Sesame Street.”With that writing track record, his attachment to “Arrabal,” a production with no dialogue, may seem strange. It’s actually a perfect fit. One of his most successful theater collaborations was with director and choreographer Susan Stroman on the light-on-talking “dance play” “Contact,” which won the Tony for best musical in 2000.“I got the call [for ‘Arrabal’] because I was the guy who had written the book for ‘Contact,’” said Weidman, acknowledging the plays’ similar storytelling-through-movement design. “There’s a very short list of people who have done that — I am not even sure there is anybody else on it.”Even with his broad background, “Arrabal,” onstage at the A.R.T. through June 18, brings its own challenges, including deeply serious source material. The musical follows a woman’s search for information about her father, one of the thousands of “the disappeared” who were abducted by death squads in Argentina during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Many were tortured, and others were never seen again.The hardest thing to convey onstage when using dance as a stand-in for dialogue? Nuance, noted John Weidman. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“My job was to try to be sensitive to what their story was,” said Weidman, who struggled with the historical brutality he encountered while researching the project. Still, the suffering, he acknowledges, is central to the show’s storyline.“It seemed to me that if we were going to touch this material, deal with it at all, there was an obligation, in a stylized way, to be direct about the events that were the context within which this girl’s story takes place.“Not to put some version of torture on stage — you couldn’t do that.”Another challenge is that lack of dialogue, including a few words that Weidman would have given anything for in the third scene to help explain a key plot point. While dancing took center stage in “Contact,” it “had a lot more dialogue than people think,” said Weidman. In “Arrabal” almost every element of the story is generated by the movement onstage, with the exception of an occasional video or projection.Fortunately, Weidman can rely on the show’s dancers, a talented team from Buenos Aires steeped in the tango tradition, as well as the five-member band Orquestra Bajofonderos, led by Academy Award-winning composer, singer, producer, and guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla, which blends tango, milonga, rock, hip-hop, electronic music, jazz, and classical into a unique sound.“I heard Gustavo and his band play for the first time in at the Highline Ballroom in New York, and was hooked,” said Weidman. “Not only did the music sound like nothing I’d ever heard before … it sounded inherently theatrical.”Weidman’s working process involved intense discussions with director and co-choreographer Sergio Trujillo about how to create a compelling story that would make sense without language. Together, he said, they explored “where the story could go, how we could shape it, how the political story and the personal stories could interact and enhance each other — all around Gustavo’s music.”But early on, words did work their way into the creative process. During rehearsals in Buenos Aires, Trujillo asked Weidman to go back to his hotel and write certain scenes as if they were “going to be performed in a play.” Weidman drafted several pages of dialogue that Trujillo translated into Spanish and shared with the dancers, who then translated them into movement.“In crucial places where the dancers needed to hit the story points inside the scene, I went away and wrote the story points as though they were going to speak from the stage. So it’s been a really interesting kind of back-and-forth process.”The final product of Weidman’s effort is a 15-page document that looks more like a treatment, he said, than a script, with descriptions of the action unfolding within each scene.The hardest thing to convey onstage when using dance as a stand-in for dialogue? Nuance.“Grief, joy, anger, frustration, they are all a lot easier than something which is more complicated, and there are story beats here that require that kind of complexity.”Weidman called the cast “astonishingly artful” at capturing those subtleties with their expressions. “That makes a huge difference,” he said, “in terms of getting the story off the stage and into the audience.”“Arrabal” is playing at A.R.T.’s Loeb Drama Center through June 18. For information and ticketing, please visit the website.last_img read more

Fridays on the Fly: Fly Fishing in the Cross Hairs

first_imgIt’s been almost 50 days since the Executive Branch of our government changed hands, and within that short period of time, the wheels of environmental policy have begun a not-so-subtle shift in the opposite direction.First there was the green lighting of high profile and highly controversial pipeline projects like the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL, then the proposed gutting of the EPA and the confirmation of a climate denying oil lackey to run it.The implications of the Trump Administration’s environmental agenda are far reaching and damaging to many facets of the outdoor industry, and the fly fishing community hasn’t dodged the bullet.From their efforts to repeal the Clean Water Rule to their apparent support of an Alaska gold mining operation that, according to the EPA, will have “potentially destructive impacts” on the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, the hits from Trump and his allies in Congress to the future of America’s clean water fisheries just keep coming.Here are a couple of environmental threats worth keeping an eye on. The Removal of Clean Water SafeguardsCurrently, the assault on clean water and stream protections in the United States is coming from two primary angles—the repeal of the Clean Water Rule, put in place in 2015 to extend stream protections under the1972 Clean Water Act, and the repeal of Stream Protection Rule, which prevented coal companies in Appalachia from dumping the toxic byproducts of mountain top removal mining directly into the valleys below.The latter has already been wiped from the books, while the former appears to be on its way out.Paving the Way for Habitat Destruction in AlaskaBristol Bay sits at the eastern-most arm of the Bering Sea in Southwest Alaska. It is the largest and most productive sockeye salmon fishery in the world. In addition to a robust recreational fly fishing industry, it supports a commercial salmon fishery worth upwards of $1 billion.From the United States Environmental Protection Agency:The Bristol Bay watershed’s streams, wetlands, and other aquatic resources support world-class, economically important commercial and sport fisheries for salmon and other fishes, as well as a more than 4,000-year-old subsistence-based way of life for Alaska Natives.When the Sockeye are running in Bristol Bay, it is a sight to behold—one that Alaskans refer to as “Red Gold.” So it’s painfully ironic that this “Red Gold” phenomenon stands to be severely diminished by a major gold mining operation called the Pebble Mine.If constructed, Pebble Mine would bury miles of critical spawning streams under mine waste debris while removing water from nearby rivers that are critical to the health of the surrounding ecosystem.Bristol Bay Inlets—Courtesy US EPAPebble Mine has been extremely controversial since day one of its proposal, and back in 2014, officials at the EPA had the foresight to protect it under the auspices of the 1974 Clean Water Act.But those protections have been in limbo ever since Northern Dynasty, the company behind the proposed gold mine, claimed that it had the support of the Trump Administration to move ahead with its destructive extraction plans.Whether or not this is actually the case remains a matter of speculation, but given Trump’s recent environmental track record and the dismal track record of EPA head Scott Pruitt, anglers, conservationists, and environmentalists all have legitimate reasons to worry.However, unlike like the repeal of the Stream Protect Rule and the Clean Water Rule, which is all but a done deal, there is still time for fly fisherman to make their collective voices heard when it comes to the continued protection of Bristol Bay and its thriving salmon populations.You can make a donation to the efforts to stop the Pebble Mine here and let the EPA know how you feel here.last_img read more