Harvard College has launched a new online Plan of Study tool to help undergraduates outline the courses they will take throughout their four years at Harvard. This online system replaces paper forms that served the same function, and provides a more intuitive and robust way for undergraduates to plan. The tool’s development was a joint venture between the Program in General Education (Gen Ed), the Office of the Registrar, and the Advising Programs Office.Using the tool located on the Registrar’s Web site, students can create an eight-semester planning grid modeling the courses they will take to meet their concentration and Gen Ed or Core requirements. Students can also use the form to switch concentrations, or to switch between the Core and Gen Ed.Students can update the planning grids each term and share their plans with their advisers to facilitate an ongoing conversation about their plan of study. Students’ response to the new system has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the Advising Programs Office.The Plan of Study tool was first introduced to sophomores, who used this system to declare their concentration on Nov. 18, although all students can access the tool..— Amy Lavoie
Related Shows Dominick LaRuffa Jr. will take on the role of Dominick Vitale in My Big Gay Italian Funeral from May 10 and the part of Mario in My Big Gay Italian Wedding from June 6. The off-Broadway comedies play in rep at St Luke’s Theatre under the direction of Sonia Blangiardo and recently extended through September 27.Starring and written by Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own wacky Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew in a traditional wedding ceremony. Funeral tells the story of Anthony and his large family mourning the death of his father.In addition to Wilkinson, the current cast of Wedding and Funeral also includes Hugh Hysell, Donna Castellano, Marissa Rosen, Debra Toscano, Liz Gerecitano and Meagan Robar. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 30, 2015 My Big Gay Italian Funeral View Comments
THUMBS UPThere are 84,000 dams in the U.S. that provide flood control, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, hydropower, and recreation. Dams are engineered structures—like roads, bridges, and railroads—that make our high quality of life possible. Most dams that exist in the U.S. were constructed between 1950 and 1990. As with much U.S. infrastructure, many existing river dams are aging and in need of repair, rehabilitation, or even removal if they have out-lived their original purposes.Hydropower is one of the crucial uses for dams, but less than 3 percent of existing dams produce hydroelectricity. Hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the U.S. In addition to providing baseload and peaking power, hydropower projects also keep electrical transmission systems working smoothly.The potential adverse impacts of dams are well documented, to be sure. These may include altered stream flow, habitat degradation, blockage of the upstream and downstream migrations of fish, mortality of fish passing through turbines, and lower rates of dissolved oxygen downstream of dams.Over the last several decades, however, an extensive regulatory system has been developed to detect and correct such problems. For example, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) operates a voluntary certification process that identifies hydropower projects that have reduced their impacts and are investing in improvements in their local rivers. LIHI evaluates projects based on specific criteria: water release patterns below the project, water quality, fish passage, protection of threatened/endangered species, cultural resources, recreation, and requests for dam removal. More than 100 projects in 27 states have satisfied all of the LIHI criteria.The fact that dams have the potential for adverse effects cannot be denied, but many of these can be reduced or eliminated with good siting and operation, plus modern mitigation practices. When dams are well managed, their net benefits are strongly positive.Dr. Michael J. Sale is the executive director for the Low Impact Hydro Institute.THUMBS DOWNWild rivers—ones that run free from headwaters to confluence—have nearly been wiped from the map and from our imagination. “Working” rivers—rivers with dams—have been replacing them. Modern dams, permanent and concreted, are the most charismatic of the giant water projects: nameable, decorated, architectural, triumphant, wired. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation have practiced other similar techniques of reshaping terrain, including levees, canals, pipelines, jetties. Dams might be the most devastating.Dams disrupt natural systems and thwart the work of rivers. Dams block fish runs and seasonal flood patterns—thus also their redistribution of nutrients, like marine nitrogen delivered by salmon to feed forests far inland. Hydroelectricity and irrigation are far more expensive when we count down-the-line costs of blocking forest regrowth, aquifer recharge, and topsoil renewal. Instead, dams encourage unsustainable growth, such as the mirage-metropolises of Phoenix and Las Vegas. Out-of-place agriculture makes deserts bloom briefly, but then leaves fields salted, palms wilting.Dams displace people, often indigenous people and powerless people, from their river lifelines. In Tennessee and Kentucky, I grew up loving TVA lakes, not knowing that those lakes had drowned fertile bottomlands, homes, graveyards, living creeks, and human memories. The lakes were controlled and speedboat-clogged, with stinking bathtub-rings of stripped chert and shale.The same story can be found across the country and around the world. In California, the Winnemem Wintu tribe fights a Shasta Dam add-on that will flood vital sacred sites. The Winnemem’s ongoing displacement is mirrored in language endangerment; only a few fluent speakers remain. In China, Three Gorges dam has displaced over one million people. Worldwide, dams also displace democracy. Dams are built as required elements of World Bank and IMF deals that rarely benefit the local people. Most of the generated hydropower is delivered to big cities, not the rural villages displaced by the dams.Dams are made to fail. Huge reservoir surfaces mean terrible annual evaporation losses. Even the largest reservoirs silt up; Hoover Dam’s reservoir has less than 100 years left. Because of dams’ intense resource concentration, it’s an expensive failure. And dam collapse is nightmarish: catastrophic release of scouring grit, heavy metals, and tainted mud down-river.Dams are not the solution to our energy crisis. Solar and wind can provide far more reliable, long-term energy than hydropower with far fewer environmental costs.Wild, free-flowing rivers also provide the best recreation, whether you’re an angler, whitewater paddler, or swimming hole enthusiast. Rather than hordes of pollution- spewing speedboats on artifical lakes, the waters of Appalachia can once again run free and clean. The Blue Ridge is one of the world’s most ideal spots for wild, free-flowing rivers enjoyed by anglers, kayakers, and hikers—as well as by healthy, intact, abundant ecosystems.It’s hard to see our way past dams to rivers that will really work again. But dam removal projects are gaining popularity. Once dams go, we’ll rediscover the wonders of wild, clear rivers teeming with fish.July Cole is co-editor of Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground.
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A new trophy was also awarded this year Head of Hall 2020which he won Dragutin Majsak from the restaurant Vinodol in Zagreb. One of the best ambassadors of Croatian confectionery, won a special award for merits in the promotion of Croatian gastronomy and confectionery, Dragica Lukin from the patisserie Villa Soši in Umag. They have been named the best restaurants 360 from Dubrovnik, Monte from Rovinj, Laganini from Palmižana, and Šibenik Pilgrims. The chef of the year according to the choice of the gastronomic guide Gault & Millau Croatia 2020 is Danijel Đekić restaurant chef Monte from Rovinj. Gault & Millau Croatia 2020 gastronomic guide is the most comprehensive so far, and it presents 202 restaurants, 82 POP restaurants, 101 wine and 20 hotels. “Gault & Millau is one of the two most prestigious international gastronomic guides and represents the Croatian gastronomic scene on the world stage, and Croatia as a desirable food & wine destination” said Gault & Millau Croatia CEO Ingrid Badurina Danielsson. This event brought together a large number of Croatian chefs, top professionals and lovers of gastronomy, and the highlight of the evening was the awarding of prestigious culinary trophies which Gault & MillauCroatia rewards the best chefs in whose work the motto of the guide is recognized – “Luxury is in quality, not in price”. Source / Photo: FB Gault & Millau Croatia, Konoba Boba / Illustration HrTurizam.hr Trophies awarded to the best chefs and restaurants Sandra and Dane Tahirović from the restaurant It was dawn in Split and Robert Benzia from the restaurant Ganeum in Lovran, they won the trophy The great chef of tomorrow 2020. Trophy Chef of traditional cuisine 2020 they won Sylvia Horak from the restaurant Terbotz u Strigovi i Šakota company restaurant chef Nav in Zagreb. 2020 Young Talent Trophy they won Floriana Ružić from the restaurant San Rocco in Brtonigla and Matija Jagić iz Brokenships bistro in Zagreb. Buffet Oysters from Dubrovnikhe was awarded a trophy Best POP 2020 A gala dinner was held at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel on the occasion of the presentation of the third edition of the prestigious gastronomic guide Gault & Millau Croatia. Photo: Gault & Millau Croatia
Show evidence of success on climateThe state has spent billions fighting climate change, but it has not provided any measurement of the effectiveness of these expenditures on the climate.Oh, we have endless statistics on the reduction of CO2 emissions, but most of us are not interested in how successful the state government has been in depriving plants of the CO2 they need to produce oxygen.Rather we want to know what effect that our money has had in dealing with global warming.Could it be that the state has not documented a measurable effect of our billions on climate change because there are none?If you reflect on the size of the climate problem and the size of our efforts, it will be clear that our forgone billions could not have been expected to produce a measurable effect on the climate.If human-caused climate change is a serious concern, we would see discussion about how to reduce the world’s population.In fact, if you look at the full student parking lot at Bethlehem High School, you can see how seriously the climate problem is viewed by the locals in their unwillingness to do something as basic as using mass transportation for students.Fred BarneyAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump is fighting for a better AmericaIn his Oct. 18 letter (“Trumps trade policy fails in many ways”), Mr. Karandy was wrong in every way. On the tax cuts, even a Democrat can understand that if a person is paying $2 million a year in taxes and he gets a 2% cut, his savings is going to be greater than someone that pays $20,000 a year.The rich still pay way more than the rest of us do.On the Paris Climate Accord, Obama didn’t even bring the accord to a vote. It was a farce. Only the United States was going to have to make cuts in pollution. China and India, the two biggest polluters in the world, didn’t commit to any cuts. It was such a bad deal; Obama didn’t ask the Senate to ratify it because the Democrats that voted for it would have been destroyed at the ballot box.President Trump is the first American president to fight for us. China’s been stealing intellectual property for 50 years. President Trump is not backing down. He’s making China pay the same tariffs American companies pay that do business in China. I have no problem paying more. China needs us a lot more than we need them. His policies are working; they aren’t failing. If you would turn your channel from one of the DNC news networks, you would know the truth. Unlike Clinton or Obama, President Trump didn’t need this job. He took it because he loves this country.Dave EdwardsHalfmoonVets take oath to an idea, not peopleThere seems to be some confusion these days about patriotism and loyalty.We have seen decorated soldiers’ motives questioned as they answer questions under oath.I thought the time around Veteran’s Day would be a good time to comment.There are different oaths taken for an office or commission in different circumstances. Take, for example, “I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms…” in the case of her Majesty the Queen of England.Or, “I swear: I will be faithful and obedient to the leader of the German Reich and people … .” You know who that is.Here’s one I took when I was drafted, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …”If I graduated from West Point and became an officer, it would have been the same. If I were fortunate enough to be elected to Congress, it would have said “… that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States …”My point is that we in this country pledge to protect a piece of paper — the Constitution — not royalty like a king or queen, not to a charismatic leader, but to an idea.The Founding Fathers put pen to paper in 1787 to give us the tools for a representative democracy so that we might govern ourselves in freedom.Our loyalties are to that idea, not a person. That idea is what veterans swear to defend.Paul DonahueSchenectady
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SPK was another big winner on the night, scooping up the awards for Portfolio Construction, Risk Management and Sweden.British Steel Pension Fund won the awards for In-house Investment Team and the United Kingdom. Danish pension fund PensionDanmark was the stand-out winner at the 2014 IPE Awards in Vienna, taking home the coveted Best European Pension Fund award.The pension fund also won the award for Best Infrastructure Investor, whilst sharing the country award for Denmark with Industriens Pension.Mats Andersson, chief executive at Swedish buffer fund AP4, won the Outstanding Industry Contribution award, while Penny Green – who is to retire as chief executive at the SAUL Trustee Company at the end of this year – was named Pension Fund Personality of the Year.The fourth Gold Award – for Best Long-Term Investment Strategy – was shared by Kingfisher Pension Scheme and PKA. The full winners list for the 2014 IPE AwardsGold AwardsBest European Pension Fund: PensionDanmark Outstanding Industry Contribution: Mats Andersson Pension Fund Personality of the Year: Penny Green Long Term Investment Strategy: Kingfisher Pension Trustee Limited and PKASilver AwardsBest Corporate Pension Fund: Bosch Pensionsfonds AG Best Industry-wide Pension Fund: NEST Best Public Pension Fund: Fjärde AP-fonden (AP4) Best Small European Pension Fund: Frjálsi Pension Fund Bronze AwardsAlternatives: PKAEquities: Fonditel BFixed Income: Bayerische VersorgungskammerThemed AwardsActive Management: Allianz Pensionskasse AG Climate Related Risk Management: Environment Agency Pension Fund Commodities: APG DC/Hybrid Strategy: Industriens Pension Diversification: NEST Emerging Markets: Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL)ESG: Environment Agency Pension Fund and Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW)Infrastructure: PensionDanmark In-house Investment Team: British Steel Pension Fund Innovation: BT Pension Scheme Portfolio Construction: SPK Real Estate: Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Risk Management: SPK Smart Beta: SEB Pension Specialist Investment Managers: MNOPF Trustees Ltd CountriesAustria Pensionskasse: APK Pensionskasse AG Austria Vorsogekasse: fair-finance Vorsorgekasse Belgium: Integrale and Amonis OFP Central & Eastern Europe: NLB Nov Penziski Fond Denmark: Industriens Pension Finland: The State Pension Fund (VER)France: FRR Germany bAV: Linde Custodian e.V. Germany Versorgungswerk: Bayerische Versorgungskammer and Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe Ireland: Construction Workers’ Pension Scheme Italy: Fondenergia Netherlands: ABN AMRO Pensioenfonds Norway: OPF Portugal: Horizonte-3 Open Pension Funds of Pensõesgere Small Countries: Frjálsi Pension Fund Spain: Geroa Pentsioak EPSV Sweden: SPK Switzerland: Pension Fund SBB United Kingdom: British Steel Pension Fund Read all the coverage from the IPE Conference & Awards in Vienna, and watch video interviews with some of its speakers
The European Commission announced it has opened an in-depth investigation into tax exemptions granted under Italian law to ports amid concerns of competition distortion.The EU investigation is to determine whether the tax exemptions are in line with EU State aid rules.The Commission also welcomed the commitment made by Spain to abolish the tax exemption benefiting Spanish ports as from 2020, allowing the Commission to close the procedure concerning Spain.“If port operators generate profits from economic activities these should be taxed in the same way of other companies under the normal national tax laws to avoid distortions of competition,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.As explained by the Commission, the commercial operation of port infrastructure, such as providing paid access to the port, constitutes an economic activity and EU State aid rules apply to these activities.A corporate tax exemption for ports that earn profits from economic activities provides them with a competitive advantage when they operate on the internal market and therefore involves State aid, which may not be compatible with EU rules.In Italy, port authorities are fully exempt from corporate income tax.In Spain, port authorities are currently exempt from corporate income tax on their main sources of revenue, such as port fees or income from rental or concession contracts. In the Basque Country, port authorities are currently fully exempt from corporate income tax.In January 2019, the Commission invited Italy and Spain to adapt their legislation in order to ensure that ports, as from January 1, 2020, would pay corporate tax in the same way as other companies in Italy and Spain, respectively, in line with EU State aid rules.Contrary to Spain, Italy has not agreed to change its corporate tax legislation as the Commission proposed in its January 2019 decision. For this reason, the Commission has now opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether or not its initial concerns as regards the compatibility of the tax exemptions for Italian ports with EU State aid rules are confirmed.If they are, the corporate tax exemption for ports in Italy would also amount to “existing aid”, since they already existed before the accession of Italy to the EU and the Commission would not be able to ask Italy to recover any aid already granted.The Commission went on to explain that removing tax advantages does not mean that ports can no longer receive State support. Member States have many possibilities to support ports in line with EU State aid rules, for example to achieve EU transport objectives or to put in place necessary infrastructure investments which would not have been possible without public aid.This means that member states can invest up to EUR 150 million (USD 165.9 million) in sea ports and up to EUR 50 million (USD 55.3 million) in inland ports with full legal certainty and without prior verification by the Commission. The regulation allows public authorities to, for example, cover the costs of dredging in ports and access waterways.