The Oxford Union today faces a leadership crisis, with both the positions of President and Treasurer left vacant.In a meeting late last night, the Senior Disciplinary Committee ruled to uphold a decision against Roberto Weeden-Sanz, who was revealed last week to have technically resigned as President-Elect under Union rules, after missing three meetings.In addition, it emerged that Antonia Trent, who had taken up office as Treasurer on Saturday of 8th week, had also missed enough meetings to have technically resigned, leaving a further position unfilled.Under Union rule 23 (c)(ii)(2), “Any member of any Committee… having missed three ordinary meetings of that Committee without good reason in the same term, shall be deemed to have submitted his resignation from that Committee.”This rule can be bypassed if there is considered to be ‘good reason’ for absence, “by two-thirds of those present at the first meeting held at least 168 hours after the absence”. ‘Good Reasons’ include sitting University exams, ‘disabling or infectious illness’, a ‘pressing and extraordinary engagement agreed to be unavoidable’ and ‘pursuit of service to the Society…of paramount importance’.When the position of President becomes vacant, it is first offered to the Librarian, who has 72 hours to accept or reject the offer. The current Librarian is Stuart Webber. A vacant Treasurer’s position is offered first to the Secretary, currently Olivia Merrett. If the offers are declined, they are ‘passed down’ to other officers in order, and it is therefore difficult to predict who will fill the vacant positions.One consequence of this is that candidates who unsuccessfully ran for Standing Committee in 7th week of Hilary this year will be offered positions without having been elected.Daniel Johnson, Chair of the Senior Disciplinary Committee, told Cherwell that the Union will release a statement on these matters this weekend.Roberto Weeden-Sanz and Olivia Merret have been contacted but declined to comment.
The latest addition to the list: Rep. Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican running in one of next year’s most competitive Senate races.Who knew it could take eight pages of instructions on how to properly escort a member of Congress around his district? Yet there it is, laid out in mind-blowing detail, in a memo obtained by POLITICO that’s sure to make any young, eager-beaver political aide shudder. Eight Pages Of Instructions On How To Chauffeur A CongressmanPolitico Magazine article written by JOHN BRESNAHAN and RACHAEL BAD Empty his trash. Always have hand sanitizer and gum at the ready. And don’t bother with “unnecessary conversation” — the congressman doesn’t have time for your chitchat.Demanding, high-maintenance bosses are notorious on Capitol Hill. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s staff had to walk his dog, poop pick-up and all. Former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison made her male aides carry her purse. Tasks listed in the document, entitled “Instructions on Staffing and Driving — District Version,” include handing Rokita a cup of black coffee upon picking him up at his home, acting as a physical barrier between him and trackers looking to capture embarrassing footage of the congressman, and “avoid[ing] sudden acceleration or braking” while driving.“The goal is to provide as smooth a ride as possible,” reads the instruction manual, co-authored by a former chief of staff to the congressman and Tim Edson, Rokita’s ex-communications director-turned-campaign spokesman.Drivers are expected to transport not only Rokita’s toothbrush and toothpaste but also stock and tote around the district a nearly 20-item supply box that Rokita’s staffers call “the football.” The contents include gum, hand sanitizer, business cards, bottled water, napkins and Kleenex, lozenges, a stapler and stapler remover, Post-it notes and Shout wipes, among other items.EDITOR”S FOOTNOTE: Here is the Politico Magazine link to the article written by JOHN BRESNAHAN and RACHAEL BAD FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Harvard students can buy discount tickets to scores of Boston-area events and attractions starting today (Feb. 10), thanks to a new program piloted by Outings & Innings, the University’s longtime purveyor of fun and recreation.“Our customers can get discounts of up to 50 percent by purchasing in advance,” said Devorah Sperling, manager of Outings & Innings. “It’s a great opportunity for students to save money on leisure entertainment activities.”Outings & Innings, part of Harvard Human Resources, has provided faculty and staff with deals on events, activities, local goods, and the like for more than 30 years. The new program allows undergraduates and graduate students to share in the savings.Students may purchase passes to movies, museums, and seasonal attractions Tuesdays through Fridays at Outing & Innings’ 9 Holyoke St. office, or at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Kresge Cafeteria on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. (Visit the new student website for office hours and a complete list of what’s on sale.) The first 100 students to visit Outings & Innings, mention the website, and make a purchase of at least $10 will receive a free pass to AMC Loews movie theaters. (A valid student ID is required for all purchases. Outings & Innings accepts only cash for student transactions.)Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies, said the new program furthers the University’s goal of providing opportunities to students regardless of income.“We are always looking for ways to encourage our students to take part in the incredible opportunities available at Harvard and within the Boston and Cambridge communities,” she said. “This new program through Outings & Innings provides students with yet another resource and incentive to explore the cultural, intellectual, and recreational opportunities around them.”David Friedrich, assistant dean of Harvard College for student life, said such services pair nicely with those offered by the University’s Student Events Fund (SEF).“SEF anonymously provides complimentary tickets to students who want to attend on-campus events,” he said. Outings & Innings will now give students access to off-campus activities as well at a discounted rate, whether they want to visit a museum or just go to a movie.”With two months of winter weather still ahead, one perk that skiers may want to jump on is discount lift tickets to Wachusett Mountain. Students can ride the MBTA “ski train” that leaves from Porter Square on Saturday and Sunday mornings and be on the slopes less than two hours later.In May, Sperling and her colleagues at Harvard Human Resources will evaluate the pilot program’s success. Sperling said she hopes to be able to permanently extend Outings & Innings services to students, perhaps with expanded offerings and online ordering.“We’re excited to offer these deals to students,” she said. “Our long-term objective is to extend our services to the whole Harvard community.”
Read Full Story It’s Wednesday night in Cambridge and Thursday morning in Beijing, and their seminar rooms are some 6,700 miles apart, but for 30 students from Harvard Law School and the Renmin University of China School of Law, common interests and videoconferencing equipment easily bridge these distances.During this spring semester, students in a reading group taught by HLS Professor William P. Alford and an advanced negotiation skills class taught by Renmin Assistant Professor Alonzo Emery ’10 have come together electronically to consider the roles of China and the U.S. in a world order in flux. “The U.S.-China relationship is often touted as the most important relationship to manage ‘properly’ if we are to have the type of peaceful world envisioned by all of us in the course,” explains Emery. They were also joined for several class sessions by Han Dayuan, dean of Renmin Law School, and Ding Xiangshun, a Renmin professor currently at HLS as a Fulbright Scholar.Alford, HLS’s vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, worked for more than a year to plan this foray into the electronic classroom—an idea that is beginning to take root at HLS through faculty initiatives, the Law School’s first EdX course (Copyright, taught this spring by HLS Professor and Berkman Center for Internet & Society Faculty Director William Fisher III), student interest, and strong advocacy by alumni, including Gus Hauser ’53.Read the full story on the Harvard Law School website.
The Notre Dame community will celebrate its Catholic tradition and Latin American ties by hosting Las Posadas from Dec. 2-4 at 9 p.m. The celebration, whose Spanish title translates to “lodging,” represents Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before Jesus’ birth. This year, Las Posadas begins at The Grotto and ends in Keenan Hall, Farley Hall and the Coleman-Morse Center on each of the three respective nights.Multiple student organizations on campus including Campus Ministry, Coro Primavera and the Latino Student Alliance worked in tandem to plan and generate participation in this year’s Las Posadas, Farley Hall rector and Las Posadas organizer Elaine DeBassige said.“To see the diverse ways of how we come together as a spiritual community is really important,” DeBassige said. “We also have to remember to be like Christ in the season of Advent and have our hearts and doors open to all those who need a place of shelter.”DeBassige said the celebration brought back memories of her childhood in New Mexico.“Back in my hometown, it ended at midnight mass in the church and took place in 11 other houses,” she said.DeBassige said her mom volunteered her family’s house to be one of the destinations for Las Posadas in their small village every year.DeBassige said she too helps designate the path Las Posadas celebrants will follow through the University’s campus. She said Keenan Hall was a logical host of one of the nights because it is Farley’s brother dorm.“Last year the path from The Grotto to the two dorms worked really well,” DeBassige said. “What’s different this year is that we are ending at Campus Ministry.”DeBassige said that, although she was not disappointed with last year’s turn out, she hopes an increase in club involvement will translate to an increase in student attendance.“Last year, there were a total of about 150 people over the three nights which was great,” DeBassige said. “It was more than what I thought.”DeBassige said she anticipates a large turnout this year due to better publicity and relatively tamer weather.“I think it’s a good way to represent Catholic traditions and culture in a way that involves a lot more people than just Latinos,” Juan Rangel, multicultural senior intern for Campus Ministry, said.Members of the Notre Dame community will sing hymns, pray and eat food during Las Posadas in order to celebrate this journey.“Prayer and music and reflection demonstrates the colorfulness of the culture,” Rangel said.DeBassige said aside from prayers and songs of worship, Las Posadas incorporates a social element. The event provides opportunities to socialize over food and beverages served by the host location.“My favorite part growing up was helping my mom make the food for the event,” DeBassige said. “It was a time to welcome people into your home … and a time of hospitality.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Coro Primavera, Farley Hall, Keenan Hall, Las Posadas, Latino Student Alliance
Related Shows P.P.S. Check out LIVE with Kelly’s Halloween opener—a twist on Hamilton, featuring Kelly Ripa, Jerry O’Connell, Matt Bomer and Holiday Inn’s Corbin Bleu. Kristin Chenoweth Athol Fugard’s Master Harold Extends Off-BroadwayAthol Fugard’s “Master Harold” … and the boys, which is currently in preview off-Broadway, has extended by a week through December 4. The play is set in a small South African tea shop in 1950 and will open on November 7 on the Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center.Tina Maddigan to Take Mamma Mia! HomeSuper Trouper! Tina Maddigan, who appeared as Sophie in Mamma Mia! on Broadway, is to return to her native Newfoundland where she will take on the role of Donna in the ABBA musical next summer. The production is slated to play at Theatre St. John’s Holy Heart Theatre from August 3, 2017 through August 13.Adam Driver Taps Pablo Schreiber & Keri RussellTony nominee Pablo Schreiber (Awake and Sing!, The Wire) and Keri Russell (Felicity) will appear alongside the previously announced Adam Driver (Star Wars) in a benefit presentation of Stephen Belber’s Tape. Proceeds from the one-night-only event on November 7 at Studio 54 will go to Arts in the Armed Forces, an organization Driver founded that uses theater as a source of outreach to veterans and active duty service members. You can buy tickets here.Casting Complete for Donmar’s Saint JoanFisayo Akinade, Niall Buggy, Simon Holland Roberts, Arthur Hughes, Rory Keenan, Syrus Lowe, Guy Rhys and Jo Stone-Fewings will round out the cast for Saint Joan, which is set to star the already reported Gemma Arterton, Matt Bardock, Richard Cant, Hadley Fraser and Elliot Levey. Directed by Josie Rourke, Bernard Shaw’s classic is scheduled to run December 9 through February 18, 2017 and open on December 19 at London’s Donmar Warehouse. The prestigious venue is always one to watch; Broadway’s current revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses originated there.P.S. This Will & Grace revival so needs to happen! Check out below as the cast spoof West Side Story at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend. Kristin Chenoweth’s Halloween Homage to Judy GarlandKristin Chenoweth recently released her new album, The Art of Elegance, and she stopped by a Halloween-themed The View on October 31 to sing a number from the record, the Judy Garland classic, “Zing! With The Strings Of My Heart.” The adorable pocket diva even dressed up as the legend for her performance…we can’t wait to see what the Tony winner has in store for us when she plays her upcoming limited engagement at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in My Love Letter to Broadway from November 2 through November 13! “Master Harold”… and the boys Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 11, 2016
Graphic: Cindy Esco It’s a straight shot south fromAtlanta to Havana. And if the U.S. government unlocks trade withCuba, University of Georgia scientists are ready to open doorsto better relations.A group from the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences, led by former UGA Vice President for Outreach S. EugeneYounts, visited Cuba this spring to begin swapping scientificagricultural knowledge.When Younts first visited Cuba in February 2000, he was apprehensive.But he found Cuban scientists not only receptive, but hungry forour agricultural knowledge. After visiting Cuba’s AgricultureResearch Institute, Younts was impressed.”They are very highly educated and have a much higherliteracy rate than we do,” he said. “I visited theiragricultural experiment stations and found they needed to meetsome of our scientists.”Meeting of MindsYounts returned for a second visit in April with Larry Benyshek,head of the CAES animal and dairy science department. This secondvisit began talks between UGA and Cuban scientists at CIMA (theCenter for Animal Improvement). CIMA officials invited UGA scientiststo a conference.In May, Benyshek led a group of animal scientists back to Cuba.The group included Benyshek, dairy nutritionist Joe West, geneticistKeith Bertrand, and Steve Stice, a reproductive biologist andcloning expert.The UGA scientists were impressed with the Cubans’ researchaccomplishments.”Cubans have their science,” Benyshek said. “Ithas developed over the years. They’re doing what they can withthe resources they have.”Seeking ScienceAnd in some cases, they’re doing extremely well, particularlyin vaccine development and production.Benyshek visited the Finlay Institute, which directs severalorganizations involved in vaccine production. Its researchersare always interested in developing new technology.”They seek technology, and they seek to develop technology,which is why they are interested in the University of Georgia,”Benyshek said. “When the Russian support collapsed, the economywas left without any sort of underpinning.”The food supply became a serious problem in Cuba, and the futureis still uncertain. There are problems supplying enough of somefoods, including beef and milk.”They are a food-deficit country by far, and they needto import food,” Younts said. “They have really beensuffering since the Soviet Union collapsed. The USSR was givingthem money to buy food, and now that’s gone.”Building FoodPolitical changes forced their agricultural researchers tofocus on rebuilding their food industry.”A lot of their dairy industry and cattle ended up goingto meat,” Benyshek said. “They’re rebuilding their dairyindustry now. That’s an area where we can be very helpful to them.They also have a thriving, developing swine industry.”UGA hopes to continue the collaboration. Several Cuban scientistshave been invited to visit here. “I think they have a numberof students and possible graduate students who could come here,”Benyshek said.The Cubans need technical training, too.”They have gathered cattle data for a number of years,and they need to analyze it,” Benyshek said. “We havea very good program in national and international cattle evaluationat UGA. We’ve done some cattle evaluation in South America, andone of the visiting scientists will probably be looking at thatinformation while he’s here.”Free Intellectual TradeWhile each country will find some short-term benefits to thisproject, most of the gains will be long-term.”We are beginning an educational collaboration that eventually,when the embargo is lifted, will lead the people in this stateto business opportunities there,” Benyshek said.”Our location is our major benefit in developing the relationship,”he said. “They can’t really deal with the closest state (Florida)due to the political climate. So as they come up the coast, we’rethe first one they come to.”Younts will return to Cuba this winter.”I feel the University of Georgia should watch very carefullythe developments there and continue to develop links that areappropriate for this time,” he said.”I think we should do what we can to help the people,”he said. “If we are going to trade with China and North Korea,we should research for ways to overcome obstacles that now hinderus from trading with 11 million of our neighbors who need us.”
For more than three decades, the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia have introduced thousands of new plant varieties to home gardeners and landscape designers. From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 18, the public will have the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of these new varieties and other Georgia favorites at the gardens’ annual open house.Each year at the Trial Gardens’ open house, visitors get an up-close view of a new showcase of ornamentals, ranging from vibrantly colored flowers to hardy shrubs.This year the garden staff is in the process of updating the perennials section and has implemented new technologies to reduce pathogens and weeds in the soil in order to produce healthier plants. Many of the newest perennials, annuals and show-stopping roses will be in full bloom during the open house. Located on the main UGA campus between Snelling Dining Commons and the R.C. Wilson Pharmacy Building, the lush oasis displays hundreds of annuals and perennials from plant breeders around the world. “The Trial Gardens at UGA are one the best kept secrets in northeast Georgia,” said John Ruter, a UGA horticulturist and director of the gardens. “Our annual open house is our chance to share one the most beautiful parts of the UGA campus with the community and share some of what we’ve learned over our last year gardening.”The gardens are always open to the public, but the open house is an opportunity for visitors to get exclusive knowledge about this year’s most promising plant varieties. Ruter will lead tours throughout the morning, showcasing some of the gardens’ latest additions. He will also be signing copies of his newest book, “Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the open house. Plant nurseries and breeding companies send hundreds of new plants each year and fund the gardens by paying to have their plants evaluated. The goal of the Trial Gardens is to see if the plants can survive in the Southeast’s hot and rainfall-variable climate. The funds go toward the gardens’ upkeep and a team of students who work to keep the gardens running.The Trial Gardens also serve as a teaching and research facility for the UGA Department of Horticulture and other academic departments on campus. The open house will be held rain or shine. The gardens’ staff requests a $5 donation to help offset the cost of the event and support the gardens, located at 220 West Green St., Athens, Georgia. Parking will be available in the McPhaul Child Development Building parking lot, across from Stegeman Coliseum. Additional parking can be found in the South Campus parking deck. For more information, visit ugatrial.hort.uga.edu, email [email protected] or call Juliet Swanson at 770-298-9151.
We’re living in a Golden Age of festivals. If you love live music and a great outdoor hang, there’s never been a better time to find your ideal fest. From big music bashes to boutique gatherings, there are fun galas taking place nearly every weekend from spring through fall, throughout the Blue Ridge and beyond. To help you wade through the options, follow BRO’s guide to choosing the right festival, focusing on the best experiences in tunes, brews, and adventures.In the following pages you’ll also find a Festival Calendar, rounding up nearly 100 of the region’s best bashes.Witness History at the Super JamsSince its first year in 2002, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (June 9-12;), has become the pace setter for the current explosion of multi-band mega fests, bringing 80,000 fans to a 700-acre farm in the middle of Tennessee for one of the country’s most eclectic, high-profile music extravaganzas. Endure the elements—heat, dust, and crowds—and you’ll be treated to sets from a wide range of artists, this year including Pearl Jam, Dead & Co., a reunited LCD Soundsystem, Jason Isbell, and Death Cab for Cutie.While Bonnaroo has definitely grown beyond its jam band roots, that spirit is still alive with the festival’s annual Super Jam. Usually starting around 1 a.m., the jam has yielded some legendary collaborations between artists who don’t normally play together. In 2007 Ben Harper mixed it up with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and in 2012 the jam staged D’Angelo’s musical comeback, with the neo-soul icon backed by Questlove and a hand-picked funk band. Last year upped the ante with a themed “80s Throwback Superjam” that turned into a huge dance party led by Pretty Lights, DMC of Run DMC, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, and Chance the Rapper. This year it hasn’t yet been revealed who will be in the mix, but the festival has also added a Bluegrass Super Jam on Sunday led by banjo-playing comedic actor Ed Helms.Another event that specializes in creating spontaneous onstage moments is the Lockn’ Music Festival (August 25-28; Arrington, Va.), a four-day sonic rager that takes place on the idyllic Oak Ridge Farm in Nelson County, Va. This jam fan’s paradise offers an alternative to the usual festival formula by holding bands on two massive side-by-side stages with no overlapping sets. The fest is also known for orchestrating interesting collaborations between artists, like last year’s mingling of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh with Santana and Warren Haynes, as well as Widespread Panic’s set with reggae icon Jimmy Cliff. No collaborations had been announced at press time, but the initial line-up is a doozy, featuring Phish, My Morning Jacket, Ween, and many more.Catch the Legends While You CanEarlier this year, we received sudden reminders that rock legends are not immortal when David Bowie and Glenn Frey of the Eagles passed away within days of each other. Fortunately, many of the old school greats are still on the road, but frankly, a lot of them are a little long in the tooth. Festivals often offer the opportunity to knock multiple legends off your musical bucket list at one time.This spring and summer Greg Allman is hosting his Laid Back Festival (laidbackfestival.com) in five different cities, including Atlanta on May 7 and Nashville on June 25. The Allman Brothers Band keyboardist is now 68, but since his main group retired in 2014 he’s seemed energized and maintained an active touring regimen, mixing Brothers classics and his own material with his solo band. At the Laid Back opener in Atlanta, Allman is bringing along fellow rock vets ZZ Top and steadily rising outlaw country crew Blackberry Smoke. This summer Allman is also playing FloydFest and Peachfest in Scranton, Pa.Fans of fast picking and grinning should plan a trip to southwest Virginia for Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival (May 26-28). Still performing at age 89, Stanley is a pioneer of the high lonesome sound dating back to his days playing with his brother Carter in the Stanley Brothers in the 1940s. He still plays a set every day at his annual festival, a down-home, multi-band traditional bluegrass gala in a beautiful setting that’s approaching its 46th year.Add Some AdventureFestivals are much more than multi-band concerts. Sure, the music might be the main draw that lures you through the gates, but these days many festivals offer adventure opportunities alongside the sounds. The Mountain Music Festival (June 3-4; mountainmusicfestwv.com), a two-day bash in West Virginia’s New River Gorge, has a line-up of adrenaline-inducing activities to match its roster of killer bands. Taking place at ACE Adventure Resort, a 1,500-acre spread in the heart of the gorge, the festival site sits next to some of the best whitewater runs and climbing crags in the region. Before you get down to sets by Trampled by Turtles, the Infamous Stringdusters, Lotus, and Galactic, take a rafting trip on the Lower New or bring your mountain bike and ride ACE’s 30 miles of trails. Other activities offered during the fest: Zip lining, paddleboarding, and a mud run.Another popular event that’s recently upped its adventure game is FloydFest (July 27-31), an eclectic roots music carnival that takes place just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Va. Since its inception back in 2002, FloydFest has become known for bridging the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from the around the rest of the world. On nine stages big headliners like Greg Allman, Warren Haynes, Bruce Hornsby, Greensky Bluegrass, and Fela Kuti perform alongside up and comers like Head for the Hills and West African music act Selasee & the Fafa Family.Set on a mountain plateau that’s surrounded by some of Virginia’s most scenic terrain, FloydFest organizers now offer plenty of ways to explore this pristine open space. In addition to a 5K trail race, the fest also has a nine-hole disc golf course and onsite singletrack on the Moonstomper Mountain Bike Trail. There’s also an organized off-site 19-mile ride, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down, which features 1,600 feet of climb and offers shuttle service back to the festival, as well as organized paddling trips on the Little River.Party on the Appalachian TrailIf you love the outdoors and you live in the footprint of the Blue Ridge, Trail Days (May 13-15) is a bucket list festival. Set in the quaint southwestern Virginia town of Damascus, known as Trail Town, U.S.A., the festival is a big reunion for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and a huge weekend party that lets all outdoor enthusiasts become immersed in A.T. culture. Throughout the weekend, check out gear booths, hear live bluegrass, and watch hikers get goofy in a parade, talent show, and prom. There are also talks and presentations by A.T. legends of yesteryear.At the fest, mainly set in Town Park but spreading throughout town, it’s also easy to enjoy the surrounding scenery. The A.T. runs right through Damascus, so it’s easy to pick up the trail and take a hike. You can also bring your bike and jump on the rugged Iron Mountain Trail for some tough singletrack or the family-friendly Virginia Creeper Trail for an easy rail trail ride. At night pitch a tent at one of the designated campgrounds on the edge of town. You’ll likely find a hiker to share some old trail stories and sips from a jar of ‘shine.Bring the Whole FamilySure, bringing the kids to a huge festival with thick crowds might seem like an overwhelming proposition. But fortunately the Blue Ridge has some intimate musical gatherings that feature top-notch line-ups to please mom and dad while also holding plenty of activities to keep the little ones happy. If you’re inclined to make it a family affair, check out one of these kid-friendly fests.LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival)May 12-15; Black Mountain, N.C.theleaf.orgThe Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known as LEAF—goes above and beyond when it comes to keeping kids entertained at a multi-band music festival. A few years ago the fest, nestled within the mountainous Camp Rockmont, expanded its offerings for youngsters with the addition of eight Family Adventure Villages that include everything from puppetry and hands-on nature programs to art projects and organized games. Add swimming and paddling in Lake Eden and the kids will certainly be tuckered and ready for some tent slumber.In addition to the family fun, LEAF features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic offerings of any fest in the region: live music, dance workshops, healing arts, and much more. There’s also the music, which covers sounds from around the globe. Acts this year include Shovels and Rope, Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Fatoutmata Diawara, and Sarah Jarosz.Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival May 26-29; Martinsville, Va.roosterwalk.comThis homegrown festival recently got some new digs, moving last year to the scenic Pop’s Farm near Martinsville. Attendance has increased as fest organizers continue to add bigger national acts to the Rooster Walk line-up, but this is still a relatively small event with plenty of open space and a dedicated kid’s area to keep the kiddos happy. Acts on the bill this year include Lettuce, the Sam Bush Band, Perpetual Groove, and the Revivalists.Bonus: This festival has a heartfelt purpose, created to honor two Martinsville locals who passed away. Proceeds from your ticket dollars go to a high school scholarship program created in their honor, as well as other regional charities.Red Wing Roots Music FestivalJuly 8-10; Mt. Solon, Va.redwingroots.com Red Wing takes place in the relaxed confines of Natural Chimneys Park, a comfortable campground in the shadow of towering limestone rock formations. The festival, located in the Shenandoah Valley near Harrisonburg, was started by lauded string band and area natives the Steel Wheels, who curate a carefully selected line-up of Americana and acoustic music acts that perform on multiple stages in very close proximity. This year the fest will be headlined by Dawes, Shovels and Rope, the Lone Bellow, and the Steep Canyon Rangers. “We want music that draws from traditions of old country, folk, singer-songwriter, Cajun and bluegrass—what you would consider the roots of American music,” Steel Wheels front man Trent Wagler said about crafting the festival’s line-up. “We’re working hard to find great music that defines that term for us.”While the festival’s musical ambitions are broad, attendance is intentionally kept relatively small to accommodate families. Red Wing also has an impressive slate of kid’s activities, including a Kinfolk Stage devoted to music for little ones.Dig into Country’s Roots in BristolLocated on the southwest Virginia/eastern Tennessee border, Bristol holds great historic significance in the first generation of country music. Back in 1927 a record producer named Ralph Peer working for the Victor Talking Machine Company set up a recording studio in a hat factory on State Street, the small city’s main drag. After placing an ad looking for Appalachian musicians from the surrounding area, Peer organized the now-famous Bristol Sessions, which yielded the first recordings by bluegrass pioneer Jimmie Rodgers and the legendary Carter Family.The legacy of those historic recordings is upheld at the Smithsonian-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and it really comes to life every fall at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (September 16-18), a bustling street festival that spans downtown and incorporates roots music from a range of generations and styles. Impressively, the festival manages to seamlessly bridge traditional icons with emerging acts in roots rock and indie folk, hosting bands and singer-songwriters along State Street (which straddles the Virginia/Tennessee line) on 22 stages—some outdoors, others inside theaters and bars. At first it may seem like a stretch to see Loretta Lynn on a bill with Houndmouth, but when you consider the evolution and stylistic shake-ups in country music through its near century in existence, this festival’s line-up makes perfect sense. Additional acts on the bill this year include Cracker, Marty Stuart, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Keller Williams, Anderson East, and many more.Pick with Your Heroes at Jam CampDelfest (May 26-29) is a progressive bluegrass and roots music festival hosted by genre legend Del McCoury in the scenic Potomac River Valley of western Maryland. The festival’s line-up mingles top-notch string bands and heavyweights in Americana and roots rock, this year featuring Bruce Hornsby, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Railroad Earth, along with the usual sets by Del and his sons in the Travelin’ McCourys.To make the most of the festival, consider coming early for the DelFest Academy, a four-day bluegrass camp that features instruction for musicians of all skills levels by acts on the fest bill. Starting the Sunday prior to the festival, the Academy offers the chance to learn from pro pickers with specific instruction for guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and bass. In addition to the instrument classes, the camp also includes plenty of group jam sessions, intimate performances by instructors, and Bluegrass Karaoke, which gives students a chance to play a song backed by their heroes. Instructors this year include all of the Travelin’ McCourys, Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters, and mandolin-playing songstress Sierra Hull.Another Jam: Banjo ace Pete Wernick of Hot Rize also hosts a Bluegrass Camp prior to Merlefest every April in Wilkesboro, N.C.Drink the Best in BrewLast fall, the Brewers Association announced that there are now more than 4,000 active breweries in the U.S. and 75 percent of adults age 21 and older live within 10 miles of a local brewery. It’s hard to predict how big the craft beer boom will get, but as more brewers continue to open new operations their best opportunities to get beers in the hands of new drinkers are at the many craft beer festivals taking place across the country.With Virginia and North Carolina being craft beer hotbeds, it’s no wonder that the Blue Ridge is full of beer fests. Just outside of Charlottesville, Va., in the small town of Crozet, regional mainstay Starr Hill Brewery is getting set to host the IPA Jambeeree, a new fest that will celebrate the best in hoppy brews from the Commonwealth. The Jambeeree will feature a dozen Virginia breweries pouring more than 40 local IPAs. New varieties have taken hops in many directions, so whether you like bitter, piney, floral, or fruity, you’ll find what you’re looking for at this beer bash. Add live music, food trucks, and brewer exhibits, and you get some serious good times taking place at Hangar Park, across from Starr Hill’s brewery and tap room.Down south, Burning Can (July 15-16) is hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery at its REEB Ranch outpost in Brevard, N.C. Taking place at a scenic spot on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, the fest features more than 50 killer breweries that put their best liquid in cans, as well as plenty of outdoor playtime, including a Beer Relay trail run, group mountain bike rides, a dirt-jumping comp, and paddle trips. Plus, there’s camping, so you don’t have to worry about getting home after drinking too many Dale’s Pale Ales.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An ex-second deputy Nassau County police commissioner was convicted on Valentine’s Day of official misconduct for his role in covering up his friend’s son’s burglary four years ago.William Flanagan stood stoic with his chin up as the jury foreman read the partial verdict of guilty on two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.Judge Mark Cohen ordered the jurors to continue deliberating until 9 p.m., when they were recessed until Friday morning. They’ll then continue deliberating on two remaining charges: Sixth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor, and receiving reward for official misconduct, a felony.“This fight is far from over,” Bruce Barket, attorney for the 55-year-old police veteran, told reporters outside the courtroom in Mineola as he vowed to appeal the ruling.District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office “will have no comment until the trial is over and the jury has been released,” her spokesman said in a statement.Prosecutors alleged that Flanagan helped return electronics stolen from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore by Zachary Parker, the son of wealthy police nonprofit donor Gary Parker, who testified during the four-week-long trial that he asked for Flanagan’s help because Parker believed returning the equipment meant the charges against his son would be dropped.Parker gave Flanagan three $100 gift cards to Morton’s Steak House shortly after the property was returned. Zachary was not charged with the May 2009 thefts until prosecutors began investigating the coverup after it was uncovered by a 2011 Press expose.Two other former Nassau police supervisors, ex-Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter and retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe, pleaded not guilty to misconduct and conspiracy charges along with Flanagan following their indictments in March 2012.The other two ex-cops are expected to be tried separately. Zachary Parker is serving prison time for the burglary and other charges.Flanagan faces four years in prison for the receiving reward for official misconduct charge, if convicted of that count. He faces up to a year in jail for the misconduct convictions.“I know that you’ve had a very long day,” Judge Cohen told the jury before releasing them for the evening. “Perhaps a good night’s sleep will allow… for a resolution.”