Tuning into the whistleblower

first_imgAddressing his model jury, Stephen C. Reyes, LL.M. ’14, a commander in the Navy JAG Corps, made the argument for jurors to condemn Edward Snowden, calling his actions “unadulterated, unbridled arrogance.”Who was Snowden, the former CIA employee and former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed up to 200,000 classified documents to the press, to “decide which intelligence operations were legitimate, which intelligence operations should protect us, and which were illegitimate?” argued Reyes. “[Is] he the individual who should decide what information should be kept secret, and which information should be released to our enemies?”The rapt audience listened carefully to Reyes’ remarks. The 60 Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, and other area residents in attendance were tasked with determining whether the former infrastructure analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton, who is now a fugitive in Russia, should be condemned or acquitted.In contrast, mock defense counsel Robert Goldstein, LL.M. ’14, compared Snowden’s actions to those of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and members of the American Revolution.More than 230 years ago, Goldstein said, “members of this very community made a grave and difficult decision that would shape our very existence. Convinced they wanted a better life, a life free from an invasive and intrusive government, they defied British law and sought independence … we do not believe our founding fathers worthy of moral condemnation simply because they defied British law, because they believed we deserved a better way of life or a better government.”Charles Nesson, Harvard Law School (HLS) professor and founder and director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, brought Reyes and Goldstein to the Harvard Allston Education Portal to facilitate a discussion on the themes of whistleblowing, secrecy, and justice. Unlike other juries, however, Nesson instructed these jurors to focus on whether Snowden’s actions were immoral, rather than illegal.The illegality of Snowden’s actions, Nesson said, was undeniable. But, he argued, “a deep question as to how we feel about what he has done” remained, and it was this question that the juries faced.With summations closed, the audience broke into eight small groups moderated by fellows from the Berkman Center and delved into the task of determining Snowden’s moral stance — with a condemnation, acquittal, or no consensus being the options.In introducing Nesson, Robert A. Lue, faculty director of the Harvard Allston Education Portal and HarvardX, and professor of molecular and cellular biology, said that the Nov. 20 discussion was one more way of bringing diverse communities together, allowing Harvard faculty members to share their work and research directly with members of the neighboring Allston community.“Tonight’s event represents a novel experiment in small-group interaction, a sharing of ideas among Harvard faculty and community members,” Lue said. “Throughout his time at Harvard, Charles has pushed us, and the institution of Harvard, to go beyond our limits — to really think more creatively about the social and technological changes happening all around us. Tonight is a facilitation of a communal event, and it shows what the future holds for new Ed Portal programs, and might serve as a compelling model for other communities around the world.”After 20 minutes of discussion, the eight juries returned with a split decision: four voted to acquit Snowden, while four could not come to a unanimous decision, resulting in four hung juries.Echo Liu, a Brighton resident and member of the Ed Portal, said the event inspired a dynamic and thought-provoking debate.“I didn’t expect it to be so interactive,” she said, “but we all got to participate. The discussion really enriched my point of view. It was interesting to hear the other side of the argument. I’m looking forward to [the next faculty program].”In closing, Nesson invited attendees to return for a future mock-jury program to be hosted by the Ed Portal and the Berkman Center to consider another question: Should Boston submit its name for the 2024 Summer Olympics?The next presentation in the Ed Portal Faculty Series, “The Hemingses: Writing the Life of an Enslaved Family,” takes place on Monday, when Professor Annette Gordon-Reed will speak about Thomas Jefferson and the Hemingses.last_img read more

Professor lectures on Latinos

first_imgDr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California Los Angeles, addressed the implications of the United States’ increasing Latino population Monday in McKenna Hall.   In a lecture titled “Young Latinidad and the Future of America,” Hayes-Bautista said the growing percentage of Latinos in the United States is inevitable and beneficial. “In Texas and in California and in New Mexico, over 50 percent of the babies born are Latino,” he said. “This is the norm.”   Latinos are also a sizable minority in other states, such as Illinois and New York, Hayes-Bautista said. “As a whole, the state will work more, work more hours per week, use less welfare, have fewer heart attacks, have fewer cancers, have fewer strokes [as the Latino population grows],” he said. Hayes-Bautista said his research shows these statistical shifts are largely due to cultural differences between Latinos and other Americans. “Latinos have the highest labor force participation of any group in the country and are far more likely to start a business,” he said. “Latinos have historically very low welfare utilization rates.” Despite their potential positive impact on the United States, the media portrays Latinos mostly negatively, Hayes-Bautista said. “If you go home and watch the 11 o’clock news, what’s it likely to be?,” Hayes-Bautista said. “Gangs, illegal immigration, teenage moms.” This portrayal differs largely from present Latino realities and history, Hayes-Bautista said. North America contained early Latino settlements whose people participated in past wars and helped finance the American Revolution, he said.    “Because of Latinos, because of the values,  because of the families, because of the faith, we have always been building this country since 80 years before [the settlement of Jamestown, Va.],” he said. “Latinos have been helping to defend the freedoms of this country since 1776.” November’s elections clearly indicate present-day Latinos will have a similarly-profound impact on the United States, Hayes-Bautista said. “The Latino electorate stepped forward and changed the course of this nation’s history by causing the re-election of President Obama,” he said. “Not because of President Obama, but because Latinos made the difference.”last_img read more

Clorox CEO rallies for ethical leaders

first_imgChairman and CEO of the Clorox Company Don Knauss addressed a crowd via web feed at the Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business on Thursday evening in a lecture entitled “Leadership Traits,” which focused on his extensive business experience and the underlying principles of successful leadership.“Leadership is a hackneyed word, but it truly means rallying people for a better future,” Knauss said.Knauss said there is a dichotomy between thought leadership and people leadership, but both are crucial to success. He emphasized creating loyalty within organizations because employees are the most important constituency of a company. Knauss said his own efforts at Clorox, such as personal lunches with low-level employees, rewarding long term employees and making all employees eligible for bonuses, represented the achievement of his leadership goals.Knauss also said these leadership efforts produced tangible results. In 2006, 15 percent of Clorox’s brands won blind consumer tests 60 percent of the time, a benchmark of individual brand success. Today, 60 percent of its brands meet this goal and 80 percent are either ranked first or second in their respective categories. Knauss said he was especially proud of the results within his company.“Everyone got a seat at the table” Knauss said.Knauss expanded on his leadership paradigm, and said, “the most invaluable leadership traits are integrity, curiosity, optimism, compassion and humility.”He said leaders from Marie Curie to Margaret Thatcher to Cesar Chavez embodied these aforementioned traits. Integrity, Knauss said, is aligned with honesty, trust and strength of character.Knauss said curiosity creates a safe environment for debate and true optimism combined with the ability to face reality will make faith successful. Describing compassion’s importance, Knauss said, “life is not fair, but you must use your power to make it fair.” Knauss said humility creates a feeling of approachability in any organization.Following Knauss’s presentation, Knauss answered questions about how his military experience affected his leadership and how he implemented his people-focused vision on a daily basis. Knauss said students in the audience must remain true to their values because “everything you do communicates.”The lecture was part of the Berges Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business and Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. The series showcases business executives speaking about ethics.Tags: Berges Lecture Series, business ethics, Clorox, Don Knauss, leadershiplast_img read more

Bullet journaling to provide organizational, creative resource to Saint Mary’s students

first_imgSaint Mary’s students will be able to participate in a new bullet journaling program sponsored by the Office for Civic and Social Engagement beginning Tuesday. The activity will be held on the last Tuesday of every month in the Reignbeaux Lounge of LeMans Hall from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Kris Choinacky, assistant director of the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, said in an email. Bullet journaling is not only an engaging and creative activity, but it also can help students build important life skills, Choinacky noted. “Bullet journals are do-it yourself planners, scrap books, goal-setting trackers and diary inserts all in one. It’s an individualized productivity tool,” she said. Students have previously expressed interest in bullet journaling, Choinacky said, and so far, the program has gained a lot of support. “Before Christmas, we gave journals to some of our student staff as a gift and told them about the plans for this semester,” Choinacky said. “They were super excited and expressed interest if guidance and supplies were provided.”After she witnessed her 11-year-old daughter’s experience bullet journaling, Choinacky was inspired to bring the activity to Saint Mary’s.“It’s a work of art,” she said. This activity can help students set and maintain goals, Choinacky asserted, as well as bring the College community together. “Bullet journaling is a place where students can track everything going on in your life,” she said. “We want to inspire students to use their creativity to plan their future by tracking their goals. It will be an opportunity for students to share ideas with each other and gain new friendships.”The Office of Civil and Social Engagement chose this project to connect with students and provide them with the materials to engage in this experience. Choinacky said the office is always looking for ways to build relationships and engagement with students.“Plus, we want to support them to be successful,” Choinacky said. Students who want to learn more about the craft will have the opportunity to explore bullet journaling throughout the semester and are encouraged to attend the event on Tuesday. Though all are welcome to show up, Choinacky emphasized it would be helpful if interested students register for the event by emailing her so the office can provide enough snacks and supplies.“So far we have several students who have registered and are looking forward to more students coming,” Choinacky said.Tags: bullet journaling, creativity, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, organizationlast_img read more

Container herbs

first_imgAfter seeing some incredible mixed containers, I told my young horticulturist son that I had a vision of writing a column called “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” kind of a play-on-words idea from Simon and Garfunkel’s famous album by the same name and, of course, the lyrics from the song, “Scarborough Fair.” The idea of my column is to encourage you to use these herbs in mixed containers.But it appears my 26-year-old never heard of the artist, album or song. What has happened to the world? We spent weeks in Mr. Murray’s 1969 English class studying these songs and it was the best class ever, but I digress.Just know this – remembering those four herbs as you design your mixed containers will allow you to create interest through foliage, add a touch of fragrance, dazzle with color from flowers, bring in a few butterflies and, shoot, freshen your breath, too. Lastly, if you are a culinary artist, then all of these are available for the picking.Parsley is the most famous garnish on the planet. As a carnivorous meat eater, I would just as soon skip the parsley and add a couple of more ounces of New York strip. Speaking of New York, The Times ran an article that said there’s no way parsley freshens your breath, that the science is just not there. Of course, the Romans felt differently and it must have been famous at the Scarborough Fair. As a horticulturist, however, I love curly parsley as a 1-foot-tall filler plant in mixed containers. Its bright-green leaves just seem to bring out the color of companion flowers.Sages are my favorite plants for gardens and mixed containers. Now we have to assume for lyrical purposes that we are talking the edible sage, Salvia officinalis. Of course other species are edible, including the heavenly scented pineapple sage, Salvia elegans. The Salvia officinalis excels as a filler plant in mixed containers, and the new variegated varieties do their part to add a little drama. This plant sometimes struggles in the high heat and humidity of the South when planted in garden soil, but always performs in mixed containers that drain freely. Drop it in with some ajuga at the front of your box or mixed container and you’ll have yourself a picture.We may think of rosemary as the now-official Christmas topiary or the staple of the herb garden, and both would be correct, but it also makes a terrific center or tall plant in mixed containers. The aromatic foliage does not go unnoticed as you walk by. The green, fine-textured, needle-like leaves contrast with cool- or warm-season flowers as well as a boxwood or holly. Throughout Georgia, they are beginning their bloom cycle as they load up with icy blue flowers. A sprig or two may be just what you are looking for, whether you’re making pork or poultry.Thyme is something I’ve generally used among rocks or stepping stones. The little, if not diminutive, creeping red thyme, however, is a wonderful spiller, creating interest with its tiny foliage texture, then follows up with its own version of “wow!” with flowers that may be rose, lavender, red or white. It’s like the engine that could, and you will be asking why you haven’t tried this before. It grows 3 inches to 6 inches tall and spreads to 18 inches.Spring planting season is coming, albeit sooner for some of us. Herbs make wonderful component plants in mixed containers. If you can’t remember which herbs to use, let the old song remind you: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.last_img read more

Go Outside and Play: Hendersonville, North Carolina

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Lazy Otter Outfitters. MORNING EVENING Jump Off Rock, only 15 minutes from downtown, offers stunning sunset views. Peer into four states as the sun sinks behind the Blue Ridge. AFTERNOON Get an early start at North River Farms where DB bar D Outfitters leads half-day and full-day guided trout fishing trips on the 1,450-acre farm along the north fork of Mills River. Rainbow, brook, and brown trout are plentiful in the catch-and-release waters. Afterward, enjoy a streamside lunch. MORNING DAY ONE Next door to the Riveter, the East Coast headquarters of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company beckons beer enthusiasts. The palatial brewery combines good beer, environmental stewardship, culinary creativity, and fun times. Sign up in advance for a brewery tour or take a self-guided stroll down hallways filled with memorabilia from the company’s 40-year history. Circle around the fire pit in the expansive beer garden out back and toast your time in Hendersonville. Stop by The Baker’s Box and grab a freshly made sandwich, wrap, or salad to go. Enjoy a picnic lunch at DuPont State Recreational Forest. A short hike leads to Hooker Falls or take a longer trek up to Triple and High falls. AFTERNOON Book a room at The Charleston Inn or 1898 Waverly Inn for a downtown lodging experience. The side-by-side bed and breakfasts both include historical charm and modern amenities. Walk to dinner on Main Street and choose from 25 independently owned restaurants. Don’t miss cocktails at Shine, Hendersonville’s first rooftop bar. Start the day with a relaxing paddle along the French Broad River, one of the oldest in the world. Lazy Otter Outfitters rents all the gear necessary to tube, kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. This section of the French Broad remains largely untouched by development, so paddlers will enjoy wildlife and vegetation along the banks. DAY TWO A WEEKEND IN… Feature Image: Sierra Nevada Brewery is one of 16 craft producer on the Henderson County Cheers! Trail. Photo by Sam Dean. Dupont Triple Falls. Photo by Bill Russ. Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest and minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hendersonville beckons travelers looking to disconnect from daily worries and reconnect with each other and the natural world. Just south of busy Asheville, the vibrant mountain town of Hendersonville delivers its own blend of arts and culture, outdoor adventure, and creative craft beverage producers. Hendersonville, North Carolina EVENING Facebook: VisitHendersonvilleNC | Instagram: VisitHendersonvilleNCVISITHENDERSONVILLENC.COM The new Riveter gym combines an extensive climbing facility and bike park under one roof. With more than 16,000 square feet of climbing terrain, a multi-feature covered bike track, yoga studio and fitness area, Riveter accommodates whatever exercise gets you moving.last_img read more

How Long Island is Losing its War on Heroin

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A heroin prevention law was named for Natalie Ciappa after her high-profile OD in Seaford in 2008.• Mandated Heroin-Prevention Website Inoperative Until Press Inquires• Elected Officials Clueless About Non-Compliance• Heroin Overdoses, Arrests Up on LI Despite Prevention Efforts• Father of OD Victim Who Sparked Prevention Program Outraged At Lax OversightWhen 18-year-old Natalie Ciappa of Massapequa fatally overdosed on heroin at a Seaford house party in 2008, Nassau and Suffolk counties were so outraged that they passed laws in her name launching heroin-arrest tracking websites to raise awareness of the opiate abuse epidemic.The talented singer, cheerleader and honor student who was about to graduate from Plainedge High School had become the poster child of the epidemic, galvanizing suburban Long Island as residents came to grips with the fact that the scourge of heroin was not just an urban problem. Her untimely death and the laws it sparked served as a clarion call.Or so it seemed. Nassau officials hadn’t updated their version of the website in three years.At anti-drug lectures, Nassau police and prosecutors tout Natalie’s Law, which also requires Nassau—but not Suffolk—police to notify school superintendents of heroin busts in their districts, alerting educators to when there’s an added need to teach students about the dangers of drug abuse. But, some of those presenters, even some legislators who voted for it, were unaware that Nassau disregarded half of a landmark local anti-heroin law it enacted following a Press investigative series in 2008 that exposed the depths of Long Island’s heroin epidemic. One could barely remember the law’s namesake.“I can’t believe it’s six years ago that, um…oh my gosh, I know the name,” Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said last month as she struggled for five seconds to remember Ciappa’s name during an anti-heroin presentation—a program named for what Ciappa’s parents heard from other unwitting parents at their daughters funeral, “Not My Child”—at a Syosset middle school.To be fair, Rice’s office is not responsible for updating the so-called drug mapping index website—online maps that show where heroin arrests have occurred. The police and information technology departments are. But, Nassau Police Inspector Ken Lack, the department’s chief spokesman, dismissed a Press request for comment on the issue, stating that the agency’s entire website was under construction—although that was only since January. Brian Nevin, a spokesman for County Executive Ed Mangano, later blamed “technical issues” and said the heroin map site “will be back up shortly.”This map dated April 12, 2011 is the last known version of Nassau’s heroin arrest index mandated by Natalie’s Law before the site was relaunched last week following a Press inquiry regarding the tool’s three-year absence.The website finally re-launched last week, two months after the Press asked why it was down, but without explanation for the three-year gap in compliance with the law. It only lists heroin arrests for the first three months of this year, with Massapequa still leading the county. Natalie’s father, Victor Ciappa, is livid.“So, basically, they took my daughter’s name and her memory and passed a great law but nobody’s doing a fucking thing,” he says, adding that he suspects that schools aren’t taking action—such as alerting parents—when police notify administrators of nearby heroin arrests. “I am more frustrated than I ever have been in my life.”Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, is confounded by Nassau’s failure to use its own law.“It would seem that the idea is to raise consciousness and to serve as a deterrent,” he says. “And the purpose of the law is being defeated.”The former Nassau legislator who authored the law—Suffolk quickly followed suit with their own website, although it’s neither comprehensive nor promoted—calls the failure “disturbing.”“Given the fact that heroin is a problem across every demographic line and community, there needs to be more of an emphasis on using the tools that we have to help people,” says former Democratic Nassau Legis. David Mejias, who is now an attorney in private practice.“How it fell through the cracks, I don’t know,” Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said when she first learned from a Press reporter that the site had been abandoned.“I think they kind of lost interest,” says former Democratic Suffolk Legis. Wayne Horsely, who authored his county’s version. “It didn’t get the play it should get…I think there’s room for expansion if they can get the graphics correct.”Nearly 500 people have died of heroin overdoses on LI since Natalie’s Laws were passed, according to statistics provided by medical examiners in both counties. That’s nearly double the number of people murdered on the Island in the same time period.Of course, a website alone could not have saved those lives, but Nassau’s disregarding it for so long indicates that drug prevention—a key part of a much-touted, three-pronged approach that also includes treatment and enforcement—sometimes amounts to little more than tough talk with little follow-through. It’s impossible to say how much crime was prevented by other anti-drug initiatives, but a nearly 30-percent increase in heroin arrests on LI over the past five years suggests that those efforts fell short despite the common refrain that police cannot arrest their way out of the crisis. Experts, law enforcement and former users confirm that the cyclical resurgence of heroin as LI’s drug of choice is partially attributable to crackdowns on the prescription drug black market that made painkillers pricier—resulting in a 44-percent increase in fatal heroin ODs on LI since ’09.More than 4 million Americans ages 12 or older had used heroin at least once in their lives as of 2011, and the total increased by another 300,000 the following year, according to the latest figures available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with nearly a quarter of those getting hooked. And heroin is easier than ever to get, since U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials say Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have flooded the market, with the DEA making 20 percent of the heroin seizures nationwide in New York—including a trio allegedly busted in mid-April with $12 million in dope.Dealers that describe the way buyers flock to them as “feeding the birdies” profit because the stigma from the previous heroin crisis in the 1970s is lost on teenagers. New users continue replacing those lost to overdose—or saved by recovery—especially since the new wave of heroin is more pure and snortable, although many wind up injecting the drug.“You can’t experiment with it; it’s too powerful,” says James Hunt, acting special agent in charge of the DEA‘s New York Field Division. “The heroin that’s on the streets now is much stronger than it was 40 years ago, more potent and consequently more addictive.”Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD), wonders why LI appears to be losing its war on opiate abuse.“It’s a question that I think more and more of us that work on this are asking: What’s broken?” he says. “Maybe the answer’s nothing, and it’s just [that] we’ve been overwhelmed by this problem. But something’s not working optimally.”Taylor Sherman, a former heroin user, is now two years sober and training to be a substance abuse counselor.THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONETaylor Sherman was popping Vicoden and snorting heroin a year after he began boozing and smoking pot at 14, self-medicating his depression as prescribed by the Commack High School “popular kids” who accepted him.He graduated to shooting heroin intravenously at 17, upon learning that’s how his best friend fatally overdosed—a testament to an addict’s self-destructive logic. Escalation to snorting cocaine, smoking crack and using hallucinogenic drugs soon followed. So did arrests, psychiatric-ward stays and nearly a dozen aborted trips to drug rehab, as he seemed destined for jail or the morgue, same as countless users before him.“It took me to my knees by the age of 20,” says Sherman, now 23, two years sober and training to become a substance abuse counselor after a spiritual awakening. “I needed the heroin and the drugs to give me a solution to how I felt…They took away the emotional, the mental pain that I suffered.”He’s one of the lucky ones who lived to tell his cautionary tale with the hope of helping others avoid a more tragic fate.Since Sherman first started to shoot up, heroin overdose deaths on LI rose 44 percent, from 85 in ‘09 to 122 last year. That’s a 74-percent spike from 47 to 82 ODs for the same time period in Suffolk, versus a slight rise from 38 to 40 in Nassau, according to county medical examiners. Nassau police said 21 people died of heroin ODs so far this year, half of last year’s rate in the first three months of ’14.Non-heroin opiate fatalities in Suffolk dropped from 110 to 104 after peaking at 174 in ’11. Eighty-eight people overdosed from non-heroin opiates in Nassau last year, about the same as five years ago, after topping 100 in ’12, although a toxicologist in the county cautioned that adding all non-heroin opiate OD deaths together can be misleading because there is overlap in some cases in which a victim ingested more than one prescription drug. Officials also noted that the ’13 figures were preliminary while the latest cases were not yet completed.The rising heroin overdose deaths and declining painkiller ODs have been credited to authorities cracking down on dubious doctors selling prescriptions after two LI pharmacy robbery shootings left six dead in 2011. It’s partly a side-effect of physicians checking their patients’ prescription history through a new database under New York State’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, commonly known as I-STOP, which is credited with largely stopping doctor-shoppers—users who go clinic to clinic with fake symptoms, racking up pain pills.But, once the pill free-for-all ended, those who had become dependent upon prescription painkillers—semi-synthetic opiates that offer similar highs as heroin, such as Vicodin, which contains hydrocodone, and oxycodone-based Percoset—saw prices as high as $1 per milligram. The choice for many users came down to $80 for an 80-milligram OxyContin pill or $10 for a deck of heroin. LICADD’s Reynolds says he sees kids with 10-to-15-bag-per-day habits nowadays.“After the prescription pill craze, a lot of kids in the suburbs and in the cities who could no longer get prescription pills, or that [it] became more expensive for them, they went to the streets and got heroin, and they wound up heroin addicts,” says Hunt, the DEA agent. “None of these kids thought they’d wind up heroin addicts.”In January, the Nassau medical examiner’s office took the unusual step of issuing a public alert to warn users that heroin packets marked “24K” in red ink were linked to a string of fatal ODs. That brand, as such stamps refer to, was cut with fentanyl, a painkiller toxicologists describe as about 100 times more potent than morphine, and metamizole, a banned painkiller and fever-reducing drug.Sherman—who notes it’s common knowledge among users that the whiter the heroin, the more fentanyl it’s cut with—says that despite the good intentions authorities had in issuing that alert, it likely had the opposite effect and fueled sales of that brand of heroin.“The way the addict looks at is: ‘This stuff must be good if it’s killing people! Where can I get that?’”COLD TURKEYShanna Lintz broke down in tears while recalling her arrest and recovery from heroin during a legislative panel discussion on the issue.Shanna Lintz was strung-out and living in a rented Hyundai Sonata with her boyfriend when the couple ran out of money and decided to snatch a woman’s purse in Levittown so they could buy heroin.Police quickly apprehended the duo after the fall 2010 robbery, but her 31-year-old boyfriend, Gasparino Godino, hanged himself in his Nassau jail cell. Having hit rock bottom, hard, Lintz later completed a nine-month inpatient rehab program—same as many before her, 28 days weren’t enough. Now, like Sherman, she’s in college training to be a drug treatment counselor.“This is not something that I would ever have done if I wasn’t addicted to heroin and so sick that I just didn’t know how else to get what I needed,” Lintz told lawmakers through tears at a Brentwood public hearing in early April while recalling her arrest. “I was sitting in jail with $120,000 bail, my boyfriend was now dead and I just didn’t know what to do.”Her case is just one of the heroin-related crimes—robberies, burglaries, car break-ins—that persist while Nassau and Suffolk county leaders frequently cite statistics that indicate crime is down. Such stats don’t refer to the rising number of heroin arrests.“Last year was a big year for bank robberies…I attribute that mostly to the heroin,” Nassau Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki said at a recent East Meadow community meeting, referring to 29 such cases reported last year while recalling a high of 52 in ‘92. “Most bank robbers are either drug addicts, alcoholics or gamblers.”LICADD’s Reynolds says: “Every time I see news of a string of robberies…I say, ‘That has heroin written all over it.’ And almost every time I’m right!”OD stats may show a switch from pills to heroin, but arrests for possession of both types of drugs are up. Heroin arrests in Nassau rose 28 percent from 391 in ‘09 to 500 last year while prescription drug arrests rose 132 percent from 253 to 587 during the same time period, while Suffolk saw heroin busts increase 35 percent from 1,026 to 1,386. Suffolk could not provide stats for its prescription drug arrests. The DEA reports a 427-percent increase in heroin arrests on LI from 11 in ’08 to 58 last year.After authorities nabbed top Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera in February, those looking to fill the void left by his arrest are widely expected to continue waging the inter-cartel Mexican Drug War for control of smuggling routes that has claimed 40,000 to 60,000 lives since ’06—with reported estimates that the death toll could be twice that. A similar rush to fill the vacuum is to be expected whenever LI’s dealers are rounded up, since the demand remains.Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, who dubbed the Long Island Expressway “Heroin Highway” because dealers use it to get the drug from the city to LI, so far this year busted a ring dealing Hollywood-brand heroin in the Hamptons and a couple supplying dealers with High Octane-labeled heroin from their Holtsville home—one of the county’s biggest busts in years. A West Islip school bus driver and a Merrick postal worker are among the latest arrested for alleged dope dealing. Spota and his counterparts in the police and corrections departments echo the sentiment that LI can’t arrest its way out of the crisis.“Enforcement and treatment only come into play when education has failed,” says Suffolk County Police Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon, the department’s chief spokesman. “I say this even though I’m in the world of law enforcement.”Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, the lone-elected county official who’s a registered Conservative, told the same panel as Lintz, the recovering addict, that lawmakers need to increase access to rehab programs and break the cycle of addiction and recidivism, thereby saving taxpayer money—up to $250 daily per inmate at his jail.“Because there is so much overlap between the criminal justice and drug treatment systems, I think there needs to be a concerted effort among policymakers to develop alternatives to incarceration that will address the underlying causes of addiction and crime,” he said. The judicial diversion program that allows judges to order non-violent offenders into rehab instead of jail is a start, but he’s urging leaders to add more.“As soon as we arrest some, they are quickly replaced by others,” says Suffolk Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley), chair of the public safety committee. “We’ve declared a war on drugs in this country, but drug use has not declined.”THE FEEL GOOD HIT OF THE SUMMERHigh Octane is a brand of heroin Suffolk authorities said a recently arrested Holtsville couple sold from their home.Philip Seymour Hoffman’s fatal heroin overdose in Manhattan this winter was another reminder that even celebrities who can afford drug rehabilitation may avoid seeking help, with tragic consequences.With the resulting renewed attention on the issue, state lawmakers launched a heroin and opiate task force to study proposals that would, among other things, make rehab more accessible for those who can’t afford it out of pocket. Another group of state lawmakers soon thereafter launched a heroin task force specifically for the East End. Congressional representatives proposed DrugStat, a drug-crime-data-sharing tool designed to increase coordination between law enforcement. And Suffolk legislators recently launched a task force on the issue—their second since ’10.“Almost every elected official keeps asking me every time I see them: ‘Is it getting better?’” says Reynolds. “And I keep saying: ‘Well, no it’s not.’ And they’ve said: ‘Well, how come?’ And I say: ‘The same thing I tell my clients I’m gonna tell you guys: If nothing changes, nothing changes.’ And in reality, not much has changed in Suffolk County, or in Nassau County, for that matter. If anything, in some key areas we’ve gone backward.”He points to prohibitive new rules requiring appointments five days in advance for detox at Nassau University Medical Center as opposed to on-demand treatment for addicts in withdrawal. Then there’s the Sandy-forced closure of Long Beach Medical Center, which left that hospital’s detox beds unavailable. And the few choices in alternatives to detox, which isn’t always medically necessary—being dope sick is painful, but not deadly, like withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines such as Xanax.On the plus side, St. Charles Hospital is opening a five-bed adolescent detox unit to go with an adult unit, Suffolk officials say.In a year when Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State address to the heroin epidemic there, Nassau Executive Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone last month spoke for about 10 minutes combined on the issue in their state-of-the-county addresses, mostly plugging their use of Narcan, an antidote for opiate ODs that is becoming more widely available. Bellone also announced a new anti-drug public service announcement the next day. Reynolds wonders if any follow-up would have been done to ensure that those saved by Narcan are referred to rehab, had LICADD not volunteered.It’s not all bad news on the heroin trail, as eight agencies on LI have applied for new state grants expanding Narcan from Suffolk to Nassau police, and adding it to regular public training classes that teach families how to save loved ones before first responders arrive. I-STOP was also a big win, as was the Good Samaritan Law granting immunity from drug arrests to witnesses who call 911 to report ODs.Now there’s momentum for a state bill that would mandate insurance companies pay for however many days of drug rehab a physician orders—a proposal lobbied against by insurance companies that, patients say, cut them off from rehab too soon, forcing relapses, often until arrest or a criminal court judge orders them into treatment through the diversion program.Such ideas were debated earlier this month before the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, which held a more than four-hour hearing on LI the week before, the first of a dozen statewide. The chair, State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), proposed upgrading possession of 50 bags or more of heroin to a felony from a misdemeanor in an attempt to more harshly punish dealers. Hoffman reportedly had 65 bags on him when he died.One participant reminded the panel that LI can’t legislate its way out of the crisis, either. Especially when the committee has to issue its report by June 1, allowing only two and a half weeks before the end of the legislative session to try and pass its recommendations. But worthy potential proposals abounded.Some of the ideas discussed at the hearing include establishing a recovery high school to decrease relapse rates, requiring the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to license largely unregulated “sober homes,” relaxing rules that require small mental-health facility patients from having to be sober six months to better address the underlying causes of abuse, and joining the dozen other states that legalized involuntary treatment so parents of teens over 18 can have a civil court judge order their kids into rehab.Nassau Police Det. Pam Stark says she’s trained administrators in most of the county’s 56 school districts to use the Too Good for Drugs curriculum that features kindergarten-through-12th-grade lesson plans designed to reduce risk factors related to cigarettes, alcohol and drug abuse—as opposed to the Police Smart program in Suffolk. She’s looking to train the holdouts and parochial schools next. Still, even state Sen. John Flanagan (R-Smithtown), chair of the education committee, says too many LI schools “have their heads in the sand.”Beyond the panel, lawmakers and advocates have also been lobbying the Department of Health and Human Services to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to approve for sale a new painkiller, Zohydro Extended Release, described as “heroin in a pill.”“This country cannot ignore the powerful lessons learned from the massive and unparalleled increase in prescription and illicit drug abuse resulting from ‘crushable’ OxyContin and other prescription opioids—but this approval of Zohydro ER by the FDA does exactly that,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.Arthur Flescher, director of Suffolk health department’s community mental hygiene services, told the county legislature in February that there have been “preliminary discussions” with Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in setting up a recovery school on LI, which would go beyond bringing treatment programs to William Floyd High School (WFHS)—a first on the Island.“A true recovery school would communicate those values throughout every moment of the day,” Flescher said, referring to WFHS having a drug treatment program within a school where those in recovery are in class alongside users. “They really need that ongoing support, not to mention the life skills that other recovering peers can offer.”Some experts beyond our borders insist upon thinking outside the box, including Dr. Peter Ferentzy, star of a documentary called The Adventures of Dr. Crackhead—hailing from the same city home as Toronto’s Crackhead Mayor Rob Ford—who suggests legalizing drugs to regulate them because, he argues, abstinence-only drug rehab sets those in recovery up for failure.“The war on drugs is a bust,” he says. “We really need to see this more as a medical issue, as a public-health issue, rather than a criminal issue.”Victor Ciappa, Natalie’s father, would rather see LI actually use the laws passed in his daughter’s name. That and teachers actively using anti-drug curricula, many more seats filled at after-school anti-drug lectures, the number of community groups taking up the cause continue to rise, additional “pill take-backs”—events offering the public a chance to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted pills before they’re stolen by users—and no-dope public service announcements flooding the airwaves. And the overdose deaths to drop.“I know there’s a lot of issues that people have to think about…but these are kids’ lives,” he says. “Heroin education needs to be pounded into these kids. It’s as bad as it’s ever been.”last_img read more

The ROI of taking the time

first_imgI remember when I first started as a teller and my new face automatically translated to;CAUTION! NEW! SHE KNOWS NOTHING!I was pretty sure after my first few weeks that I was wearing some sort of neon sign on top of my head that said;I can TRY to help you…but you’d be better off walking to the other station.For some, this feeling of inadequacy can be defeating.For others like myself, it became a challenge!Every single time someone avoided my station, I made it a point to hear their name and listen to what they had to stay.In most situations this may qualify as stalking, but in this one it was necessary for me to begin to gain trust.The next time one of those members would walk in, I would make a point to say hello followed by their name.As they walked closer, I would ask them about something they spoke about last time they were in.“How is your daughter doing after that sprained ankle?”That move became a magical connection between a newbie and the members.Isn’t this true in daily situations?I know that I feel important when I walk into a store and someone remembers my name.It’s the same feeling you get when a random person gives you a compliment.It just feels good.Those baby steps in relationship connections are the very grass roots to customer service.People gravitate towards people that actually invest and listen.I encourage you to try this not only with your members, but also your coworkers.Listen.Acknowledge.Ask questions.When people feel comfortable, there becomes an undeniable connection that allows you to not only speak with those people with comfort but also feel good.Just as people invest their money, we need to invest in people.I guarantee that ROI is worth taking a risk on. 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nanci Wilson Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness.That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union.Ultimately … Web: https://www.universityfederalcu.org Detailslast_img read more

SeaBird Bags Additional Work in West Africa

first_imgSeaBird Exploration has signed a letter of award (LoA) for some additional work in West Africa for an undisclosed client. The project is due to start in late second quarter and will have a duration of approximately two weeks.SeaBird will be using the Osprey Explorer for the project.Earlier the company received LoA for West Africa 2D seismic survey with a duration of one month.The vessel, Osprey Explorer, joined the fleet in August 2006 after being converted to 2D Long offset/source vessel in Poland.The DNV-classed vessel has a length of 81.16 meters and a beam of 15.96 meters.last_img

Martinez praises Eto’o and Lukaku

first_img Lukaku has not yet had the impact he did while on loan at the club last season and there has been criticism from some fans, but Martinez was delighted with the Belgian’s performance. The Toffees boss said: “Football is a game of errors and they’re going to happen. Moments where the ball bounces wrongly or you make a wrong decision, and it happened in the goal we gave away. “You can imagine he was disappointed but that happens. What pleases me more is that from that moment on he would have never stopped until he got us back in the lead. “He got a knock on his toe and he wasn’t fully fit but he wanted to stay on the pitch as long as he could. The opposition always marks him well but the way he’s growing at such a young age, he’s going to be an exceptional footballer.” Eto’o, 33, is at a very different stage of his career to 21-year-old Lukaku but has already showed he can be a key addition alongside his fellow summer signing. The Cameroonian, who was starting only his second Premier League game for the Toffees, almost completed his hat-trick late on but was unlucky as he was denied by a post. “As a striker, it’s not about how many goals you score, it’s how many chances you need to score,” said Martinez. “The first chance he showed that the mentality is to be ready. I thought he set standards in that respect, but then as a manager I was more pleased with his overall contribution. Roberto Martinez praised strike duo Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku after they fired Everton to a 3-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor. Press Association “His link-up play was exceptional, his defensive work was very disciplined and, for someone in that experienced part of his career to be able to play two 90 minutes on Thursday and today, I think it shows you the way he looks after himself and what an incredible professional to have in a young group. “I was extremely proud of his performance.” Burnley’s search for a first win since promotion back to the Premier League will go into a 10th game – a trip to Arsenal next weekend. The Clarets are the only team in the top four divisions of English football without a victory, and manager Sean Dyche felt the Toffees’ quality in front of goal was the difference between the sides. He said: “It was a very challenging game against a fine side decided more or less once again by high-quality players doing what high-quality players do. That was their clinical edge against ours. “Our general performance was good I thought, particularly first half. Some of our football was very good, and the will and demand to play but also to create chances was there, but that clinical side of the game is definitely where it’s at for us at the moment.” The main positive was a first Premier League goal for last season’s top scorer Ings, who became the first Burnley striker to find the net this season. “It was a very good finish,” said Dyche. “We know we want to play on the front foot and we did. I thought he should have nicked one at the end but he looked nice and sharp and he’s growing again. “He had a soft start to his season in the Premier League and then getting the injury. Weirdly I thought that might do him good, and he looks nice and lively. “All the strikers need goals. They’re all in there, they’re all clambering. We have to keep believing it will come.” Eto’o showed his class with very good finishes at both ends of the game, while Romelu Lukaku put Everton back in front in the 29th minute after Burnley had equalised through Danny Ings. It was Lukaku’s mistake that set up the hosts’ goal, with the striker inexplicably passing the ball to Lukas Jutkiewicz midway inside the Everton half. last_img read more