A home fit for a king

first_imgBrian Farrell has been obsessed with peregrine falcons since he was a boy. In 1978, as a University of Vermont undergrad, he spent a summer on Owl’s Head in New Hampshire, raising and releasing five peregrine chicks hatched by Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology.On Tuesday, 37 years later, he was on hand as Massachusetts wildlife biologists took a similarly important step in their reintroduction — this time on Harvard’s campus.“They’re the fastest creatures that ever lived, and range all over the world,” said Farrell, a professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, curator in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. “They’re masters. You can see they own the air. Other birds fly, but they seem to know they’re kings.”Farrell, accompanied by Jeremiah Trimble, a curatorial associate in ornithology at the museum and building manager Raymond Traietti, was at Memorial Hall on Tuesday when Thomas French, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and state wildlife biologist David Paulson installed a nest box high on the building’s tower in hopes that a nesting pair will one day make it their home.The falcons, which can dive at speeds greater than 200 mph, are on the rebound after their numbers plummeted decades ago due to widespread use of the pesticide DDT. The state still lists them as threatened.The last time peregrine falcons nested successfully at Harvard was in 1955, Farrell said. A clutch of falcon eggs discovered by Traietti last year at Memorial Hall failed, probably due to weather. The addition of a nest box with gravel should help to attract the birds next spring — this year’s nesting season is too advanced — and also increase the chances of healthy fledglings, French said.“This is an investment for next year or the year after that.”Tom French (top) and David Paulson are pictured on the Memorial Hall tower hoisting tools to help place the nesting box in place for future falcons. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerNest boxes are important, Farrell said, because in nature falcon nests are built on cliffs, where the birds scratch out a hollow in dirt or gravel. Buildings are sufficiently cliff-like in their vantage point, but eggs laid on bare concrete or other roofing material tend to roll around and are hard for the parents to keep warm.Though Harvard Square is already home to red-tailed hawks, a conflict with peregrines is unlikely, Farrell said. The hawks feed mainly on squirrels, while the falcons ambush other birds in flight, stunning them at high speed before grabbing them as they fall through the air.French said the Boston region is the densest nesting area for the falcons north of New York City. Statewide, there are close to 30 nests, and the population is increasing rapidly.Welcoming the falcons to campus would be cause for celebration, said Farrell, and not just for biology students who wouldn’t have to leave home to study one of the world’s most fascinating predators.“It shows that a symbol of the wildest America — the peregrine falcon — which was extinct in the East, is able to nest here on campus, an urban site. I think it’s inevitable. They’ll be back.”last_img read more

Hot Shot! Heidi Klum Hangs Out with Some Finding Neverland Hunks

first_img View Comments Project Runway host, model and fashionista Heidi Klum followed the second star to the right on July 1, 2015 to see Finding Neverland on Broadway! After watching the musical adaptation of the hit film unfold on stage, Klum went backstage to hang out with Finding Neverland stars Eli Tokash and Sawyer Nunes, as well as some pirates and lost boys at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Check out these Hot Shots of Klum’s visit to Neverland, then see the magic in person on the Great White Way. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 21, 2016 Related Shows Finding Neverlandlast_img

Wild Spotter App

first_imgThanks to a new app, citizen scientists can help researchers track and stop the spread of invasive species like feral pigs, Chinese privet, cogongrass and kudzu bugs by reporting and mapping sightings of these invasive species.The University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and Wildlife Forever, a conservation nonprofit, to develop the smartphone app, called “Wild Spotter,” to identify and report invasive species in the remote wilderness and other natural areas across the 193-million-acre national forest system.Wild Spotter was designed to help researchers map invasive species using a smartphone app, website and customized marketing campaign. The app will help the Forest Service target aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers.The partnership initially focused on building a citizen-science base in 12 ecologically diverse national forests scattered from coast to coast. Ultimately, the project will grow to include all 174 national forests and grasslands, according to Chuck Bargeron, associate director of UGA’s invasive species and ecosystem health center, commonly known as Bugwood, in Tifton, Georgia.“It is impossible for agencies like the U.S. Forest Service to monitor all of their lands. Reaching the public, who are in these specific areas across the country, is a solution to help find new infestations before they spread,” Bargeron said.These infestations involve harmful exotic plants, animals, fish, invertebrates, pathogens and other species that invade different ecosystems each year. These invasions reduce biodiversity and productivity, weaken local economies, and impact human and animal health. The Wild Spotter program provides people with the tools they need to help locate, quantify, map and report these invasive species infestations.“Invasive species cause economic and environmental damage to ecosystems across the world. Estimates have been as high as $120 billion a year in the United States,” Bargeron said. Citizen-scientist volunteers who download the Wild Spotter app and use the program can also identify and report unfamiliar species they find while they’re vacationing in America’s wild places. The data is verified by experts and made public through an invasive species database hosted by UGA.“We are very proud that Wild Spotter is expanding citizen-science-volunteer capacity against invasive species by capitalizing on the outdoor activities of millions of people who are already enjoying some of the most beautiful places in America,” Bargeron said. “Like the idea of ‘see something, say something,’ the Wild Spotter program greatly enhances the early detection and rapid response capabilities of agencies like the U.S. Forest Service.”To learn more about the Wild Spotter program, visit www.wildspotter.org. Learn more about the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at www.bugwood.org.The Wild Spotter app is free and available in Apple and Android app stores.last_img read more

Trail Mix | Ana Popovic

first_imgPerhaps, in her latest bio, Belgrade born guitarist Ana Popovic should include the word overachiever.Popovic, whose work has drawn praise from such rock luminaries as Bruce Springsteen and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, is set to release Trilogy on Friday, May 20th.As the project title suggests, Trilogy is a collection of three records. Each volume in this 23 song undertaking focuses on a specific musical genre. Popovic and her desperately talented band ambitiously tackle blues, jazz, and funk in turn and the recordings feature iconic guest musicians like Robert Randolph, Joe Bonamassa, and Cody Dickinson, among others.I recently chatted with Ana Popovic about Trilogy, playing with some of the best guitar players in the business, and her favorite Hendrix licks.BRO – Of the three records in Trilogy, which one pushed you outside of your comfort zone the most?AP – It was Midnight, the jazz album. I went back and practiced jazz guitar that I learned years ago when studying in Holland. I changed guitars, playing a Gibson ES 175 for the first time, and I had to deal with a different right hand position, different guitar neck, and a real clean jazz guitar tone. I had no effects at all and just played into a ’66 Fender Super Reverb. It was very clean and precise. Fast licks just need to be flawless. And dealing with the changes, still trying to capture the blue note, I approached the jazz standards from the side of the blues.BRO – Any trepidation in trading guitar licks with Joe Bonamassa?AP – Of course not! I love Joe’s playing and when “Train” was done I simply thought that Joe would kill it here. I texted him and sent him two songs to choose from and he chose “Train.” He delivered an incredible solo. It was exactly what the song needed. I admire him as a player, singer, and band leader, but most of all as the pioneer in blues for building an incredible career on his own terms and not just following the music business rules.BRO – We are featuring “Hook Me Up” on this month’s Trail Mix. Did Robert Randolph share any pedal steel knowledge with you that you can pass along to me?AP – I’ve played with Robert many times and I love his playing. Same thing as with Joe. When I heard the basic tracks for “Hook Me Up,” I thought the chord progression and guitar theme was so Robert! I called him up and he did deliver just what I was hoping for – a fiery, bold, funky, and unpredictable take on a Johnny Guitar Watson song, which was exactly was Watson was.BRO – What words of encouragement do you like to offer girls who show interest in playing rock and roll guitar?AP – Don’t go and learn from just one guitar player. Practice with different guitar players, piano players, or sax players. You can get licks and ideas from different types of musicians and even different musical styles. Trust your intuition and rock!BRO – You are a veteran of the Experience Hendrix Tour. What’s your favorite obscure Hendrix lick? Maybe something from a track that the average listener wouldn’t know?AP – It’s not so much the licks as the sounds he would produce with overdrive and fuzz guitar, his amps turned up to ten. I think his Woodstock “Star Spangled Banner” is out of this world. The solo, where you hear they cry of a baby and the cry of mothers and guns and screams. I don’t think anyone could even come close to that today. It’s simply a total control of the instrument, and he did it fifty years ago.Our friends in Europe will be able to catch Ana Popovic through the rest of May, as she and her band have dates in France, Romania, Serbia, and Holland in their sights. Popovic returns to the U.S.A. in early June, with shows along the East Coast planned throughout the month before the band turns westward.For more information on how to get your copy of  Trilogy and when and where Ana and her band will be, please check out her website.Also, be sure to check out “Hook Me Up,” which features the incredible pedal steel guitar work of Robert Randolph, on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

3 Rescued, 1 Missing After Small Plane Crashes Into Setauket Harbor

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Three men were rescued and one remains missing after a small, single-engine plane crash-landed in Setauket Harbor over the weekend, Suffolk County police said.The group was flying in a Piper Archer four-seater, fixed-wing aircraft from Fitchburg, Mass., to Republic Airport in Farmingdale when the plane began experiencing engine trouble at 11:05 p.m. Saturday, police said.Austricio Ramirez, a 25-year-old student pilot from the Bronx who was flying the plane, turned the controls over to the instructor pilot, 36-year-old Nelson Gomez of Queens, who made the emergency landing in the harbor, police recounted.Ramirez, Gomez and a third man, Wady Perez, were rescued by responding officers. The fourth man, 23-year-old Gerson Salmon-Negron of Queens, was last seen exiting the plane into the water, police said.The three men were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where they were treated and released.Suffolk police, volunteer firefighters, the Brookhaven Town Harbormaster and members of the U.S. Coast Guard searched for the fourth man throughout the weekend.last_img read more

Ed Walsh Trial: Golf Outings, Purchases & Political Dealings Scrutinized

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh’s political dealings and purchases he made for golf outings, ferry rides to Connecticut, and outdoor shopping malls took center stage during the second day of his ongoing federal fraud trial. Prosecutors invested significant time Thursday questioning witnesses on records maintained by golf courses, a credit card company, and various retailers to bolster their accusations that Walsh was either hitting the greens, conducting Suffolk County Conservative Party business, gambling at casinos, or shopping while he was supposed to be working at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in Riverhead. Walsh, who was a lieutenant, has since retired. A day earlier, prosecutors promised to layout a “paper trail” proving Walsh was absent from work.Walsh’s political connections also came into play on Day Two. The jury at U.S. District Court in Central Islip also heard testimony from Jerry Wolkoff, a wealthy real estate developer; Anthony Senft, a Suffolk County District Court Judge; and John Ruocco, a businessman who said he met Walsh through Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius. Walsh was indicted in January 2015 for allegedly defrauding Suffolk of more than $80,000 in no-show work. He was additionally charged with theft of funds and wire fraud last March. Walsh pleaded not guilty and has denied the charges. His attorneys contend that if Walsh was not at his desk, it was because he was conducting business at the behest of his boss, Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. Prosecutors filed a lengthy pretrial motion March 8 alleging that several attempts by DeMarco to investigate Walsh were killed by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota—accusations Spota’s office has denied. The trial continued Thursday with testimony from Christina Ofeldt, the bookkeeper at Hampton Hills Golf Course & Country Club, of which Walsh was a “weekday” member who benefited from a police and armed services discount. Walsh was also provided guest passes, which were used on multiple occasions, Ofeldt testified. The country club had invoices from more than dozen dates between 2010 and 2013 containing purchases for golf rounds and other items that were posted on Walsh’s account, including charges for golf carts, beverages, and a cigar, Ofeldt testified. The government also produced a guest pass for a person identified as “Rich” and marked with an expiration date. Ofeldt, however, admitted that the club does not strictly enforce expiration dates. Walsh’s attorney Leonard Lato got Ofeldt to testify that there was no year specified on the date the guest pass was used—Aug. 13—therefore, impossible to know when the pair actually played. She also said there was no way of knowing if “Rich” was the person’s true name and no way of knowing if Walsh left before completing his round. The jury also heard testimony from Kevin Kline of the Metropolitan Golf Association, who oversees a program called Golf Handicap Information Network, which maintains golfers’ statistics and evaluates scores to produce a handicap. Walsh used the system, Kline testified, and made 23 entries between Aug. 15, 2013 and Oct. 22, 2013 at various courses, including Sebonack Golf Course in Southampton. But on cross examination, Kline admitted he was unsure if the days Walsh golfed were actual work days. Walsh played Sebonack as a guest at least four times, according to the course’s director of golf, Jason McCarty. McCarty testified that Walsh and Wolkoff, who was a member of the course, played a round at 2:45 p.m. on May 10, 2013 and chose to walk the course. The pair also played a round with Senft on Friday, May 31, 2013, he testified, adding that Wolkoff is considered an “extremely fast golfer.” The most electric testimony of the day came from the 79-year-old Wolkoff, who admitted to contributing $20,000 to the Suffolk County Conservative Party between 2014 and 2015. “I got to know Ed Walsh and I thought he was doing a terrific job,” Wolkoff said, testifying that his donations were a result of Walsh’s aptitude and not to curry favor with elected officials who may be able to assist him with zoning issues. Wolkoff is in the midst of one of the largest redevelopment projects on Long Island, which would transform the abandoned Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center property in the Town of Islip into a mixed-use “town square.”Wolkoff said he remembered golfing with Walsh at Sebonack but, “I can’t remember all the dates.” Asked whether they discussed business issues, Wolkoff said “I might of.” Walsh, he testified, once commented that he may have to leave if he got a call from work, but Wolkoff said he didn’t recall Walsh abandoning a round early. When Wolkoff was asked whether Walsh ever facilitated meetings with elected officials, Wolkoff said “No,” but later admitted that Walsh did help the developer meet Mary Kate Mullen, then a candidate for Islip Town Council, at his office. Walsh was also in attendance, Wolkoff testified. Wolkoff said he was considering supporting Mullen’s campaign and wanted to meet with her. The developer testified that he donated $1,000 to the New York State Conservative Party from 2014 to 2016, a sliver compared to the $20,000 he donated to Suffolk’s arm of the party. Testimony transitioned into claims from prosecutors that Wolkoff reneged on an agreement to meet with the government prior to the trial. Catherine Mirabile, a prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, then suggested Wolkoff met with Lato, an assertion Wolkoff brushed away by claiming all he said was “Hello.” When it was the defense’s turn, Wolkoff said he’s been a registered Conservative for more than 50 years but also contributed to Democrats and Republicans. He also boasted about his pace on the golf course. “I like to move quickly,” he said, adding that Walsh is not nearly as quick, which Walsh blames on bad knees. “[Walsh’s] life is his work, his family, and his Conservative Party,” Wolkoff said. Regarding his decision not to meet with prosecutors, he exclaimed: “I have nothing to hide.” The jury also heard from John Ruocco, who was the president and CEO of Interceptor Ignition, which had dealings with Melius, the Oheka Castle owner who survived a botched assassination attempt two years ago. Ruocco testified that Walsh attended a shareholder’s meeting on Feb. 21, 2014 at 11 a.m. in Shirley. He noted that Walsh had no business dealings and didn’t speak during the two-hour meeting. Prosecutors also produced evidence allegedly showing Walsh made reservations to travel to Connecticut by using the Cross Sound Ferry on four occasions between 2011 and 2014. One package also included a bus transfer to Mohegan Sun casino, according to testimony. The government also claimed Walsh went shopping at three stores—Nike, Reebok and Neiman Marcus—on June 16, 2012, and used his American Express card to pay for a woman’s blouse at one store and a “Yankees trainer” double extra-large shirt at another. The defense got one witness to testify that there’s no way of knowing that it was Walsh who actually purchased the blouse.The day ended with testimony from Senft, who was endorsed by the Town of Islip Conservative Party last year when he campaigned for a county judge seat. Senft had originally planned to run for state senate, but dropped out due to a toxic dumping scandal that enveloped the town. At the time, Senft was the town board’s park liaison. Senft also said he found five dates in his Google calendar in which he attended Conservative Party events with Walsh. Senft’s testimony continues Monday when the trial resumes. The prosecution plans to produce photos from various political events Walsh and Senft attended.last_img read more

Solar-powered food carts converted to virus disinfection vehicles in Kabul

first_imgTopics : Afghanistan’s total number of coronavirus cases was at more than 1,200 on Friday with 40 deaths, and officials and experts have cautioned the number could rise far higher given limited testing and the country’s weak health infrastructure.At one stop in the locked-down capital, Sikandar’s fellow disinfection worker was on hand to help space out people who had queued up to get their hands washed, while her husband, Mohammad Anwar, sanitized a policeman’s rifle and hosed down nearby cars with disinfectant.They are among roughly 80 women and men thrust to the forefront of fighting COVID-19 after the government provided the funds to Banu’s Kitchen to convert the food carts into these mobile disinfectant vehicles.”Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, and most of the population cannot afford the sanitizing product, which have higher prices,” said Farhad Wajdi, who founded Banu’s Kitchen in 2018. Just a few weeks ago, Marzia Sikandar served burgers and rice from her solar-powered mobile cart in Kabul, but now, wearing a protective suit, she distributes masks and offers free soap and water in the Afghan capital to combat the coronavirus outbreak.Her converted carbon-neutral rickshaw is one of around 40 owned by social enterprise Banu’s Kitchen which had until recently employed women to sell food and support their families in Afghanistan’s conservative society, but has now been transformed into mobile sanitizing stations in a country where many are without running water or easy access to health services.”Of course I’m so worried about this virus, especially when I’m outside and when I get back home, I’m afraid that the virus will spread to my children, though I take precautions. But I’m delighted that I can help my compatriots and the country,” said Sikandar, 45, who distributes up to 70 masks a day.center_img “Our mission is to reach these underprivileged families, these impaired families who cannot afford to buy sanitizing products.”But he hopes that eventually things will return to normal and Banu’s Kitchen’s female workers can return to selling food.”We hope to see the end of the coronavirus, so we can convert these disinfecting carts back to the Zero-Carbon food carts.” last_img read more

Japanese capital sees more than 100 new coronavirus cases Thursday, most in 2 months

first_imgAs infections surpass the city government’s initial target, two weeks into its final phase of loosening of virus curbs, officials have repeatedly said they see no need to declare a new state of emergency.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters he didn’t think the conditions for issuing a fresh state of emergency were met.”We’ll continue to pay attention to the infection situation in the area with a sense of urgency, and work to both prevent spreading of infection and support economic activity,” he said.Officials have also said the medical system can handle existing infections and that increased testing partly explains the rise in confirmed cases. Topics : Despite more cases in Tokyo, Japan, with about 19,000 cases and 976 deaths, has reported a lower overall rate of infection than many countries.More than 10.7 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and over 515,00​0 have died, according to a Reuters tally.This week, the Tokyo government said it would move away from numerical targets in favor of more reliance on expert advice to rein in the virus and avert more economic damage.center_img Tokyo confirmed 107 more novel coronavirus infections on Thursday, a Tokyo government official said, the highest daily tally in two months in the city at the center of Japan’s outbreak.The jump comes after the city of 14 million had initially sought to hold new daily cases at fewer than 20 after the government lifted a state of emergency on May 25, only to see its tally consistently exceed 50 over the past week.Tokyo’s daily count last topped 100 on May 2. On Wednesday, it confirmed 67 new cases.last_img read more

Jennifer Lopez: There’s no pain or failure like a divorce

first_imgOneNews 3 January 2015Jennifer Lopez broke down while admitting she felt like she was “going to die” when her marriage to Marc Anthony broke up.The 45-year-old singer – who was married to the singer/songwriter for 10 years until their divorce last year – insists she tried her very best to make their relationship work but it wasn’t to be and she experienced more pain than she ever had before when the former couple went through a divorce.Speaking on HBO documentary ‘Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again’, the emotional star said: “I remember being on the set and being in my dressing room and not feeling like I could get up in the morning and there’s just no pain like that. There’s no pain or failure like going through a divorce.“That hope, that dream, that fairytale, with that first time that dream gets blown to pieces, you feel like you’re going to die.“You feel like you failed. You feel like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it work.”Jennifer admitted her and 46-year-old Marc’s divorce was particularly agonising because she knew their children, six-year-old twins Max and Emme, would be devastated.http://tvnz.co.nz/entertainment-news/jennifer-lopez-there-s-no-pain-failure-like-divorce-6214035last_img read more

Hunting applications available online

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Hunters can apply online for a reserved hunt by visiting hunting.IN.gov and clicking on the “Reserved Hunt Info” link.The online method is the only way to apply. Applicants must possess a hunting license valid for the hunt for which they are applying. Applications must be completed by the application deadline.Hunters will be selected through a computerized, random drawing. Drawing results will be posted at wildlife.IN.gov within two weeks after application deadlines, and an email will be sent to applicants when results are posted.Applications are currently open for:Dove hunt draw: Applications must be completed by July 28. Applicants may select their desired date and property. Properties participating are Atterbury, Jasper-Pulaski, Kankakee, LaSalle, Pigeon River, J.E. Roush Lake, Willow Slough, Blue Grass and Winamac fish & wildlife areas.Various other fish & wildlife area hunts: Applications must be completed by Aug. 21.  Properties include Deer Creek and Fairbanks Landing fish & wildlife areas and Tern Bar Slough Wildlife Diversity Conservation Area.Military/refuge firearm, primitive and archery deer hunt draw: Applications must be completed by Aug. 21. Hunts on military/refuge properties may be cancelled at any time.Youth firearm deer hunt at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: Applications must be completed by Aug. 21Pheasant hunt draw: Applications must be completed by Sept. 27. The Nov. 3 hunt is reserved for youth hunters only (ages 17 and younger).State park deer reduction draw hunts: Applications must be completed by Aug. 20.Only one application per hunt is allowed. No changes can be made once the application is submitted. More information is at wildlife.IN.gov/5834.htm.last_img read more