L.A. leaders urge parents to prevent student truancy

first_imgThe district loses about $30 a day per student for unexcused absences. Villaraigosa said he does not expect this year’s demonstrations to equal those of last year, when crowds of more than 100,000 were estimated to be on the streets. “No one really knows what to expect, but I think we will see about 25,000 people out there this year,” Villaraigosa said. The LAPD plans to be on tactical alert for the demonstrations, with the Emergency Operations Center open to monitor the events. Police also have been working with the city Department of Transportation to develop a plan for potential street closures in the downtown area. The closures would include 11th Street to Temple Street and Hill Street to Spring; Pico Boulevard north to the 101 Freeway and Grand Avenue to Los Angeles Street; and Venice Boulevard to Cesar Chavez Avenue and Flower Street to Alameda Street. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also announced that it is prepared to detour its bus service from 8 a.m. through noon to work around any demonstrations. The march is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Olympic and Broadway and continue to City Hall. Metro service will be increased on the Red and Blue lines to handle an expected increase in passengers. Metro Green and Metro Gold lines will have extra trains standing by. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Fearing a repeat of last year’s May Day immigration protests, when student walkouts prompted street and freeway closures, city and education leaders urged parents Monday to ensure that their kids stay in school today. One march is scheduled to begin at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway and end at City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. At 2 p.m., protesters will gather at intersections along Vermont Avenue for a march to MacArthur Park. “I know firsthand the value of an education,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a morning news conference as students streamed into the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in downtown Los Angeles. “Your parents sacrificed to come to this country so you can get a better education. You do more to help them by staying in class. “I was involved and led student demonstrations in the ’60s and ’70s and learned there are consequences for your actions. That’s part of the reason I had to leave high school. We encourage you to exercise your right to free speech, but in a positive way.” Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer and Cardinal Roger Mahony each said students who want to protest immigration policies can do so in a positive way by writing letters to officials and participating in classroom debate and after-school rallies. “Imagine the impact of 100,000 students writing letters to the president and our national leaders,” Mahoney said. “That will do more to affect policy than a demonstration.” Students created chaos – as well as safety hazards – last year when they walked out of class, closing down streets and freeways. Brewer said the district is prepared to provide buses to return students to campus. He and Villaraigosa warned that the Los Angeles Police Department will issue truancy citations to students who are illegally out of school. last_img read more

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Video: Liverpool £10m signing impresses during win over Man City

first_imgIt’s been a busy summer for Liverpool Football Club. The Redmen may have lost star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but they have responded in the perfect fashion by making six transfers.A handful of those were in action as Liverpool took on Manchester City in New York on Wednesday evening, including new midfielder Emre Can.The 20-year-old recently joined from Bayer Leverkusen in a £10m deal, and he looked every penny of that against City.Confident on the ball and not afraid to run at players, Can impressed and was almost rewarded with a wonderful assist, but Raheem Sterling was subsequently ruled out for offside.For a player so young, he looks like possessing huge amounts of potential. This season could be big for him.last_img read more

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Dybala returns Juve to Serie A summit as Napoli held at Inter

first_img0Shares0000Argentinian striker Paulo Dybala followed his winner against Spurs with a double against Udinese © AFP / Miguel MEDINAROME, Italy, Mar 11 – Paulo Dybala struck twice to send Juventus to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 victory over Udinese on Sunday, as title rivals Napoli were held to a goalless draw at Inter Milan.Argentinian Dybala followed his midweek Champions League winner over Tottenham with a match-clinching double, as Massimiliano Allegri’s men moved a point clear of Napoli with a game in hand. Gonzalo Higuain missed a first-half penalty, but Juve took another comfortable step towards a seventh consecutive league title.“After the drama of Wednesday night (against Tottenham), there was a risk that we might have gone into tonight’s match too relaxed, but instead we showed character and experience to seal all three points,” Dybala told Juventus’ website.“I’m happy to have helped the team with my goals. We’re putting pressure on our rivals and we keep moving forwards. It all depends on us now.”Napoli were looking to restore their one-point lead and bounce back after seeing a 10-match winning streak ended by last weekend’s 4-2 home defeat by Roma, but couldn’t find a way past top-four hopefuls Inter.In Turin, 24-year-old Dybala continued his excellent run of form by curling a magnificent free-kick into the top corner to give the hosts a 20th-minute lead.Higuain missed a chance to double the advantage before half-time as he saw his spot-kick kept out by Udinese goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.But the deadly partnership of Higuain and Dybala, who have scored 42 goals between them in all competitions this season, combined again to finish off the match as a contest.The 30-year-old Higuain used his strength to hold off the Udinese defence before sliding in Dybala with a clever pass, and his compatriot did the rest to net his fourth goal in three matches.Dybala missed a great late chance to complete a hat-trick when he fired wide, but Juve, who host Atalanta in a rearranged match on Wednesday, were never in danger of failing to close out the win.– Napoli title hopes hit again –Maurizio Sarri saw his Napoli side fall adrift of Juventus in the title race © AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLIInter had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes at San Siro later on Sunday, as Antonio Candreva’s shot flew narrowly wide for Luciano Spalletti’s hosts.The hosts continued to create the better chances early in the second half, but Milan Skriniar’s header bounced off the post.Napoli needed a win to really keep the pressure on Juventus at the top, but Lorenzo Insigne fired over after doing well to create space for a shot.The visitors dominated possession in the closing stages, but couldn’t break down Inter as their hopes of a first title since 1990 took another body blow.There were poignant scenes as Fiorentina edged out bottom side Benevento 1-0, with the match stopping in the 13th minute as players and fans paid tribute to their captain Davide Astori, who died suddenly at the age of 31 last weekend in his hotel room before a game at Udinese.Brazilian Vitor Hugo scored the only goal in the 25th minute, celebrating by making a salute towards a photo of Astori on the side of the pitch.Elsewhere, Andre Silva came off the bench to head in a dramatic winner as AC Milan bounced back from Thursday’s Europa League loss to Arsenal by edging to a 1-0 win at Genoa.The Portuguese international directed Suso’s cross into the bottom corner with only five seconds left of added time to draw Gennaro Gattuso’s men within six points of fourth-placed Lazio in the race for the Champions League.Ciro Immobile grabbed Lazio a 2-2 draw at Cagliari with a stunning equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time.The Italian international striker met Felipe Anderson’s cross with an outrageous backheeled lob to score his league-leading 24th goal of the campaign.The capital club twice came from behind to secure a draw, enough to stay one point ahead of Inter in the race for fourth.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Ritz hotel future use could go to voters

first_imgPASADENA – The third shot fired by a hotel workers union goes straight to the heart of plans to sell the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa. Calling it a “pre-emptive move,” Unite Here Local 11 has filed intent to put a ballot initiative before voters to block the possibility of the hotel being converted into condominiums or other uses after it is sold. “Our impetus is the uncertainties about what’s going to happen with the hotel, given the sale,” said Unite Here spokeswoman Paulina Gonzalez. “But it’s clear a new owner is going to come sometime in the near future and they could take the hotel in a different direction.” The hotel is in the process of being sold by the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, which has held it among its investments. The site on South Oak Knoll is specially zoned for the hotel, and if it stops operating as a hotel the parcel would revert to a residential zone, which only allows single-family homes, according to city code. “I have seen no proposals for re-use of the site,” said Bill Trimble, senior city planner. Trimble said his office has received inquiries regarding the site, but officials do not know who the potential buyers might be. The ballot initiative is the third action taken by Unite Here, which last month helped hotel workers air complaints of racial discrimination and unfair labor practices at the historic luxury hotel. Two employees followed up complaints by filing lawsuits last month. LACERA has remained silent about the status of its plan to sell the property. CEO Gregg Rademacher was unavailable Wednesday afternoon and did not return a message left with his office. Johanna Fontenot of LACERA’s legal office said no one would be available to comment regarding the Ritz-Carlton because of the pending litigation. As to the status of the hotel’s sale, she would not say if the association had a buyer yet or had sold the hotel. She also would not comment on the status of any negotiations. “It’s all subject to pending,” she said. Board members leaving a LACERA meeting declined to answer any questions related to the Ritz-Carlton. A spokeswoman for the Ritz-Carlton’s parent company said future plans for the site would depend on its new owners. “I’m not aware of the details,” said Vivian Deuschl. “If the new owners come in and have plans for changes to it, that will be up to them.” todd.ruiz@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444 www.insidesocal.com/pasadenapolitics160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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DONE DEAL! Burnley sign Jonathan Walters from Stoke

first_imgBurnley have signed Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters from Stoke for an undisclosed fee.Walters, 33, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal to end his seven-year spell at Stoke and his arrival follows that of defender Charlie Taylor, who joined the Clarets from Leeds on Thursday.“Burnley have signed striker Jonathan Walters from Stoke City on a two-year deal, for an undisclosed fee,” the Clarets announced on their official website.Walters becomes the fifth Republic of Ireland international at Burnley, with Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward, Robbie Brady and Kevin Long already in manager Sean Dyche’s squad.Former Ipswich forward Walters progressed through Blackburn’s academy and after moving on to Bolton he had loan spells at Hull, Crewe and Barnsley.He joined Hull permanently in 2004 but he was sold to Wrexham and after a spell at Chester his career took an upward turn with a move to Ipswich in 2007.Walters scored 30 goals in 136 appearances for Ipswich and in 2010 completed a £3million move to Premier League side Stoke.During seven years with the Potters, Walters struck 62 goals in 269 appearances. He has won 49 caps for his country and was voted Republic of Ireland player of the year in 2015. 1 The Republic of Ireland international has signed a two-year deal at Turf Moor last_img read more

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Part Two: Predicting the round of 16: Who will reach the AFCON last 8

first_imgDR Congo lost both of their first two games at AFCON 2019.The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 will start on Friday, June 05 with two games.After the tournament was increased to 24 teams, it means the last 16 will be a knockout round as opposed from the usual group stage.The 2019 edition in Egypt has already treated us to a few shocks and one or two pre-tournament favourites have so far lived up to the billing.Who will shock the world of football and which favourite will continue into the last 8?-Madagascar vs DR CongoWhat a relief it must be for Florent Ibange and his Democratic Republic of Congo after they somehow reached the last 16.The Leopards looked done and dusted after losing their first two games to Uganda and Egypt (both 0-2). However, a stunning 4-0 victory salvaged their campaign, seeing them ranked third on the four-team list of best third-placed sides.After the loss to the Cranes, DR Congo improved but once again lost to the Pharaohs. They then produced a performance worthy of their two AFCON titles, one which if replicated will see Madagascar stand no chance of upsetting the odds.Yannick Bolasie is yet to arrive at the tournament after two poor displays in the first two games but this is the stage meant for superstars. DR Congo also have Cedric Bakambu who scored a brace in the 4-0 demolition of Zimbabwe plus Jonathan Bolingi as the players to spur them on.For Madagascar, they upset the odds once already, finishing top of Group B and will be attempting to repeat the trick on Sunday against DR Congo.Madagascar topped group B.The debutants drew 2-2 with Guinea in their first ever AFCON game before going on to defeat Burundi 1-0 and Nigeria 2-0. For some, it may feel like they have gone as far as they could but Nicholas Dupius’s men seem to be hungry for more.Despite a gulf in quality between the two sides, Madagascar will look to the likes of Faneva Imà Andriatsima and Paulin Voavy to cause yet another earthquake on the African continent.Last meeting: Madagascar 1-6 DR Congo (05-06-2016)Prediction: Madagascar 1-3 DR Congo-Algeria vs GuineaAlong with Morocco and Egypt, Algeria is the other side who ended the group stages with maximum points.The Desert Warriors scored an average of two goals as they defeated Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania to finish top of Group C. Their tally of six goals scored can only be matched by Mali, further proving how impressive Djemal Belmadi’s side have so far been at the 2019 AFCON.Algeria scored six goals in the group.Algeria have had five different goal scorers in the tournament so far with only Napoli’s Adam Ounas banging more than one goal (2) and with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Sofiane Feghouli and Ismael Bennacer, the Desert Warriors will have their sights set on prolonging their stay in Egypt.In their path to the last 8, stands a Guinea side that have so far disappointed at the tournament. Despite having 2018/19 UEFA Champions League winner-Naby Keita in their ranks, the National Elephants have been a below average side, only reaching the last 16 as part of the four best third-placed teams at the competition.Paul Pat’s army required a 2-0 victory over Burundi to get out of Group B after they had drawn 2-2 with Madagascar and then lost 0-1 to Nigeria on Match-Day two.Guinea defeated Burundi 2-0 in their third group game to seal a round of 16 spot.The test of Algeria may be too much to handle on paper by they have got some good players who can help them overcome the task. Keita will shoulder the West Africans’ hopes and Ibrahima Traore plus Francios Kamano will be looking to help the Liverpool man.Last meeting: Algeria 2-1 Guinea (07-06-2019)Prediction: Algeria 2-1 Guinea-Mali vs Ivory CoastMali had a blistering start to the 2019 AFCON, putting four goals past a hapless Mauritania side on matchday one, the most scored by any side.Mali defeated Mauritania 4-1 in their opening game.They then scrapped to a 1-1 draw against Tunisia in the second leg, sealing a round of 16 spot before defeating stingless Angola in the last game.However, the last two games have not been magnificent in terms of display and they will go into the round of 16 game against Ivory Coast with major concerns.Moussa Marega, Abdoulay Diaby and captain Molly Wague will be the players to shine if Mali can pull off an upset against the Elephants on Sunday.For Ivory Coast, they have had one issue after another, already in the competition.Their stars including Nicholas Pepe, Wilfred Zaha and Jonathan Kodjia have failed to live up to the billing on top of putting up average performances in two of their three games.The Elephants scrapped two a 1-0 win over South Africa before losing 0-1 to Morocco in the second game. They then produced their best performance as they defeated Namibia 4-1 to seal second spot on the Group D log. The game against Namibia is one they were expected to win however and it should not blind anyone.Ivory Coast defeated Namibia 4-1 in their last group game.However, they have world class players in their ranks who are very much capable of ripping Mali apart.Last meeting: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast (06-10-2017)Prediction: Mali 0-1 Ivory Coast-Ghana vs TunisiaGhana have reached the last four of all the last 6 AFCON tournaments since 2008.However, they have barely impressed so far, winning only one of their three games at the 2019 edition. Kwesi Appiah’s side drew 2-2 with Benin, 0-0 with Cameroon before defeating Guine-Bissau 2-0 in the third game, one they only showed their class in the second half. The result meant Ghana finished top of Group F by virtue of goals scored.Ghana finish top of Group F on goals scored. (PHOTOS/Agencies)Jordan Ayew looks to be the one providing the spark but with the other Ayew (Andre), Mubarak Wakaso and Thomas Party in their ranks, the Black Stars are very much capable of overcoming Tunisia.For Tunisia, they are currently have a tournament to forget as they have so far failed to win any of their games. Along with Benin, they are the only two sides that reached the round of 16 without winning any of their group games.The Eagles of Carthage drew all their games, 1-1 with Angola, 1-1 with Mali and then 0-0 verses lowly Mauritania.Tunisia are yet to register a victory at AFCON 2019.People back home are craving for a victory and which better way to get it than defeating a side of Ghan’s pedigree?Alian Giresse’s side will look up to captain Wahbi Khazri, Naim Sliti and Youssef Msakni for inspiration on Monday.Last meeting: Ghana 4-2 Tunisia (13-01-2013) Prediction: Ghana 0-0 Tunisia (Ghana win on penalties)Also Read: Part One: Predicting the round of 16: Will Cranes shock Senegal?Comments Tags: Abdoulay DiabyAdam OunasAFCON 2019AlgeriaAlian GiresseAndre AyewCedric BakambuDjemal BelmadiDR CongoFaneva Imà AndriatsimaFrancios KamanoGHANAGuineaIbrahima TraoreIsmael Bennacerivory coastJonathan BolingiJonathan KodjiaJordan AyewKwesi AppiahMadagascarMALIMolly WagueMoussa MaregaMubarak WakasoNaim SlitiNeby KeitaNicholas DupiusNicholas PepePaulin VoavyRiyad MahrezSofiane FeghouliThomas PartytopTunisiaWahbi KhazriWilfred ZahaYannick BolasieYoussef Msaknilast_img read more

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Humboldt State softball drops opener at Nationals 5-1 to top-ranked Angelo State

first_imgHumboldt State head coach Shelli Sarchett knew that facing the top-ranked team in the nation, Angelo State, was going to happen sooner or later at the NCAA Division II Softball National Championships.The wait didn’t take long. And the Jacks soon found out first-hand what the Rambelles are all about on Thursday.Capitalizing on a handful of Humboldt State miscues, Angelo State claimed the opening game of the 2017 national tournament, leading start to finish in a 5-1 win over the Jacks at the …last_img read more

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American Farm Bureau Foundation 2019 Book of the Year

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentThe American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture presented its 12th “Book of the Year” award to Lisl Detlefsen for “Right This Very Minute.” The book, stunningly illustrated by Renée Kurilla, explains to children how every minute of every day, someone, somewhere, is working to bring food to their table. “Right This Very Minute” is the first book published by the Foundation’s Feeding Minds Press, which was launched in 2018.Detlefsen lives on a cranberry marsh near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, with her husband and two sons. She has two previously published books, “Time for Cranberries” and “If You Had a Jetpack.”Detlefsen said, “I’m so thankful for the Foundation’s passionate devotion to telling the story of modern farming in America. In children’s literature, we talk a lot about windows and mirrors, meaning that young readers need to view the worlds of others, and they also need to see the world they live in reflected on the page. When I first began writing about agriculture, I thought I was writing windows for kids who are not immersed in farming. What I discovered was that I was also writing mirrors for kids from farming families who so rarely have the opportunity to see themselves accurately depicted in books. Collaborating with Feeding Minds Press, a publisher so devoted to creating agricultural mirrors and windows, has been an honor and a joy. To have that collaboration, ‘Right This Very Minute,’ recognized with this award is very much a dream come true.”The “Book of the Year” award springs from the Foundation’s effort to identify “Accurate Ag Books,” a collection of nearly 500 books for children, teenagers and adults that accurately cover agricultural topics. Book of the Year selections are educational, help to create positive public perceptions about agriculture, inspire readers to learn more and touch their readers’ lives as well as tell the farmer’s story.To accompany the “Right This Very Minute” book, the Foundation has created an educator’s guide and a new Snacks Ag Mag.In honor of Detlefsen’s award and New Orleans, the host city of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention, the Foundation will donate books and a $1,000 ag literacy grant to the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

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U.S. Science Chiefs Field Questions, Hard and Soft, at Innovation Hearing

first_imgMembers of a key congressional spending panel voiced strong, bipartisan support yesterday for increasing the federal investment in basic research. But given the tight spending limits facing Congress this year, scientists should not expect to take that support to the bank.The hearing, titled “Driving Innovation through Federal Investment,” was designed to showcase the enormous payoff to society from federal funding of academic research over the decades, from the Internet and stealth technology to MRI and better weather forecasting. But the next generation of new technologies is threatened by the inconsistent pattern of support for science over the past decade, according to the heads of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, who joined presidential science adviser John Holdren in testifying at the 140-minute hearing.The event gave members of the Senate Appropriations Committee a chance to hurl softball questions about the causes of what a coalition of pro-science organizations has labeled an innovation deficit and what it would take to eliminate it. But despite an eagerness to describe their agencies’ plight, the five witnesses needed repeated prompting by legislators to make some of their key points.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“I only brought one prop,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said as he pointed to a model of an artificial hand, generated by a 3D printer, that held an object resembling a baseball. “Its mesh construction is an amazing technology.”Before Moniz, a physicist, could say anything more about how the limb was created by scientists at the department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the chair of the committee, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), interrupted. “But what does it do? Can it win the World Series?” she asked. And it was Mikulski, not Moniz, who reminded her colleagues on the panel that the technology could benefit “our wounded warriors” or accident victims.NSF’s new director, France Córdova, missed a similar opportunity to connect her agency’s activities to the public good when Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) inquired about how an NSF program in sustainable chemistry, part of an agency-wide initiative, was producing new, greener technologies. “I don’t know a lot about it,” confessed Córdova, an astrophysicist and former Purdue University president who was sworn in on 31 March. Coons then explained how the program, part of an agency-wide initiative called Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability, has demonstrated “how basic research can be scaled up by industry.”It was no surprise that Democrats on the panel attacked sequestration, the wildly unpopular mechanism created by the 2011 budget deal that led to across-the-board cuts last year. (The current budget agreement in effect erases the sequester for 2014 and 2015 but retains a tight spending ceiling.) Responding to a question from reporters about funding prospects in 2015 for specific agencies, Mikulski talked about the harmful effects of sequestration on the overall scientific enterprise. “We don’t like to cherry-pick. We like to make sure the whole orchard grows. But we have to watch out for the pesticide of sequester,” Mikulski said.Science lobbyists were also buoyed by comments from the panel’s top Republican, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). He said that the combination of arbitrary cuts and the year-to-year uncertainty about funding levels had created “the worst possible” scenario and should not continue.“We are bound by a top number, so we need to set priorities,” Shelby noted in his closing statement. “But I think that what we spend on basic research is not enough. We are leaving a lot of good ideas and perhaps breakthroughs on the table. And we can’t afford that as a nation.… And if we don’t do it, somebody else in the world is going to do it. We’re not the only big boy on the block.”Shelby also voiced support for how federal research officials are managing their agencies, a sentiment that is not shared by some of his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives. “I’m of the mind to give you a lot of leeway because of what you’ve done in the past, and because [I think] you’ll do a lot more in the future,” Shelby said.The science community was delighted that Mikulski’s panel exercised its government-wide jurisdiction to assemble an unusually broad range of science agency chiefs. (Most committees also shy away from such a sprawling topic as the connection between basic research and innovation because they have a more limited purview.) Some 138 organizations asked if their leaders could testify, and while none was invited, all of them submitted written statements.Despite her sympathy with their cause, Mikulski made the witnesses squirm by asking them to choose between two difficult budgetary scenarios. “Is it more money, or would you prefer more certainty?” she said. “And you don’t have to answer the question.”Most of the witnesses chose her third option. That’s also what Congress has done to date. For scientists, the lack of clarity means that the 2015 budget could be a repeat of 2014—a few increases, some cuts, and continued uncertainty about the long-term prospects for research.last_img read more

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