Jason Mraz & Betsy Wolfe(Photo: Jason Bell) Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020 View Comments We couldn’t have ordered up a more exciting new leading man! Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz will join leading lady Betsy Wolfe in the company of Broadway’s Waitress in the role of Dr. Pomatter beginning on November 3. The two-time Grammy winner will play a limited 10-week engagement in the musical at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.Mraz is most known for the 2009 chart-topper “I’m Yours.” He won a pair of 2010 Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Make It Mine” and Best Pop Collaboration for “Lucky.” Mraz’s albums include Waiting for My Rocket to Come, Mr. A–Z, Yes! and Love Is a Four-Letter Word. The sweet-voiced star’s TV gigs have included appearances on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, Opening Act and Dancing with the Stars. He produced the 2012 documentary film The Big Fix and narrated the 2015 doc Unity. Waitress will mark Mraz’s stage-acting debut as well as his first appearance on the Great White Way.Waitress, based on the film of the same name, features a book by Jessie Nelson and a Tony-nominated score by Sara Bareilles. The cast, under the direction of Diane Paulus, is currently led by former Broadway.com vlogger Wolfe as Jenna, Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter, Caitlin Houlahan as Dawn, Maia Nkenge Wilson as Becky, Dakin Matthews as Joe, Eric Anderson as Cal, Will Swenson as Earl and Christopher Fitzgerald as Ogie.As previously announced, two-time Tony winner John Cullum will join the cast of Waitress as Joe on October 5.Get a first listen of Mraz’s Dr. Pomatter with his and Bareilles’ take on “Bad Idea” from Bareilles’ album What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress. Waitress
Sea Wall/A Life Tom Sturridge In advance of concluding its limited Broadway run, producers of Sea Wall/A Life have announced that the acclaimed production will be recorded for release by Audible. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge star in the pair of solo plays, which began previews at the Hudson Theatre on July 26 and officially opened on August 8.Sea Wall, written by Tony winner Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and starring Sturridge, is a work about love and the human need to know the unknowable. A Life, penned by Nick Payne (Constellations) and featuring Gyllenhaal, is a meditation on how we say goodbye to those we love most.Sea Wall and A Life were first paired together in an early 2019 world premiere staging starring Sturridge and Gyllenhaal at the Public Theater. The Broadway production is scheduled to conclude on September 29.An Audible release date will be announced soon. View Comments Tom Sturridge performs Simon Stephens’ “Sea Wall”(Photo: Richard Hubert Smith) Star Files Related Shows Jake Gyllenhaal Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 29, 2019 Jake Gyllenhaal performs Nick Payne’s “A Life”(Photo: Richard Hubert Smith)
Balancing voters’ rights to access the ballot while protecting their health and safety is key to this year’s elections amid a global pandemic, said Rep. Sharice Davids in a virtual roundtable in May on voting rights with leaders of the End Citizens United and Let America Vote.Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United and Let America Vote, and Jason Kander, former Secretary of State in Missouri and founder of Let America Vote, led discussions with Davids on voting rights and access to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic.Rep. Sharice Davids talks with Tiffany Muller and Jason Kander, leaders of End Citizens United and Let America Vote, in a roundtable on voting rights last month.Davids said she had anxiety watching the news about Wisconsin voters standing in line for hours trying to access the polls in April. The “fundamental and important nature of our right to vote,” she noted.“People should not be put in a position where they have to decide between their health and safety and exercising their right to vote, not here, not in this country,” Davids said.Citing $400 million in CARES Act funds to help states make voting safe and accessible during the pandemic, Davids said Congress has a role to play in ensuring that voters have access to the ballot and that their votes are counted.“I also think that we have a lot more work to do,” Davids added. “I think that at the end of the day, we need to provide the resources and mechanisms, for whether it’s vote by mail, absentee voting, early voting with tons of precautions. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that people can freely exercise their right to vote and do it in a safe way.”Davids noted that “conversations like these need to continue to happen” to help raise awareness on voter suppression tactics.Meanwhile, Johnson County commissioners last month voted to spend $1 million to update polling machinery.A video of the voting rights roundtable can be viewed below:League of Women Voters of Johnson County seeking safe ways to access the polls during COVID-19 pandemicThe League of Women Voters of Johnson County and the Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation are also urging Secretary of State Scott Schwab to take action to ensure safe voting practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.The two organizations want to see expanded access to mail-in ballots, increased election transparency and safe and fair in-person voting.Voter registration with the League of Women Voters of Johnson County will look different this year while the organization seeks alternatives to in-person registration events. League member Gloria Hiller runs a voter registration booth at Monticello Library. Photo courtesy LWVJoCo.Amber Stenger, a spokesperson with the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, said access to the polls “includes ensuring people have vote-by-mail options and several, equitable, accessible in-person voting options.”“Ideally, the secretary of state would automatically send mail-in ballots to all registered voters and provide postage-paid, self-adhesive return envelopes,” she said. “And ideally, voters would have several safe and convenient in-person polling places with expanded early voting periods.”In the past, the League has helped recruit poll workers and disseminate information about where and how people can vote in Johnson and Wyandotte counties. Stenger said the organization plans to do so again this year through new voter registration tools and partnerships with civic and faith organizations in Wyandotte County to make sure voters have what they need.“LWVJoCo has reached out to the election commissioners in Johnson and Wyandotte counties to offer our help in making voting safe, fair and accessible for all voters,” Stenger said. “We can protect voting access and prioritize public health at the same time.”
The Phoenix-area housing market is officially in a slump. That’s according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which reveals the latest details on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of June:* Though the median single-family home price went up 11 percent from last June, the forward price movement has dramatically slowed down from last year.* Activity in the market remains sluggish, with single-family home sales down 11 percent from last June.* A few slightly encouraging signs were for builders, who saw an uptick in new-home sales in June and their highest monthly total of new single-family construction permits in more than two years.Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to last summer, before slowing down and then even dropping a little earlier this year. Then, this June – after three months of almost stagnant prices – the median single-family-home price finally rose to $211,000. That’s up 11 percent from $190,000 last June. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up about 10 percent. However, the report’s author says we’re not likely to see much more forward movement for a while.“We’re in an 11-month slump in demand; sales were very low in the spring,” says Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “There are a few positive signs that demand may gradually start to recover during the second half of this year, but we are unlikely to see much help for pricing until 2015 because there is always a long delay – typically nine to 15 months — between any change in the market and the resulting change in pricing. Meantime, we may see a little downward correction, not a bubble bursting, as some have predicted.”While sales of luxury homes continue to do OK in this market, demand for other categories remains weak. Sales of single-family homes and condos were down 11 percent from last June to this June.Fewer investors are focusing their attention on the Phoenix area, now that better bargains can be found elsewhere. The percentage of Phoenix-area residential properties purchased by investors dropped all the way from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012 to 14.4 percent this June. That’s down around the historic norm for the Phoenix area. However, something is changing a little to create a different type of demand.“We are finally seeing a change in the trend of low household formation,” explains Orr. “The nation saw some improvement in the second quarter of 2014. This means more people may be moving out and renting or buying their own homes.”Perhaps in response to increased household formation, new-home sales had a pretty good month in June. For the first month all year, new-home sales topped the same time last year. In fact, new-home sales went up 5 percent just from May to June alone. New single-family construction permits also hit their highest monthly total since May 2012. Multi-family construction permits and rents continue on a strong upward trend, too.Still, the supply of homes available for sale, especially at the lower end of the market, remains slim. Active listings (excluding homes already under contract) fell 5 percent during June. Also, new foreclosures aren’t broadly becoming available to create new supply. Completed foreclosures went down 35 percent from last June to this June.Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. A podcast with more analysis from Orr will also be available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.
Independent/Charles CertainMembers of the Shinnecock Indian Nation are standing with other tribal leaders, elders, and community advocates calling for a more accurate census count of indigenous peoples. “A good census count ensures that accurate data will guide funding and planning decisions for tribes and native communities for a decade,” said Shinnecock Nation Council of Trustees board member Germain Smith. He and tribal leaders from four of Long Island’s aboriginal nations met with representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau at “Indigenous Suffolk Counts: We Are Still Here,” a census information session held at the Hyatt Place Long Island/East End in Riverhead March 1 to address concerns and discuss the importance of a correct count. Smith’s organization Shinnecock Leaders of Tomorrow helped fund Indigenous Suffolk Counts through its partnership with the New York State Census Equity Fund. The meeting’s focus was on reaching pockets of unidentified indigenous people residing in Suffolk County, and to encourage them, regardless of tribal affiliation or language, to check only one box in the race section of the 2020 Census to identify as Native American only. “It is very important that we self-identify and create the opportunity to count ourselves and be counted,” said guest speaker Lynda Perdomo-Ayala, MSW, who represented Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office and the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. Perdomo-Ayala, who identifies as Puerto Rican and has cousins of Taino indigenous heritage living in aboriginal communities in Puerto Rico, said race in America has been historically assigned at birth based on the binary extreme of white or black. Self-identifying as Native American only, she said, allows indigenous people to reclaim their tribal identity and bring awareness to their continued existence in modern society, reinforcing the campaign’s motto: “We are still here. Be counted.” After choosing Native American, respondents can then write in their primary tribal group by name. According to U.S. Census officials, this process of checking only one box ensures that important program and infrastructure funding reserved for Native Americans reaches these underserved communities; whereas those who identify as two or more races are counted as multicultural, an ambiguous category that is not considered for targeted funding. This revelation prompted a dialogue among the four attending tribal nations and the crowd of nearly four dozen tribal community members and allies. Smith, Seneca Bowen, Danny S. Collins Sr., and Linda Franklin represented the Shinnecock Nation; Chief Robert Pharaoh, the Montaukett Indian Nation; Chief Harry Wallace, the Unkechaug Nation; and Elder Hannah Thomas, the Setalcott Nation. Chief Wallace expressed his frustration with the census question’s direction to “mark one or more boxes,” if the potential answer only serves to dilute funding opportunities for underserved groups. Kelly Dennis, a lawyer from the Shinnecock Nation, said that while the system may be biased, in order to maintain tribal sovereignty, these communities must work within it to be able to access the funding and resources they require to function like any U.S. city or town. “Being a Native American, specifically a member of a tribe, is a political identity. It’s not just a racial identity,” she said. “That is why we are sovereign nations who have a specific government-to-government relationship with local, state, and federal governments.” Other guest speakers included Marie Smith of the Long Island Community Foundation and Jeff Behler, the U.S. Census Bureau New York State regional director, who each addressed the implications of census data, including how it will affect indigenous representation at the local, state, and federal levels.“We will not allow indigenous people to be made invisible,” said indigenous ally Carolyn Peabody, PhD., a Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare professor who founded Indigenous Suffolk Counts with the support of the university, the New York Community Trust, and her indigenous students and colleagues. “Every time we stand up and stand together, these are all acts that pull the rug out from historical and institutional efforts at cultural annihilation.”firstname.lastname@example.org Share
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LNG player BG Group believes that the US could become an exporter of 60 to 70 mtpa of LNG by 2025, Andrew Walker, the company’s Vice President of Global LNG said.“US exports will be a major contributor to (LNG) supply growth, but so too will projects in western Canada and eastern Africa. All will need to be developed to meet customer demand in the high-growth LNG markets of Asia in this timeframe – and BG’s planned export projects in these countries are very well placed to be part of this supply,” Walker said in a report posted on BG’s website.The report also suggests that the global LNG market is not heading towards a period of oversupply:“First is extremely unlikely that all of the announced US projects will be built. As has been demonstrated in past supply-growth cycles, only those projects with established, well-capitalised developers with LNG experience tend to be built.“Second, demand for LNG is expected to remain strong. Industry experts estimate growth of around 5 percent per year until 2025, requiring the development of up to 150 mtpa of new LNG supply above that which is already under construction.”Out of approximately 30 LNG export projects that have been announced in response to US shale gas discoveries, BG Group has an interest in two of the largest and most advanced projects: Sabine Pass and Lake Charles.Both are planned to produce and ship LNG before the end of the decade, taking advantage of a widened Panama Canal that by the end of 2015 is expected to shave a week or more off voyages from the US Gulf Coast to Asian ports.“The value driver of US LNG exports is the spread between US natural gas and global LNG prices,” said Betsy Spomer, BG’s Senior Vice President of Global Business Development.“Before entering into agreements to buy LNG from Sabine Pass and partner with Energy Transfer on the development of Lake Charles, we took a careful look at project economics and projections of future gas and LNG prices. We believe the size of the US natural gas resource and the liquidity of the US natural gas market make these projects look good – now and into the future,” Spomer added. LNG World News Staff, August 6, 2014; Image: BG
The last module out of the total 69 for the Austalia Pacific LNG project arrived on Curtis Island off Gladstone on Tuesday.“The last of Australia Pacific LNG’s 69 modules was successfully delivered today marking the arrival of all 260 modules for Bechtel’s LNG construction projects on Curtis Island,” Bechtel, who is building three LNG plants on Curtis Island, said in a statement.Bechtel is also doing engineering, procurement and construction works on the remaining two LNG projects on Curtis Island, the Santos GLNG and QCLNG.The APLNG modules were built and shipped from the module construction yard in Batam, Indonesia.LNG modules are pre-fabricated steel structures designed and built to fit into their specific location perfectly and connect to other components to form the LNG plant structure.The Australia Pacific LNG project includes the development of natural gas from coal seams in the Surat and Bowen basins and construction of a gas transmission pipeline from the gas fields to the LNG facility on Curtis Island.The project is on track for first LNG in mid-2015 with full production expected from both trains by the end of FY2016.APLNG is a joint venture between Origin (37.5%), ConocoPhillips (37.5%) and Sinopec (25%).[mappress mapid=”16105″]LNG World News Staff; Image: Bechtel
The Seed ThiefJacqui L’ AngeUmuziReview: Brian JossMagdalena “Maddy” Bellani is a botanist working at Kirstenbosch and is fascinated by the Cape’s fynbos. She was born in Brazil and lived on different continents, in the care of two aunts, before settling in South Africa. But she doesn’t seem to have roots anywhere. And she is about to dump her long-time partner, Nico. So when her boss, Kirk, aka Captain Kirk, asks her to go to Salvador to find a tiny star-shaped seed, the extremely rare Newbouldia mundii, for safekeeping in the seed bank, the idea is appealing. The seed apparently has cancer-fighting properties and is on the brink of extinction.Maddy hasn’t been back to Brazil for years, where her estranged father lives, and is a bit reluctant to go, as she has lots of unresolved issues with him, among them the death of her artist mother, who was reportedly killed by lightning. However, Maddy sets off to Salvador to find the tree in a remote part of the country. In Brazil she is seduced by Salvador, the people, the colours and the smells. She becomes immersed in Candomblé, an African-Brazilian spiritual community whose deities each have a different role to play in the lives of its members who are reputed to guard the sacred seed, which was brought to Brazil from West Africa by slaves. She is also seduced by Zé, who smells of “pine, pepper and cardamom”, the keeper of the garden, a place of wonder, exotic plants and mystery. And if she hopes to find the seeds she has to gain the trust of the Candomblé adherents. Which is not an easy task. Meanwhile, Big Pharma is also on the trail of the sacred seed, though not for reasons of philanthropy. Captain Kirk also has an ulterior motive. So who wins the race to get the seeds? Does Maddy mend bridges with her estranged father? Does she find a place to belong to?L’Ange has an elegant style of writing and the tension builds up with every sentence. You can feel the pulsating rhythms of the Candomblé drums, feel the heat of the dancers’ bodies and smell the verdant plant life and be blinded by the colours she so vividly describes. The characters live and breathe and bleed. Although it’s a complex story with many threads, it will keep you engrossed from page 1. L’ Ange has made a grand entrance with her debut novel and I can’t wait for the next one. The Seed Thief will steal your heart.
NABEELAH MOHEDEENIt’s been more than three months since Carol Fisher has left her home, other than to go to the hospital. The 58-year-old Bonteheuwel woman says the relentless gang violence has turned the neighbourhood into a prison for her and other terrified residents.Ms Fisher and other residents ventured out of their homes on Tuesday last week and spoke about the misery they endure as MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato visited the area. “This is the first time I come out in three or four months,” said Ms Fisher, who has lived in the area for ten years. “The only time I leave the house is if I have to go to the hospital, but other than that, we can’t come out. We took our children out of a school here and put them in a school in Athlone because of this violence. They take private transport, and it is very expensive to put them in those schools. Their parents can’t cope, but they have to, otherwise what’s going to become of the children here?” During his walk-about, Mr Plato urged the neighbourhood’s youth to stay away from drugs and crime and, instead, make something of themselves. He said they could ask the City for help when applying to tertiary institutions.He told parents to stop covering up for their children if they were gangsters.“It is very important for us to look at what is happening in the area, so that we don’t just leave it up to the community to address but that we, as government, come and show our face to see what else we can do to deal with gangsterism on the flats. Many people lost their lives in Bonteheuwel already. We tried to prevent that, and that’s why we have the walk-about, for the gangsters and drug lords to hear our message.” He didn’t expect to eradicate gangsterism with one walk through the neighbourhood. “On the other hand,” he added, “my message is clear, police must continue to arrest … police must come down very very hard on those supplying the drugs and the guns. That is where the problem lies. Our jails are full, full of small fry: the runners, the guy with one packet of drugs. The police need to get to the suppliers – that is where the problem lies,”Easier said than done, say the residents who feel it will take a lot more than one politician’s visit to the strife-torn neighbourhood to ease the gnawing fear they have for their children’s safety. Ms Fisher wasn’t convinced.“I don’t think the MEC will help. When they’ve gone here, they will shoot here. When Modderdam High comes out, they will start shooting, in all the roads in all directions. The community knows who they are, because it is their children. Most of these people know who shoots by name, but they are scared most of the time because if they can’t get in your house, they get your children outside, or they run over your roof to get into your place, and they shoot your dogs. We lost two dogs here in our yard.”Her children are not allowed to play outside. It seems the most important lesson a child can learn in Bonteheuwel isn’t ABC or 1,2,3. It’s how to take cover when the shooting starts.“I open my gates and let the children run into my place if they shoot like that. Sometimes people come from schools with their little ones, then I open the gate for them to run in. When our children come out of school, they are not allowed to play outside. It’s dangerous to even fetch them from the schools. We tell them at home and at school that if there is shooting and they can run into someone’s place, they must run in, don’t run this way or that way, run into a house or a shop.” Ismail Salie, 42, wants the army to be sent into the area. “When they start shooting, we can’t do anything, we must just run into our houses. When they start shooting, the children were taught by the police that they must stay in their houses because they are killing innocent people. Why must they fight with each other? It’s not good to be here, our lives are in jeopardy. A bullet can hit anybody, anytime. Send in the army, they get paid to do protect us.”Koelsim Sulayman, has lived in Bonteheuwel for 34 years – this is the worst things have ever been, she says.“We feel like prisoners, we must just be inside, our children as well. We must lock up, why? All the years we didn’t have to do that. Why must we do it now? We didn’t need to be scared. We sent our children to school, but not anymore because we’re too scared. It’s not right. The children can’t walk alone to school they must walk in groups. We teach our children to come inside when they shoot and close the gates, because it is not safe; our lives aren’t safe. They go to jail and come out tomorrow, because they use the youngsters to do their dirty work knowing that they will get out because they are underage.”Soraya Etalla, 50, says there has been shooting in the area every day for the last month. Residents huddle in their homes at night listening to the gunfire, wondering who the newly dead and maimed are.“Every night, we hear gun shots going off. You don’t know who is it. It’s not nice. You are scared for your own children who go out and come in late, because Saturday was the last shooting that I witnessed, and it was also an innocent guy that they shot. “It’s so sad if you look at the children who are on drugs. They must get to the root of the drugs which is the big bosses upstairs that’s bringing the drugs in. The MEC must be consistent; they mustn’t just come here today, they must be consistent then we will have a gangster-free and drug-free area, but at the moment they come here they get the small fry, but the drugs are still coming in. How’s that possible? Just as you think there’s peace then there’s violence. The people know who the drug lords are. The MEC also knows. The police also know. They raid today and tomorrow business is still going on. The saddest part is that our own people are killing themselves, and somebody upstairs is getting richer – not our people.”