Emerging to a renewed normal

first_imgAfter a tense Friday that saw the campus and the Greater Boston area on lockdown, Harvard returned to life Saturday as students, residents, and visitors flooded back into the Square.Some Harvardians gained a sense of closure after Friday night’s capture of the second suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, 19-year-old Cambridge resident Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in nearby Watertown, which brought a massive manhunt to an end.On Saturday morning, a group of 18 runners from the Harvard College Marathon Challenge — some of whom had crossed the finish line, or failed to, on Boylston Street on Monday — met at the John Harvard Statue.Their recovery run took on added purpose after a tough week for the running community; several Harvard runners had been dangerously close to the blasts. On Friday night, senior Mark Jahnke had asked the group to join him for a slow jog along Boston’s Freedom Trail. It would be, he wrote in his email invitation, “a symbol that what we experienced this week will never take away what we experienced for four hours on Monday and will never stop us from being a united Boston.”“There was also a level of frustration,” said Daniel Grafstein, a sophomore in Kirkland House. “It was just one guy, and the whole city shut down. But I think people understand it’s what needed to be done.”Detour to slain officer’s memorialThe run had its somber moments, including a detour to the makeshift memorial for slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, who was gunned down Thursday night, allegedly by the two suspects. But the run also provided a way for people to come together and to make a statement, said senior Sam Singer, that “those who might hope to inspire terror have failed to keep us off our feet.”“Today’s run brought a really great sense of community,” he said.For most students, as well as everyday Harvard Square residents and visitors to campus, Saturday morning simply promised a return to normal.During the travel ban Friday, many Harvard Houses locked their gates for safety. Students were free to roam the halls and courtyards — Kirkland House even set up a croquet game and a trampoline on its lawn — but as the lockdown wore on, it seemed to give new meaning to the term spring fever.“I think people were scared and nervous and really sad for everything that’s happened this week,” said Daniel Grafstein, a sophomore in Kirkland House. “There was also a level of frustration. It was just one guy, and the whole city shut down. But I think people understand it’s what needed to be done.”Family and friends called and texted from out of state, though not as frantically as the modern-day trope of helicopter parenting would suggest.“My mom’s a pretty classic Jewish mother, but she’s been good at letting go of the reins,” Grafstein said. “She trusts me to be safe. But it was a scary week, and it could have happened to anyone.”Still, “My friend said he was called more this week than he was cumulatively the entire year.”Freshmen Leah Schwartz and Cordelia Mendez spent Friday in their residence, Hollis Hall, listening to the police scanner and watching the news.“I signed up for Tivli yesterday and watched it pretty much all day,” Schwartz said, referring to the free television streaming service started by Harvard graduates and entrepreneurs Nick Krasney ’09 and Ho Tuan ’09 that is now offered on campus. “It was hard not to.”For freshmen living in the Yard, even the decision to head out for a meal was fraught. But many ended up in Annenberg Hall, Schwartz and Mendez said, “just to feel normal.” At lunchtime, freshmen gave the dining hall’s staff a standing ovation.“It was a really nice time, only because it forced us all to be together,” Schwartz said. “We couldn’t focus on work; we couldn’t really focus on anything that required any sort of concentration.” Teachers were lenient about assignment deadlines on Friday, Mendez added.Freshmen Leah Schwartz (left) and Cordelia Mendez said they went to Annenberg Hall on Friday “just to feel normal.” “It was a really nice time, only because it forced us all to be together,” Schwartz said.Students who had planned to host admitted high school seniors for the Visitas weekend dealt with added stressors on Friday — namely, how to help their pre-frosh charges in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.Nancy De Haro, a senior in Winthrop House and a seasoned Visitas host, connected with her two visitors from Los Angeles, Marleen Sanchez and Andrea Mosqueda, Friday morning“I knew Visitas was canceled, but I told them to come over anyway,” De Haro said Saturday, as she led Sanchez and Mosqueda on a tour of the campus. “It would be too bad if the weekend went to waste, since they’re already here. There isn’t any programming, but I think they can still explore the city and ask me some questions and get something out of it.”Mosqueda, who had never flown in a plane before this week, was lucky enough to make it to Cambridge before the travel ban went into effect. A Harvard alumna on her flight found her a ride, she said. Despite her surreal entry to Boston, her assessment of Harvard so far was reassuringly common.“I really love the buildings. I want to major in civil engineering, so buildings are something I do admire,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”The surest sign of normalcy, perhaps, was the renewed flood of tourists. Campus tours roamed the streets on what became one of the first nice days of spring.“Harvard’s known all over the world,” said Ron Gabayan, an 18-year-old Israeli visiting the information center with his host family from Western Massachusetts. “I’ve been interested to come and visit here for a long time.”“I noticed this morning that [Harvard] was open again, so I said, ‘Let’s go,’ ” said his American host, Lynn Lesser. “If something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, whether you’re in Boston or Israel or wherever.” After all, she added, “He had already seen Yale. I said, ‘Harvard’s nicer.’ ”Nancy De Haro (from left), a senior in Winthrop House and a seasoned Visitas host, connected with her two visitors from Los Angeles, Marleen Sanchez and Andrea Mosqueda. “There isn’t any programming, but I think they can still explore the city and ask me some questions and get something out of it,” she said.last_img read more

Military Leaders from the Americas Discuss Common Issues

first_imgBy Dialogo February 06, 2013 Military leaders from Central America visited U.S. Army North on January 30 as part of the Central American Regional Leaders’ Conference, hosted by U.S. Army South, in a cooperative effort to establish closer ties between militaries and to improve coordination on common issues. International students from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, based in Fort Benning, Georgia, visited Army North to learn about the mission and structure of the U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command. “The WHINSEC visit allowed us to highlight Army North’s role in defending the homeland in depth through security cooperation with our neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico,” said Major Albert Marckwardt, Mexico branch officer at Army North. “For the students, equivalent to the U.S. Army ranks of major and lieutenant colonel, it was also an opportunity to understand how we support civilian authorities at the tactical and operational level.” WHINSEC students from Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Canada, Belize and Mexico learned about Army North’s unique missions and discussed regional efforts with hemispheric partner nations to combat transnational criminal organizations. Military leaders from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and Panama’s director of its National Border Service toured Army North’s historic Quadrangle, attended command briefings and heard from Oscar Salinas Jr., assistant chief of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, who touted the success Army North has had working with the Mexican land and air forces, known as SEDENA. “The Border Patrol’s new strategic plan focuses on integration with federal, state, local and foreign partnerships,” said Salinas. “The collaboration between Army North and SEDENA is one example of this integration.” While WHINSEC students have visited Army North in years past, the visit of Army commanders from Central America on this opportunity was unique. “This is probably the first time we’ve worked this closely with Army South and with Central American army commanders, and this greater dialogue is a healthy thing,” said Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, commanding general, Army North (Fifth Army), and senior commander, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. “We’ve been building our interactions over the years – and we want it to continue,” he added. Major General Perry Wiggins, deputy commanding general of operations at Army North, discussed the importance of building relationships and fostering communication in combating transnational criminal organizations. “They’re going to move to the path of least resistance,” said Wiggins. “A solution without Central America, South America, Canada and Mexico gives them a gap. Our adversary we’re dealing with is very smart. [If we] protect the land and water, [then] they use ultralights and tunnels.” Progress has been made, but there is more to be done, and Army North needs to foster relationships with other nations like it has done with Mexico, said Wiggins. “We are getting back into a cooperative state,” he said. “I can tell you the synergy we have created with SEDENA has blossomed into something where relationships have carried the day.”last_img read more

“Government need to get their act together”: Senator slams delay in Flood Risk Management Plans

first_imgDonegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn will today outline a wide range of supports that are still required from Government following the devastating floods in Inishowen last August.Speaking in the Seanad, he will also outline some of the next steps that will be needed from Government to prevent flooding as much as possible in the future.Ahead of today’s debate, Senator Mac Lochlainn said: “I have raised the issue of the need for Government support to rebuild Swan Park in Buncrana and Glenevin Waterfall in Clonmany every week in the Seanad since it returned as well as tabling questions to a range of Ministers. This and much more is needed from the Government.“Today, in the Seanad, on the back of my representations, there will be statements on flood prevention measures with the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin Boxer Moran present.“I will be raising the following issues with the Minister:“The need for urgent Government financial support to rebuild Swan Park in Buncrana and Glenevin Waterfall in Clonmany,“The need for a new partnership approach between the Office of Public Works, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service with farmers and local authorities to ensure the proper maintenance of our rivers and streams. This will include regular cutting back of trees, realignment of rivers where necessary; and dredging at appropriate locations,“The need for a range of flood defences to be commenced and completed across Donegal. In particular, flood defences at Burnfoot village.“The need for clarification on the funding of sporting organisations that were affected by the floods, particularly Cockhill Celtic FC in Buncrana.“The need for the Minister for Agriculture to put in place adequate financial aid for potato growers and crop growers that were devastated by the floods. The losses of one Donegal potato grower is estimated at €300,000 with no compensation to date. And the need for the Minister to meet local farming organisations in Donegal to address their concerns about the funding shortfalls.“The need for fast-tracked investment in water and sewerage infrastructure across Donegal, particularly at locations vulnerable to flooding.“The need for an enhanced L.I.S package and a one-off special roads fund for Donegal to reflect the wide-spread damage from the recent floods to private roads and lanes across the Inishowen and East Donegal area”.He concluded: “Despite the talk of “once in a hundred year” floods over recent years. We in Donegal have seen communities flooded again and again. Finn Valley, Kilmacrennan, Kerrykeel, Ramelton, Letterkenny Hospital and now Inishowen and East Donegal. “It is shocking that after all these floods in Donegal and across the State, that the European Commission has had to launch infringement procedures against the Irish Government because the Flood Risk Management Plans that were due to be submitted to the commission in 2015 have still not been received.“The lessons have to be learned and our Government need to seriously get their act together”.“Government need to get their act together”: Senator slams delay in Flood Risk Management Plans was last modified: October 18th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:floodflood risk management planPadraig Mac LochlainnSENATElast_img read more