Saint Mary’s to host ‘Tailgate’

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Student Activites Board (SAB) will host a Twilight Tailgate on Library Green this Thursday at 9 p.m. “Twilight Tailgate has been a traditional event each year that has varied from outdoor movies to concerts,” SAB president Allie Courtney said. This year, SAB will be screening “Toy Story 3” and serving caramel apples, apple cider, hot cocoa and popcorn. “Toy Story 3” was chosen because it was most readily available through Swank Motion Pictures Incorporated, the company through which SAB purchases movies, Courtney said. “We also picked ‘Toy Story 3′ because of its popularity this summer and it seems like a movie that fits perfectly with the culture on campus,” she said. The event is free to all Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students. The first 400 students to arrive will receive a free fleece blanket. SAB receives a certain allotment of money from the Student Government Association (SGA) a year in order to pay for student events, Courtney said. Courtney said the Board has been trying to create new events and enhance old ones, and that she wants SAB to establish a name on campus. “SAB’s goal is to increase participation, variety and volume at all of this year’s events,” Courtney said. SAB is currently planning an Oktoberfest on campus, a screening of the sixth Harry Potter film before the new Harry Potter movie release and arranging artists for Spring Tostal. “This is our second big event of the year,” Courtney said. “We are really excited and hope a lot of people come out.”last_img read more

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24 Easy ‘trumpets’

first_imgBy Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaWith the fast-rising popularity of angel trumpets, many gardenersare wanting to start propagating them. But surprisingly little iswritten about how to do it. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 24 For the record, brugmansias, which most people know as angeltrumpets, and some of the closely related daturas are very easyto propagate. The trick is to know when to cut and what to use ascuttings.Cuttings are best taken in June and July. The trick is to takecuttings from branched stems.Straight stems will lead to tall plants that bloom late in thesummer — maybe. Branched stems are “mature” and will bloom a fewweeks after you establish them in the garden.Root cuttingsYou can root cuttings in a mix of peat and sand kept moist. Or,place 4-inch to 6-inch stems in a glass of water, just as youwould an African violet leaf.They root rather fast. Even large stems can be rooted in 5-gallonbuckets. Once you’ve transplanted them to pots or the garden,they’ll need a few weeks of shade to develop extensive roots.Slowly expose them to more sun, and your brugmansias will bepoised to take off.Seeds, though, are another matter.Remember that like most plants, seedlings will vary from theadult. Brugmansia seeds are weird-looking things, similar to aflat bark chip. Pealing off the brown covering speeds germinationbut requires a bit of skill.Be carefulWear gloves when you do this, or at least wash your hands rightafter processing the seeds. Both brugmansias and daturas arepoisonous if eaten, especially the seeds and leaves. Handling theplant isn’t dangerous in itself.Daturas germinate slowly and irregularly, and you’ll needpatience. Both species require warm, moist soil conditions togerminate. It will take at least one summer season, and sometimeslonger, to see the first flowers.To learn more about brugmansias and daturas, visit the AmericanBrugmansia and Datura Society Web site (www.abads.net).(Paul Thomas is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Natural-Gas Executive Sees Growing Risk in Public Opposition and Regulatory Scrutiny

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hannah Northey for E&E:The amount of time it takes companies to get a new gas project approved and operational — from the proposal phase to steel in the ground — has grown from three years to four, Donald Santa, CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, said during an interview this week.The principal causes for delays are the host of substantive, fact-based questions about pipeline routing and emissions that activists, landowners and other stakeholders are bringing up during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review process, Santa said.“I think in some ways it’s become the new reality,” Santa said. “Project applicants today have got to revise their expectations in terms of [when their pipelines will be operational] to anticipate the need to deal with more opposition.”“I think in some ways it’s become the new reality,” Santa said. “Project applicants today have got to revise their expectations in terms of [when their pipelines will be operational] to anticipate the need to deal with more opposition.”Developers face ‘new reality’ of protests, longer reviews Natural-Gas Executive Sees Growing Risk in Public Opposition and Regulatory Scrutinylast_img read more

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Rapid Rise in Super PACs Dominated by Single Donors

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This story was co-published with the Daily Beast.The wealthiest Americans can fly on their own jets, live in gated compounds and watch movies in their own theaters.More of them also are walling off their political contributions from other big and small players.A growing number of political committees known as super PACs have become instruments of single donors, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal records. During the 2014 election cycle, $113 million—16 percent of money raised by all super PACs—went to committees dominated by one donor. That was quadruple their 2012 share.The rise of single-donor groups is a new example of how changes in campaign finance law are giving outsized influence to a handful of funders.The trend may continue into 2016. Last week, National Review reported that Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination would be boosted not by one anointed super PAC but four, each controlled by a single donor or donor family.The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling helped usher in the era of super PACs. Unlike traditional political action committees, the independent groups can accept donations of any dollar size as long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign of any candidate. Previously, much of the focus in big-money fundraising was on “bundlers”—volunteers who tap friends and associates for maximum individual contributions of $5,400 to a candidate, then deliver big lump sums directly to the campaigns. Former president George W. Bush awarded his most prolific bundlers special titles such as “Ranger” and “Pioneer.”While bundling intensified the impact of wealthy donors on campaigns, the dollar limits and the need to join with others diluted the influence of any one person. With a super PAC, a donor can single-handedly push a narrower agenda. Last year, National Journal profiled one such donor—a California vineyard owner who helped start the trend by launching his own super PAC and becoming a power player in a Senate race across the country.Beyond the single-donor groups, big donations are dominant across all kinds of super PACs, according to the analysis. Six-figure contributions from individuals or organizations accounted for almost 50 percent of all super PAC money raised during the last two cycles.“We are anointing an aristocracy that’s getting a stronger and stronger grip on democracy,” said Miles Rapoport, president of Common Cause, an advocacy group that seeks to reduce the influence of money on politics.ProPublica’s analysis identified 59 super PACs that received at least 80 percent of their funding from one individual during the 2014 cycle. They raised a total of $113 million, compared with the $33 million raised by the 34 such groups that existed in 2012.Donors who launch their own PACs are seeking more control over how their money is spent. And many have complained about the commissions that fundraising consultants take off the top of their donations to outside groups. But the move carries risks if the patron is new to the arena.In one cautionary tale, a reclusive 89-year-old Texas oilman with no political experience launched Vote2ReduceDebt, one of the nation’s highest-spending conservative super PACs. A ProPublica investigation found that much of the donor’s millions went to entities run by the group’s consultants or their close associates. The super PAC imploded as principals traded allegations including self-dealing, faked campaign events and a plot to siphon the PAC’s money to a reality TV show.Bill Burton, a former Obama administration official who helped found Priorities USA, the juggernaut super PAC affiliated with the president’s reelection campaign, said he expects donors to face more problems if they continue to go it alone.“One of two things is going to happen,” he said. “We will either see widespread flaunting of coordination rules or we will see some pretty spectacular failures to the tune of millions of dollars.”The single-donor super PACs identified by ProPublica span the political spectrum. Among the top conservative donors were Richard Uihlein, a packaging supplies businessman, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg spent heavily on both sides but leaned Democrat. Hedge fund titan Tom Steyer dominated on the left.In 2012 the largest single-donor super PAC was former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending Action Fund, which raised over $14 million, 89 percent of which came from Ricketts. It was the ninth-largest super PAC by spending. In 2014 Steyer’s Nextgen Climate Action was the largest super PAC, raising almost $78 million, 85 percent from Steyer. (Steyer’s wife, Kat Taylor, is a member of ProPublica’s board of directors, and the couple has donated to ProPublica.)In addition to the super PACs dominated by a single individual, dozens more received the great majority of their funding from one corporation, labor group or advocacy organization. In 2014, those PACs represented 8.6 percent of super-PAC fundraising.PACs dominated by one donor could run afoul of disclosure laws, according to Larry Noble, the former top lawyer for the Federal Election Commission. Under the rules, political ads must include disclosures about who funded them. Noble said election law would require groups funded by one person to list that donor’s name, not just the name of the PAC—though he couldn’t recall the FEC addressing such a case.Naming the super PAC instead of the donor in the ad, Noble said, also allows the groups to delay disclosing where their money comes from until the next FEC filing date— potentially weeks after the ad runs.“It defeats the purpose of the law to allow someone to hide behind a super PAC if they are the only funder,” Noble said.“They want to make it more authoritative, like there’s more support. It looks better to say the ad is from Americans for Good Government than from John Smith2026 That just makes a mockery of the law.”Help us investigate: Have a tip about campaign finance? Email robert.faturechi@propublica.org.Related stories: For more coverage of campaign finance, read ProPublica’s previous reporting on Super PAC Men, secret donors and gaps in campaign finance rules.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Local realtors look forward to a phase two bump

first_img(WBNG) — With real estate agencies set to reopen when the Southern Tier moves into the second phase of the New York Forward plan, local brokers say they are ready to get back to business, and they hope potential buyers and sellers are, too. “Limited in person showings would allow one agent and up to two people who are the potential deed holders, they would have to be the buyers, to be able to walk through houses for sale,” he said. “That’s what we need as an industry right now.” “A lot of people have said to me ‘does it make sense to list my house right now?’ and I say yes it does because there are so many people trying to get in them.” Farrell says this isn’t necessarily bad news for the buyer. “The busiest time of year in the real estate industry is in the spring. People have planned to list their home, people have planned to buy their home, so there’s a lot of pent up demand,” he said. Farrell says he predicts reopening will come with new restrictions such as PPE requirements and limits on the number of people allowed to see a house, but the opportunity to move away from virtual showings will be a huge step forward. “We’re going to hit the ground running, safely securely but professionally so you’re going to see a real estate market like you’ve never seen as far as the quantity of buyers and sellers out there,” he said. Burns says he expects this to result in what experts call a seller’s market. center_img John Burns of Keller Williams Realty of Greater Binghamton says both brokers and sellers have good reason to be hopeful as the Southern Tier approaches phase two of reopening. Farrell says one thing he is certain about is that getting back to business will be good news for the industry. “I don’t expect prices to increase exponentially, I don’t think we’re going to see a huge real estate boom because we’re a very typical flat market and we like it that way,” he said. Both brokers tell 12 News that once they are given the green light to offer more in person showings, PPE and frequent sanitizing will be a top priority and larger scale events like open houses will remain off the table for now. Robert Farrell of EXIT Realty Homeward Bound says the COVID-19 crisis has brought the industry to a near stand still. “There is a scenario where our sellers are comfortable with buyers walking through unaccompanied,” he said “They’ve allowed some of that to happen but we need to be careful that we’re not taking more liberty than we are allowed.”last_img read more

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Stamp duty

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Rupiah strengthens to below Rp 15,000 per US dollar for first time since mid-March

first_imgThe rupiah has reached its strongest level since mid-March, appreciating nearly 3 percent on Thursday against the United States dollar amid hopes that a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed and central banks’ pledges to hold interest rates to support battered economies.Indonesia’s currency stood at Rp 14,881, appreciating 2.7 percent against the greenback at 4:46 p.m. Jakarta time to emerge from this year’s low of Rp 16,625 amid global recession risks. The rupiah once depreciated by as much as 18 percent this year before appreciating to the current level.Bank Indonesia’s (BI) Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR) showed the currency strengthening to Rp 15,157 per dollar from Rp 15,415 on Wednesday. On the same day, Fed officials said in a unanimous statement that it “will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy” and pledged to keep the interest rate near zero until the US economy returns to normal.Perry said further appreciation of the rupiah would be supported by this year’s lower current account deficit (CAD). The central bank expects the first quarter CAD to be below 1.5 percent and stay below 2 percent throughout the year, down from BI’s earlier projection of 2.5 to 3 percent.Furthermore, a yield differential in government debt papers between Indonesia and other countries was still attractive for foreign investors, Perry said.“This will attract capital inflow into Indonesia,” he added.By early May, BI will have injected a total of Rp 503.8 trillion in additional liquidity into the financial system to help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic and strengthen the rupiah as part of its quantitative easing measures. This includes BI’s bond buying worth Rp 166.2 trillion from foreign investors in the secondary market.The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) jumped Thursday by 3.26 percent, led by blue chip stocks such as those of state-owned Bank Mandiri, energy company PT Medco Energi and state-owned toll operator PT Jasa Marga. Foreign investors bought around Rp 431 billion (US$28.7 million) worth of stocks more than they sold.As of April 23, however, foreign investors had sold Rp 159.6 trillion worth of Indonesian assets including bonds, stocks and BI certificates, according to Finance Ministry data.The government had successfully raised Rp 221.4 trillion from government bonds by the end of March. This is in addition to a $4.3 billion dollar-denominated bond sales in the US and Rp 11.38 trillion in bond sales at a greenshoe option bond auction on Wednesday, among other debt papers.It would sell Rp 856.8 trillion worth of bonds in the second quarter through to the end of the year to cover its widening budget deficit, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.The country’s financial markets have started to recover since a slump in March as foreign investors sold Indonesian assets over fears of COVID-19.Topics : “We decided to hold [the interest rate] in the near term to prioritize maintaining the currency level,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo told the House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs on Thursday. “We are confident that the rupiah will further strengthen.”The central bank decided to hold its benchmark interest rate this month at 4.5 percent after a 50 basis points (bps) cut in total in February and March.“The rupiah appreciation is related to the US Federal Reserve’s policy on Wednesday to hold its interest rate at the zero percent to 0.25 percent range,” Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “In addition, biotechnology company Gilead said the development of its proposed COVID-19 vaccine was running well and that the drug was proven to cure at least 50 percent of the patients [who tested it].”A top US infectious diseases official said Gilead Sciences’ experimental antiviral drug remdesivir would become the standard of care for COVID-19 after early clinical trials showed it helped patients recover more quickly from the illness, Reuters reported on Wednesday.last_img read more

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EIOPA confirms IORP solvency, HBS advice timeline

first_imgThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s (EIOPA) 2016 work programme has confirmed the authority will by the end of March deliver its own initiative advice on solvency for IORPs and the use of the holistic balance sheet (HBS).The advice constitutes a “product” that falls under the second of five strategic objectives for the authority, namely “to lead the development of sound and prudent regulations supporting the EU internal market”.The work falls under the operational activity heading of “occupational pensions regulation”, identified as high priority.This means it is a legal requirement that must be delivered this year and is “strategically aligned”. The authority lists two other products for delivery in this context alongside the advice on solvency and the use of the HBS.The first is “advice on IORP II: key input, on information to members and beneficiaries, and risk evaluation for pensions”.There is no fixed due date for this, with delivery instead being “contingent on demand”.The other product is “improvements to pensions data including via the Market Developments Report”, with a deadline of the fourth quarter of this year.EIOPA’s work on occupational pensions “will be maintained with existing resourcing levels in 2016”, it said.The work programme also has EIOPA delivering to the European Commission its advice on a single market for personal pensions.Earlier this month, EIOPA launched a consultation on its final advice on the development of a so-called 2nd regime for pan-European personal pension products (PEPPs). This year, EIOPA added a fifth objective to its work programme, which, unlike the others, is not based on the tasks and responsibilities the authority has been mandated in its regulation.The fifth objective was added to reflect that “EIOPA’s operational success is dependent on its reputation as a capable, well managed and credible organisation”, according to the authority.The objective is for EIOPA to act as a “modern, competent and professional organisation, with effective governance arrangements, efficient processes and a positive reputation”.No decision on carbon-asset risk in stress testsMeanwhile, a spokesperson at EIOPA told IPE it was too early to know whether carbon-asset risk would be included in the next stress tests on European occupational pension funds.In a report published last week, the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) examined the potential risk of a late low-carbon transition and proposed that future stress testing of the financial sector by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) incorporate the risk of a “hard landing” scenario.EIOPA is one of three ESAs and, as noted by the EIOPA spokesperson, is represented at the ESRB, as the ESRB is at EIOPA.“Market-adverse scenarios for both insurance and pensions’ stress tests conducted by EIOPA are developed in close cooperation with the ESRB,” said the spokesperson.“The shocks against which the insurers’ in 2016 and IORPs’ balance sheets in 2017 will be stressed are not yet known.”The final decision will be taken by EIOPA’s board of supervisory shortly before the stress tests are launched.For the insurance sector, this will be in May 2016, while the timeline for the pensions sector stress test will be released in early 2017.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to EIOPA 2016 Work Programmelast_img read more

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DC consolidation could come at expense of members, experts warn

first_img“The downside of consolidation is that the market becomes so bland and low cost that the products being provided to members end up not being any good,” said Sarah Smart, chair of the trustee board at TPT Retirement Solutions. “That it’s only big bland vanilla products that members get – and that’s not what the intention was at all.“The intention was to enable the economies of scale to happen and allow the market to be broad enough to be able to distinguish between [the individual schemes].”The DWP has estimated that the number of master trusts could fall over the next few months from the 81 registered by TPR in January to 56 post-authorisation.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Source: Department for Work and PensionsHow the DWP sees the UK master trust market developingMembership of master trusts has grown by 42% over the past year to almost 10m members, according to data from TPR. Assets have doubled since 2010 to more than £10bn (€11.4bn).Over the past few years, several smaller schemes have been acquired by larger providers.Last month, Salvus Master Trust boosted its assets to more than £100m through consolidation with the £7m Complete Master Trust.In 2016, the trustees of My Workplace Pension moved the scheme’s assets to Smart Pension, and BlueSky Pensions UK swooped on the separate Wessex Pension and Pensions Umbrella trusts.Master trusts have grown in popularity following the launch of auto-enrolment for all UK employees. In effect, each master trust acts as an umbrella structure for many different occupational DC schemes, with each employer gaining its own division within the overall plan.As there is only one overall trustee board, responsibilities such as governance are ceded to the master arrangement.“With the rapid growth in the master trust sector as a result of automatic enrolment, the Pensions Regulator’s new authorisation regime is essential to safeguard savers,” said Tim Gosling, DC policy lead at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the UK trade body.“The requirements for authorisation have been created to challenge the sector and there will likely be consolidation of the market as a result. Some schemes are looking to grow by acquisition and we anticipate that these ones will take most schemes wishing to exit the market.”However, Gosling said there were “residual concerns” over the possibility of a small number of schemes exiting the market “in difficulty”.“We anticipate that TPR will be monitoring these schemes closely in the run up to 1 October,” he added. A spokesperson for TPR said there was no target as such for the number of schemes that should be in the market.“Inevitably there will be some market consolidation as some schemes will chose not to or be unable to meet those standards and wind-up, so the number of master trusts schemes operating in the market will reduce,” the spokesperson said. “We have already seen some schemes leave the market and we expect that more will go.” The ongoing consolidation of UK master trusts could lead to “big bland vanilla products” for members, flying in the face of the government’s aim for the best and most effective schemes to survive authorisation at the start of October, industry experts have warned.The sector faces a shake-up in advance of the need for master trusts – multi-employer defined contribution (DC) schemes – to seek authorisation from the Pensions Regulator (TPR) from 1 October 2018.The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that as many as 17 schemes might not seek TPR approval.While the process of mergers and acquisitions might be broadly positive for larger schemes, keen to achieve economies of scale, experts have warned that members’ interests might be left behind.last_img read more

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Rivalry game with St. John’s anticipated by Orange for entire season

first_imgManny Sevillano circled this date on the schedule. Before the season began, before the Syracuse men’s soccer team had even stepped out onto the field in 2010, he targeted Wednesday’s matchup with St. John’s as one he desperately wanted to win. ‘St. John’s is one of those teams,’ Sevillano, the SU senior midfielder, said. ‘When we step back and look at our schedule, this is one of those teams that we really, really want to beat.’ No one on the current Orange roster has experienced what it feels like to beat the Red Storm. In fact, no Syracuse player from this decade knows the feeling. It’s hasn’t been since 1996 that SU has come away with three points against St. John’s, when it defeated its in-state rival 2-0 at home. It was one of only two losses that season for the Red Storm, which went on to win the national championship. ‘On a soccer scene, they’ve really been the team to beat,’ SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. ‘They’re our benchmark. And we know we have a lot of work and a long way to go to try and replicate some of the respect that the St. John’s program has had.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But perhaps Wednesday night will be different from the past 14 years. The Orange (2-5-4, 0-1-2 Big East) is coming off arguably its two best performances of the season in a win over then-No. 24 Colgate and a tie against DePaul. On the other hand, St. John’s (6-5-0, 0-3-0 Big East) has lost three straight and four of its last five games. Wednesday’s game provides Syracuse with an opportunity to turn the tables in this 28-year rivalry. The Orange has a chance to steal three points against a struggling St. John’s team and make a statement against a program that is widely considered the class of the conference. The Red Storm’s downfall came after it began the season 5-1. A preseason Top 25 team, St. John’s ascended to as high as No. 12 in the national polls after posting four shutout wins in its first six games. Since that start, it has lost all three of its Big East games to Cincinnati, Notre Dame and No. 2 Louisville. The Red Storm also lost to No. 15 Brown. One-third of the way through the conference schedule, St. John’s is still without a point in the Red Division. ‘Do I foresee St. John’s being down there at the end of the season? Absolutely not,’ McIntyre said. ‘They’re a quality program and one that most of us have penciled in for the playoffs. But if we can keep them down there for a little bit longer, we’ll certainly be trying to do that.’ If the Orange is successful in keeping St. John’s down in the standings, it will be a monumental win. Since 1990, the Red Storm has had seven Big East tournament titles and four Big East regular season titles and has won fewer than 10 games just twice. The rivalry between the two schools dates back to 1982, with the Red Storm dominating with a 17-7-5 record against SU. They’ve scored nearly twice as many goals as the Orange in that stretch. And just because St. John’s is in a bit of a slump right now, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a Top 25 caliber team, SU midfielder Geoff Lytle said. ‘Rankings always change,’ he said. ‘They’re always fluctuating, so if a team isn’t ranked, it doesn’t mean they aren’t better than a ranked team. So you can’t approach it differently.’ The Orange needs to approach Wednesday night’s game with the same level of intensity it had against Colgate and DePaul. For the first time all season, SU put together back-to-back games in which it avoided conceding the first goal to its opponent. Now that level of concentration and commitment has to be taken on the road. The Red Storm’s Belson Stadium is one of the more difficult venues at which to play, McIntyre said, and he will find out a lot about his team based on its performance in this game. ‘Playing well at home against DePaul is a good step forward for us,’ McIntyre said. ‘But ultimately trying to play the same kind of quality soccer at Belson Stadium will be a real kind of test for us. ‘We understand that we’ve got our hands full.’ Mjcohe02@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on October 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13last_img read more

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