The Motet Slays Their Two-Day Hometown Hustle In Denver [Review/Gallery]

first_imgColorado takes a lot of pride in being home to The Motet, and this weekend, the band gave some serious love to its residents for their Hometown Hustle. The two-night stand at the Ogden Theatre featured classic Motet sets and a set of covers from 1979, their musical mixtape for Halloween this year. The shows also gave Colorado the chance to properly open its arms and embrace the Motet’s newest members, Lyle Divinsky (vocals) and Drew Sayers (sax), as it was the first time the current iteration of the band played the city of Denver proper (though the current line-up threw down at Red Rocks in July of this year, a recording of which can be found here). Supported by Sophistafunk on Friday and DJ Mikey Thunder on Saturday, the weekend was a triumphant homecoming for the Motet as they showed they were tight as ever coming off of their extensive fall tour.New York-based Sophistafunk kicked off the festivities on Friday night with an upbeat blend of hip hop and funk. The trio, which has been regularly making appearances with the Motet this tour, was clearly well-versed in reading the audience and delivered a solid performance. Lyricist Jack Brown easily commanded the attention of the crowd with his rapping, and Emanuel Washington (drummer) and Adam Gold (keys) churned out high-energy funk grooves to get the crowd moving. Toward the end of their set, Gabe Mervine joined the three on stage, laying down some sultry solos on the trumpet and riling up the crowd with a teaser of what the Motet had in store for the rest of the night.The Motet played one extended set on Friday night of original tunes, many of which were off of their latest album, Totem, which dropped over the summer. The night also proved to be a perfect opportunity for Colorado fans to get to know Lyle and Drew musically in a more intimate setting than their Red Rocks performance in July, while still allowing the veteran members of the band to shine.Of their songs off of Totem, “Know It Too Well” and “Solar Plexus,” stood out. The slower and smoother sound of “Know It Too Well” allowed space for the musicians on stage to show off, with a powerful and heavy instrumental break with with an initially exploratory solo on the part of Ryan Jalbert that culminated in a high-energy showcase of his guitar skills to close out the song. With an initially darker sound that particularly highlighted the rhythm section, the spacey vibes and triumphant horn part on “Solar Plexus” eventually settled into a solid funk groove that clearly resonated with the crowd, as those at the Ogden got down. Moving in and out of more ambient sections, this number showed off the Motet’s ability to control their audience, evidenced by the dramatic and super effective build of the song into a spirited solo by Jalbert.Throughout the night, Lyle Divinsky’s high energy was contagious, and he captivated the audience with impressive showmanship and powerful vocals. Some of his best moments were during the back-to-back “Keep On Don’t Stoppin’” and “Back It Up,” particularly because of the interplay between him and Joey Porter, who often took over the vocals on the talk box and threw down some righteous solos on the keys. Though Lyle commanded the audience’s attention with his effortless and energized vocals, he also knew when to step back and hype up his bandmates, often looking just as pleased as audience members by the others on stage and never failing to direct the crowd to show some love to the others.“Rippin’ Herb” served as evidence the band was truly in proper form, weaving displays of the Joey Porter, Drew Sayers, Dave Watts, and Garrett Sayers’ technical musicianship with catchy grooves that kept the audience dancing. The horns really began to shine from that point on, with Gabe Mervine’s pristine and soulful solo in “Danger” being a highlight of the night, and Drew Sayers ultimately stealing the show during his performance in “Cloak and Dagger,” which elicited grins from those on stage and throughout the crowd.Coming off of Friday’s performance, the crowd was electric for the second night and packed the sold-out Ogden Theatre, reaffirming the Motet as a hometown favorite. The band kicked off Saturday with a set of originals and, after a short break, returned decked out in hilarious disco garb to lay down hits from 1979. The setlist for their cover set was well-curated with hits from Sly & The Family Stone, Funkadelic, Chic, Michael Jackson, James Brown, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Earth, Wind, and Fire to name a few.Of the first set of Saturday, “Extraordinary High” was a stand-out song, with the crowd and band all locking into an incredible collective energy. Lyle’s vocals were on point as was Gabe’s exacting and jazzy trumpet solo, and the lights illuminated the dancing crowd, making it easy to see the countless smiles. While during the first night, Garrett mostly hung back, Saturday was his night, with his mind-blowing bass solo during the song being the first of many throughout the night.After setbreak, the band emerged decked out in polyester and ready to take the crowd back to 1979. The third song of the set, “Tell Everybody,” originally by Herbie Hancock, was when the performance really began to heat up. Lyle maintained excellent control of the crowd and threw down vocals that showed off his unflinching high notes without compromising tone. During the instrumental break, the rhythm section really shined, and Garrett threw down another insane bass solo and Dave really was keyed in on the drums, as the horns and Lyle moved into a playful two-step. As the band, all of whom looked like they were having a ball, moved out of this section to close out the song, Gabe’s started with an experimental and extraterrestrial tone before moving into an impressive and more traditional trumpet solo before passing the spotlight to Joey, who took it away on the keys and talk box.The final half of the 1979 set really proved the Motet’s ability to build setlists that energize audiences. The crowd went off as soon as they heard the hook for Funkadelic’s infamous “Knee Deep,” and this palpable enthusiasm for the band’s song choice continued as the band moved through the set. The rhythm section often stole the show with Garrett’s numerous and impressive bass solos that showed off his technical prowess on the bass over the driving force of Dave’s precise beats.Of the second set, the band really dialed in their sound with “Skagly,” a Freddie Hubbard cover, through to the end of the set. Throughout “Skagly,” the rapid-fire and complex horn part was a focal point, and Gabe’s jazz background shined through as he effortlessly built the tune to its climax during his solo. The interaction between Joey and Lyle during James Brown’s “Too Funky” was another highlight of the night, as Joey provided a perfect vocal complement on the talk box to Lyle’s lively performance. The song also allowed Jalbert to tag back in and take the spotlight for awhile with a shreddy guitar solo, as he hung back for the majority of the second set. As a tribute to Prince, the band closed out the weekend with an encore of “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” during which Lyle’s singing was truly outstanding and “I Feel For You,” which featured a funky instrumental jam which the band really rode out, much to the delight of the crowd, before bringing the weekend to a close.The Motet’s hometown hustle was a testament to the band’s ability to constantly evolve and seek out new sounds while staying true to themselves and their fans. After a hiatus from playing Denver, the weekend was a triumphant return that only revved up fans, who are eager for them to return again. You can check them out at a city near you as they finish out their fall tour before gearing up for their New Year’s run, dates of which are listed below or can be found on the band’s website. Photos appear courtesy of Andrew Rios Photography, and a full gallery – as well as the setlists – can be seen below.Setlist: The Motet at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO – 11/11/2016Set 1: Just Around the Corner, The Truth, Getting To Know You, Know It Too Well, Solar Plexus > Keep On Don’t Stoppin’, Back It Up, Jam, Rippin’ Herb, Danger, Damn!, Like We Own It, Thankful > Cloak and Dagger > Closed MouthEncore: Serpentine FireSetlist: The Motet at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO – 11/12/2016Set 1: Funny > So High, Ain’t No Way, The Fountain, Extraordinary, Handcuffs (Parliament), Ryno, FoolSet 2: In the Stone (Earth, Wind, and Fire), The Same Thing (Sly & The Family Stone), Tell Everybody (Herbie Hancock), Bustin’ Loose (Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers), Wear It Out (Stargard), Glide (Musique), Knee Deep (Funkadelic) > Good Times (Chic) > Working Day and Night (Michael Jackson), Skagly (Freddie Hubbard), It’s Too Funky In Here (James Brown) > Shake Your Booty (KC & The Sunshine Band)Encore: I Wanna Be Your Lover (Prince) > I Feel For You (Prince)Upcoming 2016/2017 Motet Tour DatesNovember 17 – HiFi Music Hall – Eugene, ORNovember 18 – Revolution Hall – Portland, ORNovember 19 – Armory – Ashland, ORDecember 10 – Mesa Theater – Grand Junction, CODecember 28 – Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MNDecember 29 – Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WIDecember 30 – Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, ILDecember 31 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GAJanuary 20 – Jam Cruise – Miami, FL / The OceanFebruary 3 – 5 – Gem and Jam Festival – Tucson, AZ Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Doggone that stress

first_imgStudents have returned, school is back in session, and Harvard has officially reawakened. But accompanying that shift are the latent worries and stresses of thousands of faculty and staff members who keep the University up and running. Suddenly, relaxed afternoons are as scarce as summery sunshine.Of course, you wouldn’t know that to enter the Countway Library of Medicine. There, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a welcome dose of tension diffusion comes in the form of a 10-pound ball of fluff named Cooper.Since his addition four months ago, the 4-year-old Shih Tzu, a registered therapy dog, has proved as cuddly and irresistible to the Longwood Medical Area staff and students as a teddy bear to a toddler.“The whole first part of his morning is staff coming in and stopping by to pet him,” said Joshua Parker, an access services librarian, who along with other staffers makes sure Cooper stays in his penned-in area behind the check-out desk. “It’s just quick and casual, but I think it’s had an overall positive effect on everyone’s morale.”Cooper can be checked out by Harvard ID holders, just like a library book, for 30 minutes at a time. An unusually calm dog, he’s content to wrestle with a toy or cuddle on the library desk’s worn, brown couch with his “patients.”Cooper is currently the University’s only four-legged stress reliever. But he’s far from the only unorthodox palliative available to overworked, overbooked, or just plain frazzled Harvard employees. For those looking to manage moderate stress, the University offers free or low-cost stress relief activities for people who, ironically, are too busy to leave campus.“Harvard can be a very fast-paced and stressful environment,” said Loise Francisco, Cooper’s owner. She would know: Francisco is a senior research fellow in microbiology and immunobiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and her husband, Paul Anderson, serves as K. Frank Austen Professor of Medicine.“Staff here oftentimes work 12-hour days,” she said. “It’s nice to get out of an enclosed office or laboratory setting and have an unstructured interaction.”Self-care is critical, whether that means yoga, meditation, massage, exercise, or just scheduled downtime, alone or with a pet, said Jeanne Mahon, director of the Center for Wellness at Harvard University Health Services (UHS).“The more stress you’re under, the more you need to dial it up, not dial it down,” Mahon said. “You’re busier, but you need it more than ever now. It’s so important to keep it on your to-do list.”As the academic year has kicked back into gear, she has fielded calls from departments eager to book special stress-busting sessions for their staff members, overwhelming the center’s current resources.The center’s services, from yoga classes to acupuncture and massage therapy — all of which are discounted for Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP) members — provide an array of stress relief. But now the center is offering more free or low-cost activities, such as midday massage relaxation breaks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, where 10-minute chair massages are just $12.“It’s been a tough couple of years now for people, in terms of the economy, the cuts Harvard has had to make, and people’s financial situations,” Mahon said. “People are thinking, ‘OK, maybe I need to be doing something different. I need to handle the stress better, because it isn’t going to go away.’ ”Mahon has noticed a “growing awareness” of alternative methods of stress relief around campus, such as the free meditation drop-in sessions she runs at UHS each Thursday with Suzanne Westbrook, a UHS physician and HMS clinical instructor.At one recent lunchtime session, a dozen participants gathered as Westbrook led the group in a series of mindfulness meditation exercises. Westbrook’s words weren’t meant to be spiritual or even to conjure mental images, but to encourage those present to clear their minds of thoughts.The process can be awkward at first; most people aren’t conditioned to tune out a growling stomach or a looming deadline and just sit. But Westbrook and Mahon have found the program attracts regulars. Ann Hall, assistant director of stewardship programs in Alumni Affairs and Development, has been attending the drop-ins since April.“Within two weeks, I started noticing a change,” Hall said. “I started to chill out.”Her stress, which had always manifested as pain in her chest and stomach, subsided. “Your body may respond even before your mind does,” she said.But for some, there can never be too many ways to make good use of scarce downtime. Alec Harris, a student at Harvard Law School, just started coming to the weekly meditation sessions.“I’ve found that my schedule is really intense,” he said. “I needed to build a little bit of space from the Law School” physically and mentally, and meditation helps, he said. Still, a mention of Cooper perked his ears.“Wait, there’s a dog I can just check out at the library?”last_img read more

Students participate in St. Margaret’s House annual Winter Walk

first_imgFor 25 years, St. Margaret’s House has served South Bend as a day center where women in the community can come and seek shelter and support. For 20 of those years, the house has held its annual Winter Walk, which leads participants through downtown South Bend to raise money for and awareness about its cause, Rebekah DeLine, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement, said in an email to the Saint Mary’s community.Students at Saint Mary’s were able to get involved in the Feb. 17 walk — St. Margaret’s largest event of the year — with the help of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) and Campus Ministry. Belles and other participants assembled at 2 p.m. and began their walk at 2:30 p.m. at the County City Building through South Bend’s downtown.The OCSE promotes engagement with the South Bend community as an important aspect of students’ time at Saint Mary’s. Now having some perspective on the event, DeLine said she was pleased with the Winter Walk’s turnout.“The St. Margaret’s House Winter Walk was two Sundays ago (Feb. 17), and I’m happy to say that we had great participation,” she said in an email interview.In gratitude for their efforts, DeLine said students who participated in the walk will be publicly recognized in the Student Center.“Each person that either joins our team or makes an online donation will be recognized by having their name written on a Converse Shoe [that] will be placed by our poster in the Student Center,” she said.Circle K, a student group which was among those that participated in the Winter Walk, held a brief informational meeting in Warner Conference Room on Wednesday. Circle K, which is distinct from OCSE and Campus Ministry, is affiliated with the local South Bend Kiwanis, an international nonprofit organization that does work to benefit children and their communities. Circle K is focused on “developing college and university students into responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to serving the children of the world,” according to the group’s mission statement.Following the success of the St. Margaret’s Winter Walk, Circle K is now hosting a “Miss-A-Meal” event Thursday. DeLine said the event gives Saint Mary’s students the opportunity to donate a meal swipe and send the forgone money to St. Margaret’s House.“If students chose to ‘Miss-A-Meal,’ the money they would have spent on their meal will be donated to St. Margaret’s House,” she said.Tags: Circle K, Community Service, South Bend, St. Margaret’s House, Winter Walklast_img read more

Great Scott! Back to the Future Musical Will Time Travel to the West End

first_img View Comments Back to the Future follows Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) as he is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955, where he helps his teenaged parents fall in love. After becoming intertwined in his parents’ high school romance, McFly nearly causes a massive rift in the space-time continuum that threatens his existence. He then enlists the help of Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) to return to 1985. Synchronize your watches and jump into your DeLorean because Back to the Future is finally headed to the stage! Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale are working with Universal Stage Productions and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to develop a previously reported stage musical version of their film Back to the Future. Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the production will debut in London’s West End on the 30th anniversary of the film’s release. Zemeckis, who co-wrote and directed the 1985 film, is reuniting with co-writer Gale to pen the book for the stage version. Composer Alan Silvestri, who scored many of Zemeckis’s films, including Forrest Gump and Cast Away, will co-author the score for the show with Grammy winner Glen Ballard (Ghost the Musical). The musical will also feature familiar songs, including “The Power of Love,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Earth Angel” and “Mr. Sandman,” all of which are part of the original movie. “The production will include illusions, skateboarding and many other surprises that will capture the spirit of the film but freshly interpret it for a new audience,” Lloyd said in a statement. “Steven Spielberg once described the film as a musical and whilst we are incorporating some of the original, exhilarating score and songs, Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard’s witty, infectious and heartfelt new songs are the perfect springboard to tell this uplifting story anew.”last_img read more

Key strategies for relentless growth, Part 2: Credit union best practices

first_imgLast month we provided you with 10 tips to help ensure your credit union experiences dramatic growth in 2015. Now we realize that 2014 was a pretty good year for many credit unions, but this is no time to rest on your laurels if history has anything to do with it. We live in a very cyclic world of ups and downs and today, as business is motoring right along at a nice clip, it’s time to make hay while the sun shines for that continued growth we all desire.That said, here are a few credit unions that have implemented the key strategies from last month’s article and have experienced tremendous and relentless growth as a result.Carolina Postal Credit Union in North Carolina experienced an increase in loan volume of 33% in 2013 compared to 2012 and has sustained its loan growth in 2014 (mostly consumer lending driven with no indirect). In addition, CPCU’s delinquency ratio for consumer lending went from 1.98% in 2012 to .36% in 2013 and continued to remain low in 2014. As a result, the credit union garnered:The 2014 CU Journal Best Practices Award as a result of the CSA ProgramThe 2014 Louise Herring Award as a result of the CSA ProgramBridgeway Credit Union in New York experienced double loan growth through direct loans (no indirect) in August 2014 (following CSA training mid-June) and has sustained its loan growth year-to-date. According to Bridgeway’s CEO Michelle McCourt, prior to its CSA training, it was at 1.64% loan growth as of May 2014. Bridgeway’s loan growth as of June 2014 was 5.29%. The credit union’s loan growth YTD as of October 2014 was 16% closing with 17% loan growth at year-end 2014. Its delinquency ratio at the end of October was a mere 0.48%; June 2014’s delinquency rate was 0.52%; and May 2014 was 0.75%.“Seems that it should be going the other way, as we take on a little riskier loan,” McCourt says. “Maybe our members just love us so much they always pay us first.”Summit Credit Union in North Carolina created instant loan opportunities immediately following cuStrategies’ training program in October 2014.According to Summit’s EVP of Marketing and Business Development Glenn Kirk, a shock wave ran through the credit union’s lending department as they tried to keep up with all the mini-apps. Its business development team has been hugely successful bringing back mini-apps from business partner events, receiving 109 in just one day at one recent Benefits Fair.Baker Federal Credit Union in New Jersey experienced 32% loan growth in 2013 and 30% in 2014 with most of the loan growth occurring in consumer lending – not mortgages and they do not offer business loans – with no indirect lending. Baker’s delinquency ratio and charge-off ratio for consumer lending did not increase at all. Although, the credit union did experience a loss on real estate loans that impacted its overall delinquency ratio.According to Baker FCU’s CEO, Sue Rodriguez, the credit union’s average loan yield has increased to 7.42% in 2014 from 7.07% year-end 2013. As a result, the credit union has recently been able to offer mobile banking, upgrade its bill pay service, update its website, and finally launch mobile deposits.“I could not have done any of that without the increase in income,” Rodriguez says.Appalachian Community Credit Union in Tennessee experienced a dramatic increase in its average loan yield from 6.26 to 8.26 from first quarter 2013 compared to fourth quarter 2013 – with no increase in its delinquency ratio. The credit union continues to post positive results in 2014 as a result of the CSA Program.As you can see, by following the 10 tips in last month’s column, there is definitely opportunity to grow – sometimes quite dramatically. Successful credit unions’ must develop a strategic plan of action from the top down to create a focus on increased loan growth and profitability so they can generate the income to hire the necessary staff, invest in tomorrow’s technology, build more efficient branches, upgrade antiquated systems and procedures, etc. All of this ultimately enhances your credit union’s value toward established and prospective members for long-term growth.What tips do you have for relentless growth at your credit union? 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Celeste Cook Celeste Cook is founder and President/CEO of cuStrategies, LLC, which provides strategic planning services, consulting services, and training programs to the credit union industry. She is also a keynote … Web: www.cu-strategies.com Detailslast_img read more

Long Island Fast Food Workers Rally for Raises

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Dozens of protesters rallied last week at Nassau Community College to urge New York State to raise the minimum wage for fast-food restaurant workers to $15 per hour, up from $8.75 hourly.The rally preceded a state Wage Board public hearing where nearly 400 people spoke, mostly in favor of the proposed raise for fast food workers. But some fast food restaurant franchise owners voiced opposition to the idea.“What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!” protestors chanted Thursday before the hearing—the third of five that the board is holding statewide on the issue.Such rallies have spread to hundreds of cities nationwide starting more than two years ago. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked the wage board to consider whether to recommend the raise.“This isn’t enough to support my family,” said Veronica Ramos, a McDonald’s employee for 11 years. “I only earn $9.85 per hour, and we don’t receive vacation, sick days or health insurance. I currently live with my sister in a studio apartment and help take care of my mother.”Entry-level fast food workers make approximately $16,920 a year, according to the state Department of Labor. The salary is $1,010 above the federal poverty line for a family of two. At least one member of 52 percent of fast-food workers families’ are on food stamps, Medicaid or other social services, advocates said.Tom Spero, who started his fast-food career at Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips 40 years ago while he was in high school, put himself through college and now owns four Wendy’s franchises, disagreed with the majority of speakers.“I look at my financials, and I have to disagree respectfully with the experts that have come up here,” said Spero. “If this wage increases and goes above the $9 minimum wage, which is on the books for this coming January and moves to $15, I would have to not only move all my crew-members up to $15, but I would have to move my managers. This would be a huge impact on my business.”He said that during the spring, summer and fall he uses 4,000 hours of labor per week on average. If the minimum wage increases by $6.25 per hour, it adds up to $25,000 per week, which he said his business can’t afford.Such sentiments were outnumbered at the hearing.“Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour will actually boost the economy and create new jobs because over 24,000 fast food workers on Long Island will receive millions of dollars more in pay each year, which they will spend locally,” said Michael Zweig, professor of economics and director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “The extra demand in our shops and businesses will create new jobs.”While the debate rages on, the state wage board is expected to make its recommendation next month on the proposed wage increase.last_img read more

State Senator Seward to not seek reelection

first_img“There will be plenty of time to reminisce about the accomplishments, but there is still work ahead.  As I wrap up my senate career, I will continue to focus on the issues and concerns people express to me every day and I look forward to a few additional success stories.” “Throughout my time in the state senate I have focused on improving the lives of those I represent – advancing legislation, securing state grants for key community needs, and working directly with constituents in need of help.  I have been blessed to work with many great individuals both at the Capitol and at home and will cherish those strong partnerships.  The full statement can be read below: “My family and I also want to offer our sincere thanks to the great many well-wishers for the cards, prayers, and positive messages we have received over the past few months during my cancer treatment.  The encouraging sentiments mean a great deal. “I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020 and will retire from the senate when my current term, my 17th, expires at the end of the year.  While I have responded well to cancer treatments, my physicians have advised me that treatments will continue for the foreseeable future limiting my ability to maintain the rigorous schedule needed to campaign for re-election.  This is the right decision for my health, my family, and the people of the 51st Senate District. “My commitment to our region will continue and I look forward to further service in the future.” “I want to stress that this decision is in no way related to majority or minority standing in the senate.  I have effectively served under both scenarios and have always fought for the best interests of my constituents no matter the party in power – which is exactly what I will continue to do for the remainder of my term. (WBNG) — State Senator James L. Seward announced Monday morning that he will be retiring at the end of 2020. He will not seek reelection. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the state senate and sincerely thank the voters for their support and confidence.  The sacred trust bestowed in me by those I have had the privilege to represent has always been foremost on my mind.  In a statement sent to 12 News, Seward says the decision is the right move for his “health, family and the people of the 51st Senate District.” Senator Seward was elected to state senate in 1986. He is serving his 17th term.last_img read more

FLU SERIES Lessons learned from this year’s vaccine crisis

first_img One aspect of such collaboration is clarifying legal and liability issues, said Ned Calonge, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Redistributing vaccine, for example, might go more smoothly if officials could clarify who pays whom and how, as well as what liability issues affect state law. See also: “We’re hopeful that one, two, or maybe more companies will be interested in selling [flu vaccine] in the US,” said Strikas. “Then, if one has a hiccup, one or more can step in.” April 8, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The only thing more unpredictable than the fickle, fast-changing influenza virus may be the US flu season itself. Yet health experts who weathered this year’s vaccine shortfall, which began early in October with the news that Chiron Corp. couldn’t deliver nearly half of the expected US vaccine supply, have found the 2004-05 flu season instructive. The lessons they draw may prove helpful in managing future problems with supply and distribution and also in facing the possibility of pandemic influenza. Stearns County, about 70 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, did a fine job ensuring that people received vaccine through an effective local collaboration, said Ehresmann, adding that MDH is encouraging similar efforts throughout the state. Anticipating the worst: pandemic fluLast fall, Coloradoans conducted a mass vaccination clinic in a small area to measure the state’s ability to meet a mass vaccination target. It turned out to be one of the bright spots in the season, according to Calonge. Volunteers and ham radio operators helped coordinate the vaccine transfer among many counties. A daunting target vaccination rate proved more achievable than officials expected. In addition, the MDH is working to enhance communication among those involved in flu immunization, Ehresmann said. Her office is convening a statewide workgroup on flu that will allow state officials to consult directly with healthcare providers in groups that may be affected by changes in the disease or the vaccine supply. In addition, the department is encouraging creation of community coalitions. Shortage turns to surplusNearly half of the expected US flu vaccine supply disappeared last fall because of contamination problems at a Chiron Corp. plant in England. Eventually, the country obtained about 61 million doses of flu vaccine instead of the roughly 100 million doses expected earlier. “Partnership was a critical piece of what we did,” Strikas said. “There needs to be coordination, particularly while the product is in short supply.” Although some state and local public health departments reported instances when they physically held or transferred flu vaccine, simply knowing where the doses are is often more important than having them in hand, officials said. “We were really cautious—and rightly so—about supply, but we have always had vaccine that goes unused,” Ehresmann said. But the surplus suggests to her that MDH must “do the least restrictive limiting we can possibly do, so we don’t end up wasting vaccine,” she said. Multiple suppliers wantedHaving two companies—Chiron Corp. and Sanofi-Pasteur (formerly Aventis Pasteur)—provide the bulk of the nation’s flu vaccine doesn’t leave much room for handling problems, experts said. “We came away convinced that if we needed to use that process for pandemic flu, we could meet the vaccine requirement,” Calonge said.center_img “Both influenza disease and vaccine supply are unpredictable,” he told CIDRAP News. His list of lessons learned or reinforced this season highlights preparation: expect the unexpected, plan for many scenarios, be flexible, and be proactive. Despite the shortfall, good news was plentiful this flu season. It was only a moderate season, with illness peaking in mid-February, according to a CDC recap in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The season was milder for kids this year, with far lower hospitalization rates than in the previous season. And an estimated 17 million Americans refrained from getting a flu shot so that doses would go to high-risk people. Targeting those at greater risk from the flu proved effective, with vaccination rates for the high-risk groups hewing closely to the levels of previous years despite the reduced vaccine supply, MMWR reported March 31. It’s not clear how many leftover doses may be in the hands of individual providers or groups. Ehresmann estimated that the number is in the thousands. Doses are only good for one season because the combination of viral strains used in the vaccine is changed every year, so many of the remaining doses may go to waste. Web-based partnershipsVirtual vaccine distribution systems may be increasingly important to managing supply during a flu season. Think of it as a way for many people to communicate effectively about vaccine orders, manufacturers, and supplies even in the off-season. Health officials in Minnesota found the same thing, and are taking steps to formalize new relationships before the next flu season. Calonge, with Colorado, called the current system too risky. “It’s a more fragile system than I would like to see,” he said. In the end, the expected vaccine shortage turned into a surplus: 3 million doses, roughly the equivalent of the CDC stockpile, remains, Strikas said. In Minnesota, for instance, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is launching an Internet-based data collection tool, said Kristen Ehresmann, RN, MPH, manager of the department’s immunization, tuberculosis, and international health section. Local public health workers will be able to track vaccine orders by healthcare providers, such as hospitals and nursing homes, as well as by manufacturers. The information will be accessible online, so “we’ll go into the season knowing where people ordered from and how many doses they’re expecting,” Ehresmann said. Expecting the unexpectedFlu vaccine can take a lot of detours between the egg and the arm. That’s why flexibility is key, said Dr. Raymond Strikas, associate director for the adult immunization program at the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC. Estimated influenza vaccination coverage among adults and children—United States, September 1, 2004–January 31, 2005. MMWR 2005 Apr 1;54(12):304-7 [Full text] CDC. Update: Influenza activity—United States, 2004-05 season, April 8, 2005. MMWR 2005 Apr 8:54(13): 328-331 [Full text]last_img read more

Trump to spend days at military hospital after COVID-19 diagnosis

first_imgTrump will work in a special suite at the hospital for the next few days as a precautionary measure, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. Online video showed a small group of Trump supporters outside Walter Reed late on Friday waving Trump 2020 flags, most not wearing masks.Trump, 74, has a mild fever, according to a source familiar with the matter. White House doctor Sean P. Conley said late on Friday that Trump was doing very well, did not need supplemental oxygen, and had received a first dose of Remdesivir, an intravenous antiviral drug sold by Gilead Sciences that has been shown to shorten hospital stays.In a tweet late on Friday, the president wrote: “Going well, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”The diagnosis was the latest setback for the Republican president, who is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump has played down the threat of the coronavirus pandemic from the outset, even as the disease has killed more than 200,000 Americans and hammered the US economy.A number of other prominent Republicans also tested positive on Friday, including former White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis.Vice President Mike Pence, who would take over presidential duties if Trump became severely ill, tested negative, a spokesman said. The former Indiana governor, 61, is working from his own residence several miles from the White House.Trump is at high risk because of his age and weight. He has remained in apparent good health during his time in office but is not known to exercise regularly or to follow a healthy diet.Conley said earlier on Friday that Trump has received an experimental treatment, Regeneron’s REGN-COV2, one of several experimental COVID-19 drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, which are used for treating a wide range of illnesses.Trump is also taking zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin, Conley said.Topics : US President Donald Trump was in a military hospital on Saturday for treatment after testing positive for COVID-19, an extraordinary development that upended the presidential race a month before the Nov. 3 election.Roughly 17 hours after he made his diagnosis public, Trump walked slowly from the White House to a waiting helicopter to be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He wore a mask and business suit and did not speak to reporters.”I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said in a brief video message posted on Twitter. Early on Friday, he had tweeted that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had contracted the virus.last_img read more

Area Basketball Scores (1-20)

first_imgArea Basketball Scores.Friday  (1-20)Boys Scores.Batesville  51     Franklin County  46Oldenburg  55     Indy Lutheran  50South Ripley  45     Milan  43Jac-Cen-Del  53     Shawe Memorial  40Greensburg  56     Madison  54Morristown  68     North Decatur  59Eastern Hancock  78     South Decatur  63Switz. County  56     Rising Sun  34Hauser  75     Waldron  71Christian Academy  37     SW Hanover  35SW Shelby  43     Edinburgh  37Union County  64     Tri  36Girls Scores.Triton Central  39     Milan  19Pendleton Heights  56     Connersville  37SW Shelby  57     Edinburgh  49last_img read more