Evansville City Council January 27, 2020 Meeting Agenda

first_imgVI.COMMITTEE REPORTS B.2019 INVESTMENT REPORT; Russ Lloyd, Jr., City Controller City Council Meeting January 27, 2020 AgendaAGENDA C.ORDINANCE R-2019-33 An Ordinance to Rezone Certain Real Estate in the City of Evansville, State of Indiana, More Commonly Known as 601 W. Tennessee Street Petitioner: Phillip R. Hooper Owner: KR Properties LLC Requested Change: M2 to R2 Ward: 6 Brinkmeyer Representative: Phillip R. Hooper FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare C.UPDATE ON THE DIAGNOSIS MEMO (Unified Development Ordinance);    Cynthia Bowen, Rundell Ernstberger F-2020-01 Attachment: III.REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS IV.SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY I.INTRODUCTION C-2020-03 Attachment: R-2020-33 Attachment: A.ORDINANCE F-2020-01 An Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of Evansville Authorizing Transfers of Appropriations, Additional Appropriations and Repeal and Re-Appropriation of Funds for Various City Funds Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Finance Chair Discussion Date: 2/10/2020 Notify: Russ Lloyd, Controller VII.REGULAR AGENDA:  SECOND READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS A.ORDINANCE G-2020-01 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 18.135 (Off-Street Parking and Loading) of the Evansville Municipal Code Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Discussion Date: 1/27/2020 IX.MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS B.Department Liaisons G-2020-01 Attachment: X.COMMITTEE REPORTS V.CONSENT AGENDA:  FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS D.ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS Memo Attachment: A.Committee Chair Appointments G-2020-02 Attachment: A.RESOLUTION C-2020-03 A Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Evansville, Indiana, Authorizing a Conflict of Interest for Zac Heronemus, Executive Director of Aurora, Inc., and 3rd Ward City Councilman Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: Council President Discussion Date: 1/27/2020 Notify: Kelley Coures, DMD VIII.RESOLUTION DOCKET Agenda Attachment: XI.ADJOURNMENT II.APPROVAL OF MEETING MEMORANDUM B.ORDINANCE G-2020-02 An Ordinance Amending Section 18.130.020 (Minimum Floor Area) of the Evansville Municipal Code Sponsor(s): Weaver Discussion Led By: ASD Chair Discussion Date: 1/27/2020 A.THE NEXT MEETING of the Common Council will be Monday, February 10, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.last_img read more

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BEN-TV Schedule June 6 – 11

first_imgThursday, June 68 p.m. BBOED Open Workshop 6/3/199 p.m. BBOED Public Meeting 6/3/1910:30 p.m. Midtown Community School’s Ring Ceremony11:30 p.m. Nicholas Oresko School’s Ring CeremonyFriday, June 78 p.m. National English Honor Society9 p.m. National History Honor Society10 p.m. National Honor Society / Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony11 p.m. Dr. Walter F. Robinson Community School’s Royal Hero Awards Ceremony Saturday, June 88 p.m. BHS Dance Department Presents: “A.I.”9:30 p.m. Washington Community School’s National Junior Honor Society10 p.m. Washington Community School’s Ring Ceremony10:30 p.m. Interview with a Survivor11 p.m. Math Olympiad11:30 p.m. Forensics AwardsSunday, June 98 p.m. BHS Boys Volleyball Vs. Dickinson9 p.m. BHS Boys Volleyball Vs. Vernon Township10 p.m. BHS Boys Volleyball Vs. Union City11 p.m. Bayonne’s 2019 St. Patrick’s Day ParadeMonday, June 108 p.m. BHS Spring Concert9:30 p.m. Midtown Community School’s Spring Concert10:30 p.m. Nicholas Oresko School’s Spring Concert11:30 p.m. BHS Dance Department Presents: “A.I.”Tuesday, June 118 p.m. BHS Varsity Baseball Vs. Union City High School – County Playoffs10:30 p.m. BHS Varsity Baseball Vs. St. Peter’s Prep – County Championshipslast_img read more

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Doughnuts to be labelled as healthy?

first_imgConsumer lobby group Which? has brought to light a number of bakery products, which could legally be labelled as being ‘low fat’ if proposed EC regulation get the thumbs up next month.The EC’s regulation (EC) 1924/2006 was passed in May 2006, and was inititally welcomed as it aims to ensure health claims on food are substantiated and to stop claims being put on less healthy food. However, Which? now believes that “due to pressure from other European governments looking to promote their national products the Commission’s criteria for which foods can carry claims has become unscientific and fundamentally flawed”.A number of example bakery products have been identified as having less than the Commissions threshold amount of saturated fat – 8g per 100g. A single Tesco jam doughnut, for example, has 5.7g of saturated fat per 100g. Products such as doughnuts, custard tarts and ready salted crisps could therefore carry health and nutrition claims.Research by Oxford University has found that 93% of products would be able to make nutritional claims if the proposals go through and 60% would be able to make health claims (based on a sample of foods representative of the UK diet).A number of UK consumer and health organisations, including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Sustain and Which? have united to try and fight the proposals, and a letter has been sent to the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson MP.Colin Walker, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Which? said: “The UK Government needs to get these proposals thrown out and completely rewritten. The adoption of these criteria will weaken the fight against obesity and poor diets doing far more harm than good.”last_img read more

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Uniq sees sales continue to fall

first_imgMarks & Spencer sandwich supplier Uniq reported falling sales in the first three months of the year, down 4.9% on the same period in 2008.The European chilled convenience food group blamed a slow- down in its markets and the later timing of Easter for operating losses that were slightly lower than expected. But it has recently won more business with M&S, which prompted it to make further investments in its Northampton food-to-go facility.UK sales were flat year-on-year with growth in desserts and salads offset by a slight decline in food-to-go. A company statement said: “This performance is slightly ahead of expectations, as we had planned for a continuation of the slowdown seen in 2008.”Work to transfer business from its closing Paignton site to Minsterley should be complete by September 2009, it added.last_img read more

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News story: Top cyber diplomat celebrated as “trailblazing”

first_imgSarah is the first civil servant to win the award, this year’s winners include Killing Eve star Jodie Comer and authors of Slay In Your Lane: Black Girl Bible, Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke.Further information Media enquiries Foreign Office Director for Cyber Policy and National Security Capabilities, Sarah Taylor, has been named a Marie Claire Future Shapers award winner. Ms Taylor has been instrumental internationally in leading work to expose recent Russian cyber aggression and championing the application of international law in cyberspace.Each year Marie Claire celebrates trailblazing women who are changing the world of work and redefining what it means to be successful in society today. The annual awards honour influential names from the worlds of civil society, fashion, technology, the arts and politics.Taylor (42) is responsible for the international efforts to protect the UK against the most serious cyber-attacks and overseeing the training of the next generation of cyber diplomats.She has led Britain’s international response to incidents such as the exposing of the Russian military intelligence service’s reckless cyber attacks on political institutions, businesses, media and sport and the North Korean actors behind the ransomware attack on NHS trusts.Director for Cyber Policy and National Security Capabilities, Sarah Taylor said: Sarah’s work in cyber security is not only vital to the success of this country, but she is also paving the way for girls and young women to pursue careers in this field through her mentoring work in inner city schools. Marie Claire is delighted to honour her as a Future Shaper of 2018. For journalists The challenges and complexities we face in cyberspace are clear as evidenced by Britain’s exposé of the Russian military intelligence service’s orchestrated attacks on our way of life. The stakes don’t get much higher, but it’s is a privilege to be leading a team that is helping to keep the internet free, open, peaceful and secure. I’m delighted to have been recognised as a Future Shaper by Marie Claire, and I would really encourage more women to consider careers in security, and cyber in particular. Not only is it incredibly rewarding but it underpins almost everything we do in the internet age.center_img Marie Claire Editor-in-chief, Trish Halpin said: Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Email [email protected]last_img read more

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Press release: Report 19/2018: Collision at London Waterloo

first_imgNotes to editors The sole purpose of RAIB investigations is to prevent future accidents and incidents and improve railway safety. RAIB does not establish blame, liability or carry out prosecutions. RAIB operates, as far as possible, in an open and transparent manner. While our investigations are completely independent of the railway industry, we do maintain close liaison with railway companies and if we discover matters that may affect the safety of the railway, we make sure that information about them is circulated to the right people as soon as possible, and certainly long before publication of our final report. For media enquiries, please call 01932 440015. PDF, 2.44MB, 61 pages Newsdate: 19 November 2018 R192018_181119_Waterloo The disastrous collision at Clapham Junction on 12 December 1988, in which 35 people died and 484 were injured, was a turning point in the history of Britain’s railways. The immediate cause of the accident was poor working practice by a signalling technician, and the subsequent public inquiry into the accident highlighted serious deficiencies in the management of safety, particularly around the design, modification, testing and commissioning of signalling systems. Putting in place the recommendations of the inquiry fundamentally changed several aspects of how the railway is run, and for signal engineers one of the most important was the approach to routine tasks, such as testing alterations to signalling installations. It was therefore concerning for RAIB to discover, during our investigation of the collision at Waterloo last year, that some of these important changes were not reflected in the way that signalling modifications were being undertaken. Some of the people involved in the signalling work connected with upgrading Waterloo station and its approach tracks did not keep proper records of temporary works, or ensure that additional temporary wiring was shown on the design documents. Leaving that temporary wiring in place when it should have been removed led to a passenger train being diverted onto a blocked line and colliding with wagons. Compliance with the existing standards, developed since Clapham, would have provided the controls needed to stop temporary wiring being installed and used in the uncontrolled manner which resulted in this accident. These symptoms of a deep-seated problem should give us all pause for thought. How can organisations ensure that lessons from events that happened outside the personal experience of present-day railway people are taught and retained? Compliance with a standard comes more naturally to people when they understand the purpose of the requirement, and the consequences that may arise from disregarding it. We are recommending that Network Rail takes action to develop and reinforce a positive safety culture within the signal engineering profession as a whole, by putting in place processes to educate present and future staff about how and why the standards have been developed, and why these things matter. It’s also important to give people the skills to recognise and deal with non-compliant behaviour, whether that behaviour is by themselves or their colleagues. I believe that this accident at Waterloo starkly demonstrates why the lessons of Clapham should never be forgotten. SummaryAt around 05:42 hrs on Tuesday 15 August 2017, a passenger train was leaving London Waterloo station when it collided with a stationary engineering train at a speed of 13 mph (21 km/h). No injuries were reported but both trains were damaged and there was serious disruption to train services until the middle of the following day.The passenger train was diverted away from its intended route by a set of points which were positioned incorrectly as a result of uncontrolled wiring added to the signalling system. This wiring was added to overcome a problem that was encountered while testing signalling system modifications which were being made as part of a project to increase station capacity. The problem arose because the test equipment design process had not allowed for alterations being made to the signalling system after the test equipment was designed.The actions of a functional tester were inconsistent with the competence expected of testers. As a consequence, the uncontrolled wiring was added without the safeguards required by Network Rail signalling works testing standards, and remained in place when the line was returned to service.A project decision to secure the points in the correct position had not been implemented.An underlying factor was that competence management processes operated by Network Rail and some of its contractors had not addressed the full requirements of the roles undertaken by the staff responsible for the design, testing and commissioning of the signalling works.The RAIB has observed that there are certain similarities between the factors that caused the Waterloo accident and those which led to the serious accident at Clapham Junction in 1988. The RAIB has therefore expressed the concern that some of the lessons identified by the public inquiry, chaired by Anthony Hidden QC following Clapham, may be fading from the railway industry’s collective memory.RecommendationsAs a result of the investigation, the RAIB has made three recommendations. The first, addressed to Network Rail, seeks improvements in the depth of knowledge and the attitudes needed for signal designers, installers and testers to deliver work safely. Recommendations addressed to OSL Rail Ltd and Mott MacDonald Ltd seek development and monitoring of non-technical skills among the staff working for them.The RAIB has also identified four learning points. One highlights the positive aspects of a plan intended to mitigate an unusually high risk of points being moved unintentionally. The others reinforce the need to follow established procedures, prompt staff to clearly allocate duties associated with unusual activities and remind staff that up-to-date signalling documentation must be available and easily identified in relay rooms and similar locations.Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents said:last_img read more

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Text of Justice David Souter’s speech

first_imgWhen I was younger, I used to hear Harvard stories from a member of the class of 1885.  Back then, old graduates of the College who could get to Cambridge on Commencement Day didn’t wait for reunion years to come back to the Yard.  They’d just turn up, see old friends, look over the new crop, and have a cup of Commencement punch under the elms.  The old man remembered one of those summer days when he was heading for the Square after lunch and crossed paths with a newly graduated senior, who had enjoyed quite a few cups of that punch.  As the two men approached each other the younger one thrust out his new diploma and shouted, “Educated, by God.”Even with an honorary Harvard doctorate in my hands, I know enough not to shout that across the Yard, but the University’s generosity does make me bold enough to say that over the course of 19 years on the Supreme Court, I learned some lessons about the Constitution of the United States, and about what judges do when they apply it in deciding cases with constitutional issues.  I’m going to draw on that experience in the course of the next few minutes, for it is as a judge that I have been given the honor to speak before you.The occasion for our coming together like this aligns with the approach of two separate events on the judicial side of the national public life:  the end of the Supreme Court’s term, with its quickened pace of decisions, and a confirmation proceeding for the latest nominee to fill a seat on the court.  We will as a consequence be hearing and discussing a particular sort of criticism that is frequently aimed at the more controversial Supreme Court decisions:  criticism that the court is making up the law, that the court is announcing constitutional rules that cannot be found in the Constitution, and that the court is engaging in activism to extend civil liberties.  A good many of us, I’m sure a good many of us here, intuitively react that this sort of commentary tends to miss the mark.  But we don’t often pause to consider in any detail the conceptions of the Constitution and of constitutional judging that underlie the critical rhetoric, or to compare them with the notions that lie behind our own intuitive responses.  I’m going to try to make some of those comparisons this afternoon.The charges of lawmaking and constitutional novelty seem to be based on an impression of the Constitution, and on a template for deciding constitutional claims, that go together something like this.  A claim is made in court that the government is entitled to exercise a power, or an individual is entitled to claim the benefit of a right, that is set out in the terms of some particular provision of the Constitution.  The claimant quotes the provision and provides evidence of facts that are said to prove the entitlement that is claimed.  Once they have been determined, the facts on their face either do or do not support the claim.  If they do, the court gives judgment for the claimant; if they don’t, judgment goes to the party contesting the claim.  On this view, deciding constitutional cases should be a straightforward exercise of reading fairly and viewing facts objectively.There are, of course, constitutional claims that would be decided just about the way this fair reading model would have it.  If one of today’s 21-year-old college graduates claimed a place on the ballot for one of the United States Senate seats open this year, the claim could be disposed of simply by showing the person’s age, quoting the constitutional provision that a senator must be at least 30 years old, and interpreting that requirement to forbid access to the ballot to someone who could not qualify to serve if elected.  No one would be apt to respond that lawmaking was going on, or object that the age requirement did not say anything about ballot access.  The fair reading model would describe pretty much what would happen.  But cases like this do not usually come to court, or at least the Supreme Court. And for the ones that do get there, for the cases that tend to raise the national blood pressure, the fair reading model has only a tenuous connection to reality.Even a moment’s thought is enough to show why it is so unrealistic.  The Constitution has a good share of deliberately open-ended guarantees, like rights to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and freedom from unreasonable searches.  These provisions cannot be applied like the requirement for 30-year-old senators; they call for more elaborate reasoning to show why very general language applies in some specific cases but not in others, and over time the various examples turn into rules that the Constitution does not mention.But this explanation hardly scratches the surface.  The reasons that constitutional judging is not a mere combination of fair reading and simple facts extend way beyond the recognition that constitutions have to have a lot of general language in order to be useful over long stretches of time.  Another reason is that the Constitution contains values that may well exist in tension with each other, not in harmony.  Yet another reason is that the facts that determine whether a constitutional provision applies may be very different from facts like a person’s age or the amount of the grocery bill; constitutional facts may require judges to understand the meaning that the facts may bear before the judges can figure out what to make of them.  And this can be tricky.  To show you what I’m getting at, I’ve picked two examples of what can really happen, two stories of two great cases.  The two stories won’t, of course, give anything like a complete description either of the Constitution or of judging, but I think they will show how unrealistic the fair reading model can be.The first story is about what the Constitution is like.  It’s going to show that the Constitution is no simple contract, not because it uses a certain amount of open-ended language that a contract draftsman would try to avoid, but because its language grants and guarantees many good things, and good things that compete with each other and can never all be realized, all together, all at once.The story is about a case that many of us here remember.  It was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on June 26, 1971, and is known as the Pentagon Papers.  The New York Times and the Washington Post had each obtained copies of classified documents prepared and compiled by government officials responsible for conducting the Vietnam War.  The newspapers intended to publish some of those documents, and the government sought a court order forbidding the publication.The issue had arisen in great haste, and had traveled from trial courts to the Supreme Court, not over the course of months, but in a matter of days.  The time was one of high passion, and the claim made by the United States was the most extreme claim known to the constitutional doctrines of freedom to speak and publish.  The government said it was entitled to a prior restraint, an order forbidding publication in the first place, not merely one imposing a penalty for unlawful publication after the words are out.  The argument included an exchange between a great lawyer appearing for the government and a great judge, and the colloquy between them was one of those instances of a grain of sand that reveals a universe.The great lawyer for the United States was a man who had spent many Commencement mornings in this Yard.  He was Erwin Griswold, dean of the Law School for 21 years, who was serving a stint as solicitor general of the United States.  The great judge who questioned the dean that day was Mr. Justice Black, the first of the New Deal justices, whom Justice Cardozo described as having one of the most brilliant legal minds he had ever met with.  The constitutional provision on which their exchange centered was the First Amendment, which includes the familiar words that “Congress shall make no law …  abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”  Although that language by its literal terms forbade Congress from legislating to abridge free expression, the guarantees were understood to bind the whole government, and to limit what the president could ask a court to do.  As for the remainder of the provision, though, Justice Black professed to read it literally.  When it said there shall be no law allowed, it left no room for any exception; the prohibition against abridging freedom of speech and press was absolute.  And in fairness to him, one must say that on their face the First Amendment clauses seem as clear as the requirement for 30-year-old senators, and that no guarantee of the Bill of Rights is more absolute in form.But that was not the end of the matter for Dean Griswold.  Notwithstanding the language, he urged the court to say that a restraint would be constitutional when publication threatened irreparable harm to the security of the United States, and he contended there was enough in the record to show just that; he argued that the intended publications would threaten lives, and jeopardize the process of trying to end the war and recover prisoners, and erode the government’s capacity to negotiate with foreign governments and through foreign governments in the future.Justice Black responded that if a court could suppress publication when the risk to the national interest was great enough, the judges would be turned into censors.  Dean Griswold said he did not know of any alternative.  Justice Black shot back that respecting the First Amendment might be the alternative, and to that, Dean Griswold replied in words I cannot resist quoting:“The problem in this case,” he said, “is the construction of the First Amendment.“Now Mr. Justice, your construction of that is well-known, and I certainly respect it.  You say that no law means no law, and that should be obvious.  I can only say, Mr. Justice, that to me it is equally obvious that “no law” does not mean “no law,” and I would seek to persuade the Court that that is true.“As Chief Justice Marshall said, so long ago, it is a Constitution we are interpreting….”The government lost the case and the newspapers published, but Dean Griswold won his argument with Justice Black.  To show, as he put it, that “no law” did not mean “no law,” Dean Griswold had pointed out that the First Amendment was not the whole Constitution.  The Constitution also granted authority to the government to provide for the security of the nation, and authority to the president to manage foreign policy and command the military.And although he failed to convince the court that the capacity to exercise these powers would be seriously affected by publication of the papers, the court did recognize that at some point the authority to govern that Dean Griswold invoked could limit the right to publish.  The court did not decide the case on the ground that the words “no law” allowed of no exception and meant that the rights of expression were absolute.  The court’s majority decided only that the government had not met a high burden of showing facts that could justify a prior restraint, and particular members of the court spoke of examples that might have turned the case around, to go the other way.  Threatened publication of something like the D-Day invasion plans could have been enjoined; Justice Brennan mentioned a publication that would risk a nuclear holocaust in peacetime.Even the First Amendment, then, expressing the value of speech and publication in the terms of a right as paramount as any fundamental right can be, does not quite get to the point of an absolute guarantee.  It fails because the Constitution has to be read as a whole, and when it is, other values crop up in potential conflict with an unfettered right to publish, the value of security for the nation and the value of the president’s authority in matters foreign and military.  The explicit terms of the Constitution, in other words, can create a conflict of approved values, and the explicit terms of the Constitution do not resolve that conflict when it arises.  The guarantee of the right to publish is unconditional in its terms, and in its terms the power of the government to govern is plenary.  A choice may have to be made, not because language is vague but because the Constitution embodies the desire of the American people, like most people, to have things both ways.  We want order and security, and we want liberty.  And we want not only liberty but equality as well.  These paired desires of ours can clash, and when they do a court is forced to choose between them, between one constitutional good and another one.  The court has to decide which of our approved desires has the better claim, right here, right now, and a court has to do more than read fairly when it makes this kind of choice.  And choices like the ones that the justices envisioned in the Papers case make up much of what we call law.Let me ask a rhetorical question.  Should the choice and its explanation be called illegitimate law making?  Can it be an act beyond the judicial power when a choice must be made and the Constitution has not made it in advance in so many words?  You know my answer.  So much for the notion that all of constitutional law lies there in the Constitution waiting for a judge to read it fairly.Now let me tell a second story, not one illustrating the tensions within constitutional law, but one showing the subtlety of constitutional facts.  Again the story is about a famous case, and a good many of us here remember this one, too: Brown v. Board of Education from 1954, in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that racial segregation in public schools imposed by law was unconstitutional, as violating the guarantee of equal protection of the law.Brown ended the era of separate-but-equal, whose paradigm was the decision in 1896 of the case called Plessy v. Ferguson, where the Supreme Court had held it was no violation of the equal protection guarantee to require black people to ride in a separate railroad car that was physically equal to the car for whites.  One argument offered in Plessy was that the separate black car was a badge of inferiority, to which the court majority responded that if black people viewed it that way, the implication was merely a product of their own minds.  Sixty years later, Brown held that a segregated school required for black children was inherently unequal.For those whose exclusive norm for constitutional judging is merely fair reading of language applied to facts objectively viewed, Brown must either be flat-out wrong or a very mystifying decision.  Those who look to that model are not likely to think that a federal court back in 1896 should have declared legally mandated racial segregation unconstitutional.  But if Plessy was not wrong, how is it that Brown came out so differently?  The language of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws did not change between 1896 and 1954, and it would be hard to say that the obvious facts on which Plessy was based had changed, either.  While Plessy was about railroad cars and Brown was about schools, that distinction was no great difference.  Actually, the best clue to the difference between the cases is the dates they were decided, which I think lead to the explanation for their divergent results.As I’ve said elsewhere, the members of the Court in Plessy remembered the day when human slavery was the law in much of the land.  To that generation, the formal equality of an identical railroad car meant progress.  But the generation in power in 1954 looked at enforced separation without the revolting background of slavery to make it look unexceptional by contrast.  As a consequence, the judges of 1954 found a meaning in segregating the races by law that the majority of their predecessors in 1896 did not see.  That meaning is not captured by descriptions of physically identical schools or physically identical railroad cars.  The meaning of facts arises elsewhere, and its judicial perception turns on the experience of the judges, and on their ability to think from a point of view different from their own.  Meaning comes from the capacity to see what is not in some simple, objective sense there on the printed page.  And when the judges in 1954 read the record of enforced segregation it carried only one possible meaning: It expressed a judgment of inherent inferiority on the part of the minority race.  The judges who understood the meaning that was apparent in 1954 would have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution if they had not held the segregation mandate unconstitutional.Again, a rhetorical question.  Did the judges of 1954 cross some limit of legitimacy into law making by stating a conclusion that you will not find written in the Constitution?  Was it activism to act based on the current meaning of facts that at a purely objective level were about the same as Plessy’s facts 60 years before?  Again, you know my answer.  So much for the assumption that facts just lie there waiting for an objective judge to view them.Let me, like the lawyer that I am, sum up the case I’ve tried to present this afternoon.  The fair reading model fails to account for what the Constitution actually says, and it fails just as badly to understand what judges have no choice but to do.  The Constitution is a pantheon of values, and a lot of hard cases are hard because the Constitution gives no simple rule of decision for the cases in which one of the values is truly at odds with another.  Not even its most uncompromising and unconditional language can resolve every potential tension of one provision with another, tension the Constitution’s Framers left to be resolved another day; and another day after that, for our cases can give no answers that fit all conflicts, and no resolutions immune to rethinking when the significance of old facts may have changed in the changing world.  These are reasons enough to show how egregiously it misses the point to think of judges in constitutional cases as just sitting there reading constitutional phrases fairly and looking at reported facts objectively to produce their judgments.  Judges have to choose between the good things that the Constitution approves, and when they do, they have to choose, not on the basis of measurement, but of meaning.The fair reading model misses that, but it has even more to answer for.  Remember that the tensions that are the stuff of judging in so many hard constitutional cases are, after all, the creatures of our aspirations:  to value liberty, as well as order, and fairness and equality, as well as liberty.  And the very opportunity for conflict between one high value and another reflects our confidence that a way may be found to resolve it when a conflict arises.  That is why the simplistic view of the Constitution devalues our aspirations, and attacks that our confidence, and diminishes us.  It is a view of judging that means to discourage our tenacity (our sometimes reluctant tenacity) to keep the constitutional promises the nation has made.So, it is tempting to dismiss the critical rhetoric of lawmaking and activism as simply a rejection of too many of the hopes we profess to share as the American people.  But there is one thing more.  I have to believe that something deeper is involved, and that behind most dreams of a simpler Constitution there lies a basic human hunger for the certainty and control that the fair reading model seems to promise.  And who has not felt that same hunger?  Is there any one of us who has not lived through moments, or years, of longing for a world without ambiguity, and for the stability of something unchangeable in human institutions?  I don’t forget my own longings for certainty, which heartily resisted the pronouncement of Justice Holmes, that certainty generally is illusion and repose is not our destiny.But I have come to understand that he was right, and by the same token I understand that I differ from the critics I’ve described not merely in seeing the patent wisdom of the Brown decision, or in espousing the rule excluding unlawfully seized evidence, or in understanding the scope of habeas corpus.  Where I suspect we differ most fundamentally is in my belief that in an indeterminate world I cannot control, it is still possible to live fully in the trust that a way will be found leading through the uncertain future.  And to me, the future of the Constitution as the Framers wrote it can be staked only upon that same trust.  If we cannot share every intellectual assumption that formed the minds of those who framed the charter, we can still address the constitutional uncertainties the way they must have envisioned, by relying on reason, by respecting all the words the Framers wrote, by facing facts, and by seeking to understand their meaning for living people.That is how a judge lives in a state of trust, and I know of no other way to make good on the aspirations that tell us who we are, and who we mean to be, as the people of the United States.D.H.S.last_img read more

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Vahid Tarokh wins prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

first_imgVahid Tarokh, Perkins Professor of Applied Mathematics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.Tarokh is among 180 scientists, scholars, and artists chosen this year as Fellows from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada.The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selects candidates on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”Tarokh is the only person selected this year in the field of applied mathematics. The $35,000 fellowship will support his research, which aims to understand the spectral properties and pseudo-randomness of matrices constructed from deterministic structures such as codes, block designs, and graphs.“I’m very grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their support,” says Tarokh. “It gives me the opportunity to explore a high-risk idea that may have enormous potential applications.”last_img read more

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Africa’s love supreme

first_imgA conference April 11 at Harvard will examine varieties of “Love Supreme” in the faith traditions of the African diaspora. Scholars, students, artists, and elders will investigate and celebrate practices that, more often than not, were scattered through the world on the dark wings of the slave trade.“These are traditions that are right under people’s noses,” said co-organizer Funlayo E. Wood, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in African and African American Studies whose primary field is religion. “The more they learn, the more they see these traditions everywhere.”Wood directs the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association, now two years old. (A year ago, its first conference delved into the theme of divine spaces.) It is the only academic group in the United States devoted exclusively to studying the faith traditions indigenous to Africa as well as those of the African diaspora.The names of the faiths sound as venerable as the practices themselves. Ifá-Òrìsà is a spiritual practice that originated with the Yoruba of present-day Nigeria. (Wood is an Òrìsà priestess.) Akan traditions originated with the original people of parts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The rituals of Dagara arose out of present-day Burkina Faso. (Sobonfu Somé, a practitioner, will deliver the day’s keynote.) Vodou originated in Haiti when it was a French slave colony. Ifá, a West African divination system, is part of the Ifá-Òrìsà faith practiced at Ile Omo Ope, a shrine in Harlem.The shrine’s chief priest, Awo Oluwole Ifakunle Adetutu Alagbede, will open the conference Friday morning with a libation. Last year, he remarked on the stable and unpretentious ethic behind many diasporic traditions. “Christians look toward the sky,” he said of his water blessing. “We look toward the ground.”Registrants — 100 so far, with another 50 expected — will get a day of grounding in traditions that emphasize family, stability, and community. The dozen or so presenters and panelists will include American scholars and graduate students, a novelist (Jamaica Kincaid), a painter, a dancer, a filmmaker, and a sexuality counselor.The counselor, DeShannon Bowens, is a psychotherapist and interfaith minister who spoke at last year’s conference on the legacy of sexual trauma among people of African descent. This year she will talk about Ifá perspectives on sexuality and connection. “As an Òrìsà priestess of the Yoruba-Ifá tradition,” said Bowens, “I know African indigenous religious practitioners have something valuable to bring to conversations about sexuality and religion.” The sexuality panel has a lighter side too. For one, its called “Ooh Ahh Tcha Tcha: Hypersex, Healing Sex, and Sonic Ecstasy.” (The “sonic” refers to a presentation on Vodou’s ritual rattle by Kyrah M. Daniels, a Ph.D. candidate in the same Harvard program as Wood.)Daniels also helped organize the conference, along with first-year doctoral student Khytie Brown and Florida State University doctoral student Lisa Osunletia Beckley-Roberts.“Love and Devotion,” said Wood of the conference’s main themes. “It’s important to keep those in balance. Too much love can make you blind, too much devotion can make you a slave.” Negotiating those states of mind is important, she said, “and negotiation is part of what the conference seeks to explore.”Another panel will look at the “intimate spaces” of marriage, child rearing, and community building. In diasporic religious traditions from Africa “the language is a lot more relational,” said Wood, focusing on community and intimacy rather than simply personal salvation.The conference will include Zumbi Grey, who represents a sort of kinetic diaspora, though one with overtones of spirituality and community. He is a practitioner of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that originated a fighting practice that slaves disguised as a form of dance. (The root word comes from Angola.)Dancer, cultural anthropologist, and historian Nzinga Metzger will look at another kinetic angle — “Dancing in Love and Devotion for Òrìsà” — during an afternoon arts roundtable. “Art, music, and dance are hugely important within the practice of African traditions,” said Wood.“Film is a relatively new medium,” she added, “and it’s really important [for educating] people who don’t take classes or go to conferences.” (Filmmaker Dalian Adofo — co-director of the documentary “Ancestral Voices: Esoteric African Knowledge” — will be on the roundtable. A film festival on Saturday will follow the conference. Viewers are welcome at the Center for the Study of World Regions, 42 Francis Ave.)The Los Angeles visual artist Bernard Hoyes, set to participate in an afternoon arts roundtable, embodies the creative African diaspora. He grew up in Jamaica, with little formal schooling until age 10. Instead, he spent all his time with a great-aunt who led a “band”: a cult of believers, he said, who drew from their African roots a cosmology of heavenly, earthly, and “ground” spirits.There was also drumming, dancing, and — from Christian influences — hymn-singing and readings from the King James Bible. After all, elsewhere in the Caribbean Vodou had cloaked itself “in the guise of the saints,” said Hoyes. “We were able to embrace other religions, and still keep African religions.”By the time he moved to New York City, at 15, “my spiritual inclination was very deep,” Hoyes said. Becoming an artist seemed natural, although before moving back to Jamaica at 25 he had veered into a world of abstract art that left him unsatisfied. “All of a sudden I hit a wall,” said Hoyes, until “I realized my affiliation with the revived cults. Things started to come back to me.”Spirituality comes down to feeling a kind of ecstasy in the everyday world, and to feeling present in the world, he said of both his art and the conference. “You can live in struggle,” said Hoyes, “or you can live in the joy of your ancestors.”last_img read more

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B’way Alums Natalie Mendoza & Chris Peluso Tapped for Miss Saigon

first_img View Comments The heat is still on in Saigon! Broadway alums Natalie Mendoza and Chris Peluso, along with Siobhan Dillon and Sangwoong Jo, are joining the cast of Miss Saigon on May 11. Directed by Laurence Connor, the revival of the classic musical is playing at London’s Prince Edward Theatre.Mendoza takes on the role of Gigi and was last seen on stage as Imelda Marcos in the U.K. National Theatre’s Here Lies Love; her other credits include Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. Peluso is making his West End debut as Chris having most recently appeared in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on the Great White Way. Dillon will play Ellen; she recently starred as ‘Sally Bowles’ in Rufus Norris’s production of Cabaret. Jo is making his West End debut as Thuy.Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon, Miss Saigon is an epic love story about the relationship between an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman. Orphaned by war, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work as a bar girl in a sleazy Saigon nightclub, owned by a notorious wheeler-dealer known as “The Engineer.” John, an American GI, buys his friend Chris the services of Kim for the night—a night that will change their lives forever.Continuing in their roles are Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim and Hugh Maynard as John. At certain performances Tanya Manalang continues to play the role of Kim and Christian Rey Marbella will be playing the role of The Engineer.last_img read more

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