The Closing: Dov Hertz

first_imgDov Hertz (Photo by Studio Scrivo)Dov Hertz has left an indelible mark on New York’s skyline. Two marks, actually. Over the course of 14 years heading up acquisitions and assemblage for Extell Development, Hertz helped put together the sites for One57 and Central Park Tower — two supertalls that transformed not just the Big Apple’s physical appearance but also set the tone for how the real estate industry catered to the global superrich. Love ’em or hate ’em — and the shadow-casting, so-called “Swiss bank accounts in the sky” certainly have their haters — the buildings Hertz helped create represent a kind of ambition that defined the first two decades of the new millennium in New York. That work is echoed up and down Billionaires’ Row with projects like CIM Group and Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South and Michael Stern and Kevin Maloney’s 111 West 57th Street. While the first name that comes to mind when you think of Extell is founder Gary Barnett, Hertz was his man on the ground doing the deals. Then, at the age when most people are preparing for retirement, Hertz struck out on his own and founded DH Property Holdings, which focuses on industrial real estate.His development projects include a 350,000-square-foot e-commerce distribution center in Red Hook, fully leased to Amazon, and a 1.3 million-square-foot vertical warehouse in Sunset Park, billed as the largest project of its kind in the U.S.Born: December 4, 1956Lives: Hewlett, Long IslandHometown: Borough Park, BrooklynFamily: Married, six kidsWhat were your biggest takeaways from putting together One57 and Central Park Tower? Every site that I worked on — some of the more famous ones and some of the less — there’s the same rule: Most assemblage work is off-market deals, and to be successful in closing off-market deals, the seller has to understand that you’re not trying to pull a fast one, that you’re trying to work a deal that is mutually beneficial.If there’s a mistake I made somewhere, it’s that I overestimated my hand. And in those instances, I probably didn’t end up making the deal.What are your most effective negotiating tactics? I went into business with a guy named Armand Lasky, and in ’89 we borrowed money from a Japanese bank for a building in Philadelphia. It was a turnaround situation, and we realized our tenant was not covered by a [subordination and nondisturbance agreement]. So if a lender takes back the building, he can wipe out the lease. We knew that our angle to buy out this tenant was to let him know that he had vulnerability in his lease.Then the market crashed and we couldn’t sustain the building but he [the tenant] didn’t believe me, because who buys a building and six months later is giving it back to the bank? So I hired two Japanese actors to walk around and make a lot of noise in Japanese and the guy calls me the next day and he says, “What the hell is going on?” I said, “Well, they flew down from Japan and wanted to see what it is that they’re going to be taking back.” And he was willing to negotiate after that.How has assemblage changed? Pre-internet, it was possible to show up as somebody else and say, “I’m just looking to buy your building.” But those days are long gone.How did you get your start in real estate? My father started off in the insurance real estate business and moved on to real estate management and then investment. My first job outside the family business was as an office broker for a company called Gronich & Karr.They used to do old-fashioned canvassing where you’d walk into a building and find out who the tenants were and when their leases expired. You’d follow a tenant to their space and make conversation: “Hi, my name is Dov Hertz. I’m a leasing broker. Who can I talk to about your leases?” My first week on the job, I walked into an elevator in a building on Third Avenue. There were seven guys all around my age and nobody’s pressing a button, because nobody had anywhere to go. I’m looking around and I’m like, “We’re all brokers?”And how did you meet Gary Barnett and end up at Extell? We went to rabbinical college together but hadn’t kept up. I brought him a deal in Toronto and he offered me a job. He was just getting off the ground and needed a head of acquisitions. I think I was employee number four or five. I ended up staying there for close to 14 years.What was his pitch? I doubt he said, “We’re going to build the tallest condo building in New York.” His pitch was that he couldn’t do it all himself. He was the acquisitions guy, he was the development guy, he was it. We had gotten to know one another a lot better through this deal, and he said, “I’m impressed with your skill set, and I think we can grow this together.” I don’t know that he aspired at that point to necessarily change the landscape. He had a real estate business and he wanted to be successful. Gary is not an ego guy. What about you — do you think you have an ego? I think everybody has pride. You have pride in what you do, you want to be well received in the market, but the question is, what’s the driver? I don’t think it’s my ego that drives me. I want to be successful. I want to contribute. I want to leave a lasting contribution.But you’ve done that — you’ve built these skyscrapers. What are you looking for at this point? I’ve changed product types completely. The focus now is on industrial and primarily urban infill last-mile distribution. When I left Extell and opened up my own shop in November of 2016, e-commerce was really just starting to make noise, and I spent six months doing nothing but climbing into industrial in New York City.You can sell buildings to Prologis, but you’re also competing with them. Andrew Chung [of Innovo Property Group] is out there, too. What is your competitive advantage? There are a lot of good competitors in the market. Any of those guys you just mentioned are formidable competitors. I’ll see something that the other guy won’t, and maybe he’ll see something that I won’t.Do you think the shift from physical stores to e-commerce will change the city’s streetscape? I don’t think it’s going to change the cityscape. You’re still going to have buildings with retail on the ground floor, it’s just going to be the way they’re structured that’s different. For instance, you already see where clothing stores are taking less space; they’re more of a showroom than places people go to buy things.What do you think about the political climate around development now? I don’t understand how the agenda is beneficial for the city. Let’s forget the developer; I understand that no one’s concerned about the developer. But if you’re going to do what’s best for the people, then it has to be what’s best for the city. Amazon [HQ2] in Long Island City, for example, is an example of something that would’ve been good for the city.What do you make of the news that Jeff Bezos is stepping aside? I have no idea what to make of it. No one from Amazon called me and asked me to step into his shoes.If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be? I probably would have started my own shop earlier, because I would’ve had more runway. But then if I had started earlier, I probably would not have ended up focusing on industrial. Who knows what my portfolio would look like through this pandemic?What have you taken away from being a father? Learn to listen. I think that’s true in every aspect of your life. Listen to your children; listen to your employees; listen to your business associates.What do you do to unwind? I have a boat, and I love boating. I don’t like fishing. I just like being out. I love the feel of the speed. I like the ocean. I like the wind, the sun. What made you decide to leave and start up on your own? I was 59. I had always wanted to open my own shop, and I realized that the window was closing and it was either now or never. I don’t know that there are many people at my age who would walk away from a great job. I could’ve stayed there [at Extell] until the day I retired, I assume, and been happy. But I had the dream and went with it.This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Billionaires RowCommercial Real Estatedov hertzExtell Development Tags Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more


LaGrange County 4H Fair will take place as planned

first_img Pinterest LaGrange County 4H Fair will take place as planned Facebook Facebook Twitter By Jon Zimney – June 1, 2020 1 1337 Google+ CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Google+ Pinterest Twitter (Source: https://goo.gl/JL5vKP License: https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x) One local fair will continue as scheduled. The LaGrange County 4H Fair has announced that even with the ongoing pandemic they will continue with their scheduled dates of July 11th-18th.They will be changing some rules to help promote proper social distancing and to limit exposure. That includes making sure no animal says behind for the night. However, there has no word yet on whether or not they will require face masks and health checks.The following is the full release as seen on the groups Facebook page: WhatsApp Previous articleGoshen College announces COVID fueled changes ahead of fall semesterNext articleWhat protesters say they want Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. WhatsApplast_img read more


2 Sisters satisfies FSA auditors

first_imgFood Standards Agency audits into the 2 Sisters Food Group sites enmeshed in The Guardian poultry investigation have found both sites to be adequate.The audits were carried out following allegations in the broadsheet that the UK poultry industry was guilty of hygiene breaches that could spread the campylobacter bug.Best case outcome of the FSA audits is ‘good’, followed by ‘generally satisfactory’, ‘improvement necessary’ and ‘urgent improvement necessary’. 2 Sisters’ Scunthorpe plant was rated ‘good’ with Llangefni in Wales marked ‘generally satisfactory’.Health minister Jeremy Hunt ordered the inspections last week to reassure the public of the safety of food they buy.last_img read more


Live: Nationwide Series final practice 6:10 p.m. ET

first_imgWATCH: Final Laps: Harvick wins at Kansas View all articlesView all videos Live: Nationwide Series final practice 6:10 p.m. ET FULL SERIES COVERAGE View all photos WATCH: Patrick slams into wall on opening lap READ: Kansas curse hits Busch again WATCH: Kenseth, Logano have pit road problems MORE:last_img


Elephant Revival’s Dan Rodriguez On Fiery Bus Escape, Headlining Red Rocks And More

first_imgElephant Revival have had an amazing year of triumphs and tragedies already, and we’ve only just passed the halfway point. After seeing their first headlining show at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre sell out in May, one month later the band awoke to acrid smoke and a life or death fire on their tour bus. Luckily, all band and crew made it out of the inferno safely, though all their instruments and personal belongings were burnt to a crisp. The band soldiered on, playing not only their show that night but the rest of the run as well, on time and smiling.After having a few weeks to take stock and and put their upcoming festival appearances and summer shows in perspective, our own Rex Thomson had a chat with guitarist and core song writer for Elephant Revival Daniel Rodriguez about his terrifying awakening, the lessons he learned and the spirit that keeps him going.Live For Live Music: So… a lot has happened since the last time we chatted. You released a new album, Petals, headlined Red Rocks and survived a very scary bus fire. You folks seem to like to keep it exciting.Daniel Rodriguez: Oh yeah, all the time. The fire was not planned…the album was.L4LM: We’re very happy that you made it out okay. I hate to ask you to relive such a scary moment, but can you give us a little context on how it all happened?DR: The band flew into Nashville while our bus driver left Boulder to pick us up in there. We go onto the bus around ten o’clock at night and started heading towards Hickory, North Carolina. It’s probably a seven or an eight hour drive. On that drive, through the night…the AC units were fighting it. They were taking more power than the bus could give them and tripped the breakers. That was a uncomfortable night because the air wasn’t moving through the bunk area. But people needed to sleep so eventually we all drifted off despite all that.When it came close to time to wake up, around quarter to nine o’clock I woke up to Bonnie yelling “Smoke Smoke Smoke!’ Everybody yelling “Smoke!” That prompted me to wake up when I did I awoke to…an inferno. It was an electrical fire so it was burning crazy hot…it was just…uncontrollable. My blanket and sleeping bag were just raging on fire. I went into flight or flight mode and just got out of there in what I sleep in, which is just my underwear.We lost everything that was inside of the bus, minus a thing or two. Just…just a crazy scenario though. A bit traumatic for me, y’know…I woke up…basically in hell but the town of Hickory was so nice and kind. The fire department was amazing, the local stores that pitched in and the venue that we played. But yeah, we got out an got far enough away but we watched the insides just…go up in flames. Smoke billowing out. Our bus driver Carl…he was such a hero. He went into all the storage bays and got out all our amps. We kept yelling “Get the fuck away from the bus! Get the fuck away from the bus!” but he just kept going and saved all of our amps. Sadly all of our instruments and belongings inside just went up in flames.Telling the story is actually is getting easier and easier. After it first happened, for like, the first week…I would tell the story and my adrenal glands would open up and I would be right back there. Now I can tell it and just see it in my mind instead of feeling it all over.L4LM: It’s pretty impressive that you managed to play your show that night on borrowed instruments and a day of craziness. What was that show like for you? DR: It was just wild, given the circumstances of what had happened. We didn’t have any belongings or instruments except for a couple amps. The opening band, the Forlorn Strangers featuring the West End String Band, loaned us all their instruments. Bridget was on a fiddle she had never played before, I was on a guitar I’d never played before…They were all just so kind. The audience that night was incredibly ecstatic. One interesting thing…during sound check…the lighting guy decided to check out the smoke machines. I freaked a bit and snapped “Turn those [email protected]#$ing things off!” He was really cool about it and realized I wasn’t being a jerk, I was just kinda on edge. But the show itself… it was beautiful. The whole community came out. Everyone who had helped us came out. It was a truly powerful show. Everyone gave us so much energy and we gave what little we had left back to them. It was really magical…a magical night. We played again the next day and by the end we played all the shows we had set out to do. It didn’t feel like we were doing anything too amazing…we just did what we do.L4LM: Sometimes, in facing death unexpectedly like you did, perspectives change.  Any altering of your world views you care to share?DR: I never really knew what trauma felt like, until that night, after the show. I just busted out in uncontrollable crying. The week following there were times when my muscles would just…release. And it just made me think of all the refugees and innocent people in the world who are experiencing war, or waking up to bombs being dropped. Seeing their family and friends killed.I was able to go home eventually. Sleep in. Get a massage. But there are too many people out there who don’t get that. They have to get up and walk to whatever country will take them in. These people saw their communities destroyed, saw the people they love die. That really puts the world into perspective. What we dealt with is nothing compared to what a lot of people face daily.I just hope all those people have the same chance we did. To finally come out of what they’re going through and make it to the other side. To be able to smile.L4LM: Speaking of special shows…how was it walking out on the Red Rocks stage as the headliner?DR: Man…Red Rocks was just amazing. In a way, it feels like the whole year builds to Red Rocks. I don’t want to say anything to diminish the importance of all of our shows…but there’s just something about Red Rocks. The natural wonder of the place. I tried not to think about it leading up to the show because I didn’t want to get my nerves up. When we walked out the general admission had sold out…the opening bands had just played their hearts out…the crowd, they were ready for us. When we got out there under that full moon…Ahhhh. Everything was just…I don’t really know how to put it into words. Now I can’t wait for the next Red Rocks show.L4LM: The new album, Petals, is a step forward for the band musically and production wise. How happy are you with the record?DR: I don’t tend to listen to it. Every time we’ve recorded an album I haven’t listened to it much after we’re done. I remember having the sense of it feeling and sounding adventurous. It has a completely different sound than our previous albums. It was the first album with since our friend Sage left the band…our first album with our newest member Charlie.It was a bunch of new tunes…tunes we hadn’t really played live before. The previous albums there were songs we had played for years…we had them down, and arranged. But these were new, and we were new. so we took the songs and said “Well, what are we going to do with them?” We went into the studio with that attitude and we came out with Petals.In some senses it feels under-produced, but I love that. I definitely prefer under-produced as opposed to over-produced. It’s that space, in songs…I like open spaces. I’d rather have space than clutter. I’ve fallen in love with all the songs. I’m incredibly excited to see how they develop live. People already seem to be receiving them well, which is nice. I’m pretty happy with what we did.L4LM: Multi-instrumentalist Charlie Rose has joined the band and brought a few new sounds to performances with his banjo, mandolin and pedal steel work. He’s a longtime band friend…how are you finding life with him as a part of Elephant Revival ensemble?DR: It’s really great with Charlie. He’s a solid professional and a good hang. Phenomenal musician. He can write a good song too. He came in with a very positive attitude. He was happy to come into a project that already had some momentum, and he really wanted to add to it. He’s added a real energy and pizzaz which I think is exciting. And the pedal steel…it’s such a god sound. So powerful and ethereal. After a decade with the same ingredients it was enlightening to add to the mix.L4LM: It seems that, with the exception of fiddler Bridget Law, everybody in the band has multiple instruments they can play with equal skill. Heck, Bonnie Paine alone plays like forty different things! Did you guys work out some kind of deal where you get paid more by the piece?DR: I think Bridget, Dango and I would get the short end of the stick on that one so I certainly don’t think I endorse that idea. We’re always just so grateful and in awe of all the things that Bonnie plays and Charlie plays. She sings like no one else you’ve ever heard…she sings like an angel. Then she sits down and plays the saw, and if she didn’t already have your undivided attention, she had it for sure then. But as for getting paid more for playing more things…I don’t know about all that one…L4LM: Sometimes Elephant Revival even goes in the opposite direction and does the occasional number a cappella. Are you just trying to catch your breath during an intense show?DR: Well, it is nice to put down your gear every once in a while. Really, I think we’ve grown to understand the power of these A Capella songs that Bonnie writes. Even when we’re playing all out on our instruments there are still people distracted, talking, looking at their phones. This or that, y’know. Aware but not fully present. But what’s remarkable to me is if we do an a cappella number and Bonnie’s voice rings out…everybody is with us, everybody is there. It has revealed itself as one of the most powerful parts of our sets. The harmonies, which we’re getting better at…when Bonnie’s voice is the only thing that carries out…it’s just awesome.Listen to the band show off their pipes on an exclusive video of the new a cappella tune “I Won’t Die Early.”L4LM: Fair enough. You occasionally get pulled away from your six string duties to play a little percussion. Is this a welcome break for you or would you rather be strumming?DR: Oh, I love percussion. One of my favorite things to do is play percussion. The djembe. I used to play in a drum group back on the East Coast. It was one of my first instruments. It brings a new element to my energy at live gigs. I know it’s just usually one song but I get so pumped up. “Rouge River” is such an energetic song to play. L4LM: Everybody likes to hit things!DR: Yeah it’s fun man! I know it’s only one song but I get so jazzed. I always come away with like a bruised knuckle or a cut…L4LM: The music on Petals seem a bit darker and more deliberate. Would you say that’s a fair assessment of the tone of the material and was this a conscious decision to head in this direction?DR: I think it’s safe to say that. We came to our producer Sam Kassirer with around forty songs. It could have been just the mood he was in that he picked this batch of tunes. It may have helped thjat he was a fan of some of our slower stuff, which can feel darker at times. Overall, there’s kind of a darker tone. On our past releases we’ve always thrown in a couple of naturey songs that kinda lift the tone. On this one we just went with what the producer was picking.L4LM: How hard is it to write a song for the band when you have so many possible dimensions available at the same time? And do you tailor your writing to the band’s sound, or do you feel like your contributions to the band reflect your voice basically?DR: I have like, a hundred songs. I pretty much just bring songs to the table, whatever people react to the most joyously, whatever fits in most with the ER sound…we just go with that. Sometimes I’ll be writing and I’ll feel one coming out as a perfect Elephant Revival songs…other times not so much.  But then on occasion everyone likes a song I was sure wasn’t gonna go over well so…You just never know.Listen to “Stolen,” a sad song of the sea from the album Petals Below:L4LM: Elephant Revival’s fan base is a dedicated and soulful bunch. What’s it like, watching your fans go on an emotional journey from laughter to tears and back again during your shows?DR: Amazing. To just witness how our music affects our fans. Sometimes I’ll look over and Bonnie will be crying during our shows. We all feel the emotions of our music strongly. It’s the state we were creating this music from, and a place we revisit when we play it. Our fans go right along with us. I love our fans. They’re the best, I would say. They seem to come to our shows for all the right reasons.They seem to be in touch with the power. The power of what music can do. It’s about more than just being entertained. I’m sure they like being entertained as well, but our fans seem to really enjoy getting swept away in the emotion we’re sharing with them. That’s what we want! We love our fans. I’m a fan of our fans.L4LM: Since the band seems to enjoy taking things to extremes, when are you guys going to go full opposite and incorporate some turntables and sequencers? Drop the bass already! DR: I just saw Paul Simon onstage the other day before we played Red Rocks, and he had a computer onstage with him. I don’t know man…if Paul Simon is doing it, I think it might be okay…L4LM: If Paul Simon jumped off a cliff, would you?DR: Depends on what he was playing. Maybe we’ll keep it old school and bring one of those original computers that took up huge rooms. We could load that into an eighteen wheeler and haul it on the road with us…L4LM: You could actually play ON the computer!DR: Yeah…we could set up on top of the computer! We could give away punch cards…L4LM: We’re doing this interview at the High Sierra Music Festival where you were joined by the patron saint of festivals himself, Vince Herman. Can you tell us a bit about his relationship with the band?DR: Vince has been a mentor of sorts…to us all. I think Dango was the first one who came into contact with him. He was playing in a bluegrass band up in Nederland and Vince was a mentor to them before any of us met. And then Bonnie came into Vince’s world through a parade he had at a festival. It just so happens that the house we had was right next door to his. So for a couple years it was just great…hanging out with him, playing with him, eating meals with him.We just learned so much. He had all these records from all these bands…he would have these incredible picks over at his house…it was like going to college, those years. All these amazing players would come over…he has all this gravity, in life but especially in the music world. It was captivating to watch him be himself those years. He’s a mentor that turned into one of our best friends. Love that guy.L4LM: Is there ever a situation that couldn’t be improved by adding Vince Herman?DR: Vince Herman’s spirit could improve any place or any time.L4LM: Well, for Live For Live Music and myself I want to say we’re glad you made it out of your ordeal shaken but unscathed and we can’t wait to hear what you do next.  Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!DR: Thank you! Thanks for listening.A fan based Go Fund Me has been started to help the band replace some of the more personal items, especially the many hand crafted instruments lost in the blaze. You can donate to them HERE.last_img read more


Watch The Entirety Of Umphrey’s McGee’s Killer Late-Night Bonnaroo Set [Pro-Shot]

first_imgThis year, at Bonnaroo, jam band royalty Umphrey’s McGee returned to The Farm for their 9th year at the massive festival held in Manchester, Tennessee. Ahead of the festival, following news that Simon Posford (perhaps better known as the DJ behind Shpongle) could not secure a visa in time, Umphrey’s McGee was tapped to take over Posford’s scheduled late night performance in That Tent on Saturday, June 10th. With a long-standing history of tearing up Bonnaroo late nights—the band is still notorious for their late night set in 2012 that raged on until the sun rose—Umphrey’s McGee gladly accepted the offer, putting on a shred-heavy hour-long set ahead of their daytime performance the next day at the Which Stage.Umphrey’s McGee Invites Jen Hartswick, Roosevelt Collier, And Snarky Puppy Members At Red Rocks Run [Video/Photos]Bonnaroo clearly holds a special place in the members of Umphrey’s hearts. In an interview with Red Bull TV during their time at the festival, bassist Ryan Stasik and guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss talked about why the event holds particularly gravity over the band. As Stasik noted, “It’s special because it’s unlike any other festival. It’s huge, it’s almost overwhelming sometimes, you get a little bit of everything. It’s almost like the Super Bowl, if you want to make a sports analogy. It’s just special.” Later, Bayliss interjected, “No other festival has had us nine times, so it’s gonna mean more to us.”Watch Umphrey’s McGee’s Rock Out With Their Kids At Dominican Holidaze [Pro-Shot]You can watch Umphrey’s full performance below, courtesy of the band. You can also check out the full setlist below, which also contains timestamps to denote the start of each song, courtesy of Youtube userparnesj. Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Bonnaroo Music Festival | Manchester, TN | 6/10/2017One Set: Bathing Digits -> 1348 [1:54], Bad Friday [12:45], Bridgeless -> [22:45] Day Nurse [34:10], Booth Love -> [43:40] Frankie Zombie [57:00], Higgins -> [1:04:35], Bridgeless [1:21:25]Encore: Encore Intro [1:27:45], The Floor [1:28:08]last_img read more


Facts Over Fear

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Opinions represented in this analysis are those of the author, Justin Gould, and do not represent WNY Media Company, its brands or advertisers.JAMESTOWN – Most weekends, generally on Saturday mornings, my girlfriend and I visit the Lakewood Wegmans to do our weekly grocery shopping.Like many in the community, we only buy enough supplies for the week ahead.On Friday night we decided to shop early, in an effort to beat the crowds expected due to the Coronavirus outbreak. What we saw at Wegmans was not only concerning, but also a bit disappointing. Not towards the store, as they are doing the best they can with the cards they have been dealt, but with society. Items like ground beef, pasta and rice were sold out. Additionally, there was a limited supply of canned soup, bottled water and mac and cheese. Workers at the store say much needed items like, toilet paper, will likely be restocked late next week.Fellow shoppers seemed calm amid a “rush” to stock up. The question I pose is “Why the rush?” Health officials say there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, in Chautauqua County.  There are two people in a precautionary quarantine. One of them met criteria to be tested for the virus and heath officials are now awaiting those results.With that said, I ask again, “Why the rush?” One plausible answer, and it hurts to say this, the news media.Today’s 24 hour news cycle is detrimental to people’s well being during the outbreak causing panic and fear.Part of what drives feelings of anxiety is a lack of information. The virus is new, and there remain many questions about the illness it causes. Most people haven’t had it, nor do they know someone who has.The good news is, for most people, the illness caused by the coronavirus is generally mild and the flu-like symptoms of fever and cough don’t last long. The bad news is the virus is novel and highly contagious, and right now there is no vaccine. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems or chronic diseases can become very sick and in some cases die.Sure, large cities like New York should take action. As we’ve seen in China, the virus spread rapidly. Mainly caused by the large population mass that calls the nation home.Here in Western New York, Chautauqua County specifically, I agree with health officials that while there is need for concern and preparedness; there is no need for panic.If the risk to most people is mild to moderate symptoms, why does it feel as if the world is shutting down?Public health officials are trying to control the infectivity curve. If cases go up too fast and too high, the people who need health care will be crowding hospitals all at once, making it impossible for everybody who needs it to get care.We can not let fear control our life. We can not let society shut down. At the same time, we can not ignore the warnings.Christine Schuyler, the director of Health and Human Services, says the virus most impacts those age 65 or older; those with underlying health conditions such as heart, lung, kidney, neurologic, or liver disease or diabetes; those with compromised immune systems or who are  pregnant.  Schuyler says anyone in these high risk categories should be extra vigilant about respiratory, hand hygiene and avoid gatherings of ten people or more.If you are ill stay home and avoid others. If you have a fever and worsening symptoms of respiratory illness such cough and difficulty breathing, Schuyler says call your healthcare provider for advisement.If you have a per existing condition or are elderly, you probably should be extra cautious, but not panicked.So, what’s the take away from all this? I say, live your life, don’t panic, but at the same time be vigilant and follow the recommendations from our local health officials. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water, disinfect dirty surfaces and cough into your armpit. The national news is covering just that, the national story. Our story starts with the facts, the facts that effect our family, friends and neighbors. Facts that come from LOCAL officials.The media has an important role to play. It must dispense accurate information without being sensational, and it must avoid exploiting people’s fears. We will continue to cover the story, we will continue to put the facts first.last_img read more


The Sound and the Fury Returns Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments The Sound and the Fury will once again play off-Broadway. The show, directed by John Collins and created by Elevator Repair Service, will begin previews in The Public Theater’s Martinson Theater on May 14, 2015 and run through June 13. Opening night is scheduled for May 21.The Sound and the Fury is based on William Faulkner’s celebrated novel of the same name and follows the fictional Compson family of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. A once noble clan descended from a Civil War hero, the family falls victim to racism, greed and selfishness, embodying the clash between changing times and old ideals in the post-Civil War era. The play covers Part One of Faulkner’s novel, April Seventh, 1928.The ensemble cast is set to include Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Randolph Curtis Rand, Greig Sargeant, Kaneza Schaal, Susie Sokol, Lucy Taylor, Tory Vazquez and Ben Williams.The Sound and the Fury will feature scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Colleen Werthmann, lighting design by Mark Barton and sound design by Matt Tierney.last_img read more


ConAgra resumes pot pie production after heeding USDA concerns

first_imgNov 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – ConAgra Foods announced recently that it resumed production of pot pies brands that were linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak in October after making some changes that were prompted by an investigation by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).Environmental testing at the Marshall, Mo., plant that produced the recalled pot pies found no traces of Salmonella, ConAgra said in a Nov 14 press release. The company also said the Salmonella strain involved in the outbreak appears to be limited to only Banquet turkey pot pies produced on Jul. 13, 2007 and Jul. 31, 2007, according to state findings and the company’s own laboratory testing.The outbreak associated with ConAgra’s pot pies, which involved Salmonella serotype I4,[5],12:i:-, sickened 272 patients in 35 states, according to the latest update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The USDA sent ConAgra a formal notice on Oct 23 listing concerns the agency had after its inspectors visited the plant, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. The company developed a plan responding to the USDA’s concerns, which the USDA approved on Nov 8, the AP report said.USDA spokeswoman Amanda Eamich said details of the inspectors findings could be released only through a Freedom of Information Act request, the AP reported. However, she revealed that inspectors noted a record-keeping problem and a concern about ConAgra’s HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan.ConAgra said in its statement that the company has developed enhanced protocols for its ready-to-cook product manufacturing plants, which include stricter testing systems for ingredients coming into the plants and further testing of finished products.The company also said it revised the pot pie cooking instructions to make them easier to follow and to help eliminate any confusion over cooking times.”Any lapse in the safety of our food is unacceptable, and I know the steps we’ve taken will make a positive difference and help us provide consumers and customers with safe, wholesome products,” said Gary Rodkin, ConAgra’s chief executive officer, in the press statement.Shipments of the pot pies to retail stores will begin in December and will be available to consumers as early as January, the company said.USDA inspectors will monitor ConAgra’s procedural changes over the next 90 days, the AP report said.See also:Nov 14 ConAgra press releaseOct 29 CDC updateOct 12 CIDRAP News story “ConAgra recalls pot pies as Salmonella cases rise”last_img read more


IOM: US likely to need bigger antiviral stockpile

first_imgApr 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US government will need to expand its stockpile of antiviral drugs if the goal is to have enough doses to treat all patients and provide preventive treatment for some others at risk in an influenza pandemic, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says in a report issued today. See also: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should launch a national effort to develop a prioritization plan for antiviral treatment and prophylaxis in a pandemic, similar to the existing program for pandemic flu vaccine allocation. The plan should be designed to be adjusted as needed during a pandemic. IOM report Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza; Guidance on Developing a Distribution and Dispensing Programhttp://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12170 The overall goal for the national stockpile is 81 million courses of antivirals, including 50 million in the federal stockpile and 31 million in state stockpiles. As of March, the federal stockpile contained 49.9 million courses, and the states had bought 21.7 million courses, for a combined total of 71.6 million, according to the IOM. About 80% to 85% of the stockpile is oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and the rest is zanamivir (Relenza). The nation currently has about 71 million treatment courses of antivirals in federal and state stockpiles, with a goal of 81 million courses, the report says. But in a pandemic, it might take more than twice that amount to treat sick patients and offer preventive doses to people at risk for exposure on the job, it asserts. HHS should support and fund public health agencies to develop or expand information systems for tracking who receives antivirals. The government should consider using recently expired drugs that are in supplies outside the SLEP if a pandemic causes a shortage. The authors also write that a pandemic could arise shortly after large state or private supplies of antivirals have expired, even though they might still be usable. Hence, the authors recommend that HHS “develop a process to use the knowledge acquired by FDA in the operation of the Shelf-Life Extension Program to facilitate the use of properly stored recently expired medications” found in supplies outside the program, if needed because of a shortage. The 109-page report, titled Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza: Guidance on Developing a Distribution and Dispensing Program, was prepared by an eight-member committee chaired by June M. Osborn, MD, president emerita of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. The government should set up a federal advisory panel, similar to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, to provide advice on public health and medical responses to a pandemic, including antiviral use. However, because of the limited size of the national antiviral stockpile and the unclear goals for its use, “the committee was unable to provide specific guidance in regard to best methods and sites for dispensing,” the report summary states. Healthcare and emergency workers who are in short supply and face repeated exposure to flu should be first in line for preventive antiviral treatment in a pandemic, followed by other healthcare and emergency workers and then by household contacts of flu patients. Accordingly, says the report, “The committee recommends that the federal government clarify the national goals for antiviral use in an influenza pandemic. If these goals include treatment of all anticipated cases and a level of prophylaxis, fiscal appropriations will be needed to expand the national stockpile to meet these goals.” The report says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last December approved Roche’s application to extend the shelf life for oseltamivir in government stockpiles from 5 to 7 years. Under the FDA’s SLEP, batches of drugs are tested several months before their expiration to determine their viability. But the program does not include state or other nonfederal stockpiles. In recommending that the SLEP be expanded, the IOM notes that the idea has been under discussion at HHS. “Providing any level of prophylaxis with existing drug supplies would require limiting the proportion to be used for treatment,” the report states. For example, “Well more than twice the existing goal of 81 million [courses] would be needed to treat 25 percent of the population and provide outbreak and postexposure prophylaxis to broadly defined groups with occupational exposure.” Public health agencies and private sector entities should develop agreements to promote trust, collaboration, and coordination concerning the use of antivirals. Fuzzy goals”Based on federal government documents, it is not yet clear whether the goal of antiviral use is treatment, or a combination of treatment and prophylaxis,” the IOM says. The Homeland Security Council’s pandemic flu strategy says plans call for using antivirals only for treatment once a pandemic is under way. But HHS’s pandemic flu plan gives recommendations on the use of antivirals for treatment and prophylaxis throughout a pandemic. Some other recommendations in the report: As noted in the document, health officials hope that antiviral drugs will help the nation cope during the first several months of a pandemic, when no vaccine closely matched to the emerging virus will be available. The IOM committee was assigned to recommend best practices and policies for implementing a program of treatment and prophylaxis. The federal government, in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments, should “support the development of a national ethical framework to guide the allocation of antivirals (and other scarce health resources) during a severe influenza pandemic.” An IOM committee of experts asserts that the government needs to clarify its goals concerning antiviral use in a pandemic, because current planning documents are fuzzy on prophylactic use of the drugs. To supplement the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, HHS should consider additional options for gathering information about antiviral-related adverse events, such as a network of sentinel sites. The Shelf-Life Extension Program (SLEP) for antivirals in the federal stockpile—which extends the official shelf life for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) by 2 years—should be expanded to include state and private-sector antiviral stockpiles. In other key recommendations, the IOM report says:last_img read more