Force Structure – Tech Com Forces Fri, 14 Jan 2022 23:04:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Force Structure – Tech Com Forces 32 32 Pianist Igor Levit at Carnegie Hall Fri, 14 Jan 2022 22:26:00 +0000

New York

Although Russian-German pianist Igor Levit has won acclaim for recordings of Bach and Beethoven, his eclectic tastes reach far beyond the classical music canon. During the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Levit live-streamed, on Twitter, more than 50 concerts from his Berlin apartment, playing everything from Brahms, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich to the piano rags of William Bolcom and Scott Joplin. The longtime Metallica fan is the only classical pianist to cover a song – “Nothing Else Matters” – on the band’s 53-track tribute album, “The Metallica Blacklist.”

And Mr. Levit’s well-attended recital at Carnegie Hall last night in the 2,800-seat Stern Auditorium included the world premiere of a piece by veteran jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch, who created the arrangement of “Nothing Else Matters” for him. The program will be repeated at the Symphony Center in Chicago on Sunday; later this month, Mr. Levit has concerto engagements with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (January 20-22) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (January 27, 29-30).

Stubborn and politically involved, Mr Levit, 34, has appeared on talk shows in Germany and once performed ‘Danny Boy’ in a clearing for a Greenpeace protest. At Carnegie, he was dressed in black and periodically bent over the piano, as if listening to some particular artistic effect.

Variations on a Folk Song by Mr. Hersch, an exploration of “O Shenandoah,” was one of the two standout performances of the evening. It underlined Mr. Levit’s affinity for the theme-and-variations form, a series of pieces derived from an initial musical idea. (Already, his discography for Sony Classical includes Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations, and similar works constructed by 20th-century composers Frederic Rzewski and Ronald Stevenson.) the pianist’s ability to immerse himself so deeply in each segment where he seemed to have a private dialogue with the music.

In his new piece, Mr. Hersch – who draws on jazz and classical traditions in his mostly tonal music – lays out the simple melody of “O Shenandoah” at the start and in the first two of 20 variations, then returns to it at the end. . . In between, snippets of the song or intimations of it in the beats can be heard. More classically oriented than M. Hersch’s “Pastorale (dedicated to Robert Schumann)”, which American pianist Conrad Tao masterfully performed at the 92nd Street Y in December, Variations is a captivating addition to the solo piano repertoire. . The louder and faster third variation suggests a Colandish barn dance, with appealing splashes of dissonance. In a few later variations, it looks like Mr. Hersch is channeling Chopin. One of them had a nostalgic tango nuevo feel to it. Mr. Levit wisely dispatched each section with ease, revealing his kaleidoscope of shifting emotions along the way.

The other defining performance was Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, which closed the concert. With its fearsome double-octave passages, this roughly 30-minute work is not for the faint-hearted or weak-fingered. But the score also requires playing with extreme delicacy and great sensitivity, in which Mr. Levit excels. It provided plenty of visceral passion and excitement where it was needed, but also showed a solid understanding of the sonata’s overall structure, unifying its contrasting segments. Sometimes the pianist couldn’t muster enough strength for virtuoso right-hand passages. Yet he may have had something in store – within minutes of the work’s conclusion, Mr. Levit’s double octaves reached gale-force wind speed and thunderous volume. At the end, when the sonata makes a final statement on the ominous, ice-paced, bass-driven descending octaves that open the piece, the pianist has conveyed a sense of rest, or, at least, a truce between its contrasting thematic components. .

The program opened with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109, which Mr. Levit recorded on his 2013 debut album for Sony Classics. The pianist possesses the perfect lightness of touch for the repertoire of the 18th century. But at Carnegie, some of the passages in the opening movement seemed uneven or rushed; there were missed opportunities for interpretative nuance. The Prestissimo spun without perceptible character. But then came the last movement—a haunting, introspective andante with six variations. The opening chords had a reflective quality. The first aria-like variation had a touch of nostalgic nostalgia. The long and rapid trills of the sixth variation were beautifully executed.

The recital also included a transcription of the Prelude from “Tristan and Isolde” by Richard Wagner (arranged by pianist Zoltán Kocsis). For an encore, Mr. Levit played Liebestod’s transcription of Wagner’s Liebestod which ends the opera, reconnecting perfectly with the “Prelude” played earlier and introducing Liszt as both composer and arranger.

Mr. Levit’s first two solo appearances at Carnegie, in 2017 and 2018, were in his 600-seat Zankel Hall. But it’s clear from the cheers, whistles and cheers that erupted at the end of yesterday’s recital that the pianist has not only developed a wider following here since then, but is able to connect with his audience. in a significative way.

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King says supporting voter rights legislation is the most important vote he’ll get in his life Thu, 13 Jan 2022 02:01:50 +0000

Senator Angus King of Maine took to national television Wednesday night on the eve of what should be a long and historic debate on voting rights legislation to say democracy is in danger if the legislation is not adopted by the Senate.

In an interview with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, King said Americans overwhelmingly support voter rights legislation and indicated that he would be willing to change the Senate obstruction rule if that could ensure the adoption of legislation on voting rights.

“And here’s one of the ironies. This bill that we will be debating is bipartisan everywhere except the United States Senate. A poll just released today, over 60% of Americans want easy mail voting. They want postal voting. They want Election Day to be a public holiday, ”King told Wallace. “They support all of the provisions of the bill that we are talking about. They are Democrats and Republicans. But it is a totally partisan effort here in the Senate to block (the passage).

King appeared with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday to talk about the importance of passing voting rights legislation despite the lack of support from Republicans. King, an independent, caucus with the Democrats.

“We have been working on this subject for a year, and we have had virtually no contact (from Republicans), no discussion on how to deal with these issues which are in the Free Voting Law and the Voting Law. John Lewis’ voting rights, ”King said. “I believe the vote taken this week is the most important vote I will ever take in my life. Not because of a problem, but because of the structure of democracy itself.

“Democracy is fragile, it’s unusual. The great British historian Arnold Toynbee once said: “Civilizations commit suicide, they are not murdered. I don’t want that to happen in the United States of America.

Lacking a voice to change the filibuster rules, Senate Democrats are pursuing a new strategy regarding their sweeping voting and election legislation: launching a debate without the assurance of a vote in order to force a public confrontation over it. the issue, the Associated Press reported. By hosting a debate, Schumer will achieve the Democrats’ goal of shining the spotlight that prompts senators to say where they stand. The debate on the ground could stretch for days and carry echoes of civil rights battles a generation ago that led to some of the most notorious obstructions in Senate history.

Democrats have pledged to counter a wave of restrictive new election laws inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims about a stolen election. But after a first wave of activity, Democrats’ efforts have stalled in the tightly divided Senate, where they lack the 60 votes to overcome a Republican obstruction, which has led to their calls for a rule change.

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Fayetteville inaugurates a new downtown car park Tue, 11 Jan 2022 07:04:52 +0000

FAYETTEVILLE – A new parking lot will serve as the starting point for a transformation project to revitalize the city center, city officials and private landlords said on Monday.

The lot northwest of Dickson Street and West Avenue will house a five-story parking lot with a police station and retail and office space included. City administrators worked for two years to negotiate a public-private partnership with landowners Greg House and Ted Belden and their Dickson and West Investment LLC. The project has an estimated cost of $ 13.2 million, mostly using money from voters in the city of Art Corridor bond issuance approved in April 2019.

The bridge will replace wasted spaces once the parking lot at the Walton Arts Center becomes the civic space of the Arts Corridor, known as the Ramble. The wording of the bond issue specified that a parking lot had to be completed before construction of civic space could begin, although a specific location was left for discussion.

City council authorized Mayor Lioneld Jordan to negotiate a land deal for the bridge in January 2020. Council members approved a framework for the deal with House and Belden in March and approved the construction contract for the project in December .

“We’ve come a very long way to get to this point today,” Jordan told the crowd, which was made up mostly of city employees and representatives of downtown businesses. “This innovation lasted two years – as long as a Cecil B. DeMille film.”

DeMille was a pioneer of American cinema known for the epic scale of his images.

The bridge will be used by the public for other than parking, Jordan said. Private businesses and offices will contribute to the city’s economy, and a police station will increase security in the entertainment district, he said.

“The Ramble will be a space that everyone can enjoy,” Jordan said. “It will do a lot to revitalize our downtown area.”

Steve Clark, president of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, said the bridge and its intended features will support the amenities people come to experience downtown. Visitors can rest assured knowing that they won’t have to spend too much time trying to find a place to park, he said.

“Parking is incidental,” Clark said. “It is not the driving force.”

House called the entire Northwest Arkansas Central Park Art Corridor project. In addition to negotiating the land deal for the terrace, House and its partners plan to construct a mixed-use building with reception features at the immediate northwest corner of Dickson Street and West Avenue. Another building, referred to as the food hall in earlier concepts, should also face Dickson Street at the north end of the civic space.

Sterling Hamilton, who served as the broker in the deal between House, Belden and the city, said the goal was to have walkable entertainment anchored in the arts.

“If we can have the ability to park, stay and walk, then you have an entire park, you have hospitality, you have restaurants, all within the same walking distance of TheatreSquared and the Walton Arts Center which will feel a lot more mixed up rather than isolated, ”he said.

Belden said the group is still evaluating options for the planned buildings. The reception building could involve space for visitors to spend the night or for residents to live in, he said. House said the Farmers & Merchants Bank, which is inside the train around the corner, wants a presence in the new building and the group is still considering options.

The city and the owners made the land deal for the bridge on December 20. Construction of the bridge is expected to take about a year. Construction of civic space will begin after that and is expected to be completed in early 2024, according to city officials.

Participants applaud, Monday January 10, 2022 on a lot northwest of Dickson Street and West Avenue in Fayetteville. The municipal authorities have inaugurated the land on the site of a new parking lot. The bridge will replace 290 wasted spaces once the parking lot at the Walton Arts Center becomes the civic space of the Cultural Arts Corridor, known as the Ramble. Check out for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Charlie Kaijo)


Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan (right) joins city officials and friends of the Ramble in breaking new ground on Monday, January 10, 2022, on land northwest of Dickson St. and West Ave. in Fayetteville. The municipal authorities have inaugurated the land on the site of a new parking lot. The bridge will replace 290 wasted spaces once the parking lot at the Walton Arts Center becomes the civic space of the Cultural Arts Corridor, known as the Ramble. Check out for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / Charlie Kaijo)

Land agreement

The framework that city council approved with landowners Greg House and Ted Belden in March included 330 public parking spaces on the new bridge northwest of Dickson Street and West Avenue, with space in the building reserved for a post office from police. House and Belden will retain property space on the ground floor for commercial and retail purposes.

House and Belden will also reserve the right to construct sixth and seventh floors on the bridge. The two plan to construct a mixed-use building with a reception component at the immediate northwest corner of Dickson Street and West Avenue, where Farmers & Traders sit at the bank. The land for the reception building is not included in the agreement with the city.

A conservation easement will be placed on the structure of the deposit housing Chipotle to protect it from demolition. The freight structure that once housed Arsaga’s can no longer be covered for at least seven years. Arsaga’s closed its freight building site in August.

House and Belden have received $ 250,000 from the city for the portion of land it wishes to use for parking. Farmers &; Merchants Bank has received $ 100,000 for some of the land it needs and the deck will need.

House and Belden will also construct a building called the Food Hall at the northern end of the Civic Space. The terms of the agreement will require the city to waive some or all of the costs if the planned building meets certain construction milestones within a certain number of years.

If the food hall building is not completed within 10 years, the city will keep the money and retain ownership of the land.

Sources: Fayetteville, Sterling Hamilton

Carjacking increased in Cleveland in 2021, but why, when thieves have so little to gain? Sun, 09 Jan 2022 10:32:00 +0000

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Carjackings are a growing threat in Cleveland, despite dangerous crimes offer little to gain for the armed thieves, mostly young, who commit them, experts say.

The threat – punctuated by the New Year’s car hijacking and the fatal shooting of Cleveland cop Shane Bartek – has grown exponentially over the past two years. The rise coincides with the coronavirus pandemic that has taken children away from school, extracurricular activities and social services, experts said.

Car hijackings increased last year in Cleveland, reflecting a trend seen in other U.S. cities, including Oakland, Minneapolis and Chicago. Cleveland recorded 433 car hijackings last year, an increase of about 22% from 355 in 2020 and a 52% increase from 285 in 2019.

Experts said the crime was somewhat “irrational” and rarely brought in anything substantial to car thieves. For this reason, it makes sense that most of those accused of carjacking are younger, said Scott Decker, a former Arizona State University criminal justice professor and author of several books and studies on crime.

“At the best of times, teens aren’t particularly careful about what they’re doing, whether they’re criminals or not,” he said. “They are not very rational criminals in terms of reducing the chances of being caught or increasing the gain – that usual calculation we think of with offenders. But in the case of the 14 or 15 year olds, they weren’t dealing with rational people.

In recent days, officials have said they are placing more emphasis on how to deal with the rising number of young car thieves. New Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb told Plain Dealer violent crime was high on his priority list, while Cuyahoga County District Attorney Michael O’Malley said earlier this week that car pirates had “declared war” on the city.

“If this wave of violent auto thief crimes is not stopped, it will permanently affect the viability of residents to live in this county,” Cuyahoga County District Attorney Michael O’Malley said. “People need to feel safe in their daily activities. And this wave of car hijackings is destroying people’s confidence in the safety of their neighborhood.

Pandemic effect

Experts say the surge in carjackings – typically involving young people, from the age of 14 – may be the result of the damaging effect of the coronavirus pandemic on adolescents. Psychological, environmental, societal and financial factors all come into play with youth crime, said Justin Ramsdell, professor of forensic psychology at George Mason University.

During the pandemic, in-person classes and extracurricular activities were canceled or changed. Access to other social services has also been severely limited or unavailable.

Additionally, teens may turn to carjacking because other types of crime are more difficult to commit during the pandemic. For example, burglaries have become more difficult because so many people are working from home, Ramsdell said.

“It takes away other criminal activities that are perhaps less risky and less violent, which will prevent some people from doing it.” But it’s going to push another group to do something that’s essentially more violent, ”Ramsdell said. “This is a bunch of people who have more free time and less structure at a point in their development when you need more structure and more activity to keep you on the right path. “

Carjackers usually don’t get anything out of it.

Christopher Herrmann, a former New York Police Department crime analyst and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said people typically do the hijacking for six reasons: They want to drive somewhere, but don’t have to. no way to get there; bike rides; commit another crime; for popularity or “street cred”; to sell parts; or for the shipment of stolen cars abroad.

The latter two, he said, are rarer because it takes a level of sophistication not found in many carjackers. At the end of the day, you don’t gain much from a hijacking, Herrmann said.

In a home burglary, someone could steal a computer or phone and sell it. But keeping stolen cars safe from getting caught is exponentially more difficult, Decker said.

Some use the stolen cars to drive undetected in areas where rivals live. Others do and post photos on social media for attention, Decker said.

“It’s usually not for profit as cars are often found abandoned or wrecked on the same day and sometimes within an hour or two,” Decker said. “So it’s a strange crime in that sense. “

Leniency in juvenile courts leads to more carjackings, prosecutor says

Many of the suspected auto thieves indicted by O’Malley’s office have criminal histories that include at least one previous violent felony case, he said.

O’Malley believes part of the problem lies with some juvenile court judges and magistrates. He said they often give light sentences to teens convicted of robbery or release teens charged and awaiting trial in carjacking cases.

Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court spokesman Benjamin Wilson said in a statement that due to the rise in car hijackings, judges were working with the prosecutor’s office and staff at the juvenile detention center. to “re-examine” the criteria determining the people accommodated in the center.

“This collaborative effort is to develop a plan to ensure that cases where young people are identified as being involved in carjacking are screened for potential admission to the detention center to ensure the safety of the public,” he said. Wilson’s statement said.

O’Malley cited several examples of teenagers who committed more violent crimes after being released, including the 18-year-old woman accused of shooting Bartek. Tamara McLoyd had previously pleaded guilty to several counts in Lorain County Juvenile Court following an armed robbery. She was sentenced on October 28 to five years of probation.

Four days later, McLoyd is charged with robbing a Cleveland pizza place at gunpoint. A month later, she is accused of shooting Bartek.

O’Malley cited several other recent examples:

  • In December, a group committed four armed carjackings in Little Italy, including one that resulted in the shooting of a 22-year-old woman, over a nine-day period. A 14-year-old boy arrested in connection with the Little Italy thefts and shootings also had a previous burglary conviction in 2019 and was sentenced by Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court to two years probation. He was then charged and convicted of auto theft and breaking into a car.
  • In another recent case, a group accused of hijacking a nurse on December 10 outside the Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland is linked to a home burglary in Parma. A 17-year-old boy indicted in the case was also charged with an armed robbery in October in which he attacked a woman on West 26th Street and Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.
  • In November, two teenagers hijacked a woman at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and strangled her before throwing her out of the car. A 14-year-old boy accused of being one of the car thieves had been sentenced to probation a month earlier for an armed robbery in June at a gas station in Cleveland.
  • And in March, a 14-year-old boy was part of a group accused of more than 30 car hijackings over several months in Cuyahoga County. The boy had been released from house arrest under GPS surveillance as he faced another charge of car hijacking, and assisted in several other car hijackings, according to court documents.

On Monday, a new group emerged. Three teenagers, including a 15-year-old boy, and an adult have been arrested in three armed robberies that occurred in three hours in Cleveland. In one incident, a woman who cannot use one of her arms due to a previous accident was dragged down her driveway as she clung to the stolen car, according to police reports.

Rehabilitation vs punishment

O’Malley said rehabilitation should be central to juvenile court affairs, but public safety should come into play when a teenager commits violent offenses with a gun.

Juvenile courts are set up to promote rehabilitation and not to punish offenders, as in adult courts. Research shows that children are better suited to rehabilitation and, if caught early in life rather than later, can lead crime-free lives.

Juvenile courts here and across the country have limited the number of young people in detention to avoid an outbreak of coronavirus cases. Those who remain in the detention center, however, have less access to in-person visits from family members and less access to school or other programs.

Ramsdell said it was important, but difficult, for judges to balance the need to rehabilitate minors with protection of the public.

“The problem is, when they’re released, you send them back to the same environment,” Ramsdell said. “What’s difficult with minors is that the parents control the environment, so it’s impossible at some level to treat the child without treating the parents. You can’t expect incredible gains in treatment if you can’t change the environment. When these juvenile systems return them, they return them to the same environment that caused this problem in the first place. It’s just another way the coronavirus has made the situation worse. “

What can be done?

Herrman said that because carjackings can be unpredictable, they are difficult to deter by police.

He said some police tactics have worked in other cities, including Chicago, where police have established a hijacking response task force. He also said that increasing the presence of patrollers in some areas targeted by car hackers can also help.

Decker said the use of surveillance cameras – those in a permanent location, which Cleveland has in certain areas, and mobile cameras – can be used to catch and deter car hackers.

He said cars made with GPS tracking technology were also helping.

“In the end, technology will likely be a big part of the solution,” Decker said.

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NATO promises united response to Russian aggression against Ukraine Fri, 07 Jan 2022 18:52:15 +0000

BRUSSELS – NATO foreign ministers gathered virtually on Friday to prepare their responses to Russia’s ongoing military build-up near Ukraine amid general skepticism over Moscow’s willingness to defuse and negotiate seriously.

After the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that “the risk of conflict is real” involving a new Russian invasion of Ukraine. But he said the 30-member alliance was united in its desire for peaceful diplomacy.

If diplomacy fails, he said, the alliance stands ready to continue supporting Ukraine’s integrity and independence both “politically and practically” while creating “significant consequences” which ” carry a high price for Russia “.

And he insisted, as President Biden did, that the United States would not make any deal with Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin, above Ukraine or its European allies. .