Home » Archive by category lgzpplhv

Major National Heavy Civil Contractor Honored With 2016 OPAL for Construction

first_imgASCE has honored Christopher S. Traylor, P.E., M.ASCE, with the 2016 Outstanding Projects and Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award for Construction. Traylor is co-president of Traylor Bros. Inc., one of the leading heavy Civil Contractors in the United States.Under his leadership, Traylor Bros. recently completed two major projects – the Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project in Jefferson, LA, and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier in New Orleans, ASCE’s Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award winner for 2014. Traylor’s grandfather, William, founded Traylor Bros. Inc. in 1946. Chris Traylor has served as co-president since 2003, following a stint working for Granite Construction in California, a company Traylor Bros. still collaborates with on large projects.Traylor also works with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and serves on the University of Evansville President’s Board of Advisors. The OPAL Awards honor outstanding civil engineering leaders whose lifetime accomplishments contributed in one of five categories – construction, design, education, government, or management. The 2016 honorees will be recognized at the OPAL Awards Gala, March 17, in Arlington, VA.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Continue reading

List of Ocean City’s Guarded Beaches

first_imgThe following beaches will remain guarded as of Monday Aug. 17, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends and unless specified otherwise below.The following beaches will remain guarded as of Monday Aug. 17, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends and unless specified otherwise below:Seaspray Rd.Surf RdAtlantic Blvd. (GUARDED 11am-4pmNorth Street Stenton Place                                                          St. Charles Place                                        Delancy Place                                                         Park Place                                                    Brighton Place (GUARDED UNTIL 7)                                        5th Street                                                       7th Street (Surfing Beach)                                    8th Street (GUARDED UNTIL 7)                                                   9th Street (GUARDED UNTIL 7)                                                   10th Street                                                     11th Street                                                     12th Street (GUARDED UNTIL 7) 13th Street (GUARDED 11am-4pm)                                                                               14th Street  15th Street18th Street 22nd Street24th Street26th Street28th Street30th Street32nd Street34th(GUARDED UNTIL 7)36th Street39th Street42nd Street44th Street46th Street50th Street53rd Street55th Street58th Street                                                The Ocean City Beach Patrol strongly urges bathers to swim only at guarded beaches during guarded hours. If you have any questions call 609-525-9200.For information on guarded beaches, visit ocnj.us/OCBP. Check the list of guarded beaches.last_img read more

Continue reading

‘A completely new life was beckoning’

first_imgStories of learning, teaching, and turning points, in the Experience series.Gerald Holton, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Professor of the History of Science Emeritus, was born in Berlin in 1922.He spent his boyhood in Vienna playing piano, reading Westerns, watching American films, and studying Latin, Greek, and the classics of Western literature in a rigorous Gymnasium. The turmoil of the Nazi era soon overturned his life and that of his Jewish family. In March 1938, as a boy of 16 during Anschluss, Holton watched from a balcony as Hitler passed by in an open car and German troops were feted by joyous mobs of Austrians.But events — including the eventual salvation of his family in the “heaven” of America, he said — propelled Holton into a series of steps that led to Harvard.He first arrived at the University in 1943 to work in the war effort and to teach his first class: on radar, to Navy officers. By 1948, Holton was a Harvard Ph.D. in physics and head of a laboratory specializing in the structure of liquids under very high pressure. His career also branched out in ways inspired by his wide classical education as a boy. He explored physics education, textbook writing, the world of journals (as founding editor of the quarterly Daedalus, in 1956), and the history of science, the subject of many of his books.Holton also ventured into the social sciences, co-authoring books on gender and the sciences; on young immigrants; and on the fate (marvelously accomplished, mostly) of the 30,000 children who escaped the Nazi boot heel in Europe at the same time he did. Sciences and the humanities, he avers, coexist in a continuum of knowledge too often fragmented by the constraints of highly defined disciplines. So Holton often returns to his favorite salving sentiment, a line from E.M. Forster: “Only connect.”Q: Childhood experiences shape our lives. Take us back.A: My first experience that resonates to this day is my elementary school, because I had the luck in four years of school to have the same teacher, Hilda, whom I adored.Q: Then your luck held.A: At 10 years old in Vienna, you had the chance to get into the so-called Humanistiche Gymnasium — humanistic secondary school — if you passed an exam, which was easy thanks to my first four years of elementary school.The good thing about the Gymnasium was that it was in a sense also a college at the same time, by preparing you for university or technical institute by giving you the whole range of studies, from Greek and Latin through history, literature, mathematics, science, and preparing you to be a functioning adult at the university level. We had to memorize German poetry by the ream, also 20 lines of “The Iliad” per week. We had to get up suddenly and deliver a five-minute talk on a set subject. I think the hope of the school was to train very cultured persons.In fact, at the time that school was for me mostly a harsh experience. Yet something lasted. I must confess that last year, being a little impatient with much of the current literature, I systematically reread a lot of those things which I had to do in school. So I did Goethe’s “Faust” — only Part One. [Laughter.] I tried to do “The Iliad” again, although it is so bloody. I did the magnificent “Odyssey.” And many of the other classic books of those dead white men and women which excited me then, and now.I was into books constantly as a boy. And of course films — Paul Robeson, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin. This was a fascinating look at the Land of Infinite Possibilities. Our idea of America as children was typical of children in Europe of those days.Q: You escaped from Nazi rule as a child. How did that shape the life you have led?A: I was born in 1922, in Berlin, to a young Austrian couple — my father a lawyer and my mother a physiotherapist. Berlin in 1922 — that’s more than 10 years before Hitler took over — and already the streets were in the hands of Nazi gangs. Einstein in 1922 fled from Berlin and was away for nearly a year, because he was on the long list to be killed and 300 had been killed already. This sets the tone. I got born into turmoil.But then what happened after the family had returned to Vienna? Specifically, at about 7 p.m. [on] March 11, a Friday, 1938. I was just coming back from my last piano lesson, easy Chopin, and heard on the radio that the government was giving up and being replaced by Austrian Nazis selected by Hitler. Austria had let itself be taken over by radio.When the German troops came in their open lorries, they were told to put on their goggles because there were so many flowers thrown at them that their eyes might be damaged by the happy Austrians.On March 14 I was with my father in his office at the corner of the Ringstrasse, the big boulevard, and we looked out as Hitler and his cavalcade were entering Vienna. I saw him in the open car going to the Heldenplatz, where he was greeted by 200,000 wildly enthusiastic Austrians. So suddenly, everything changed. And as they say, it took five years in Germany but only five hours in Vienna to let the bacchanalia begin. Any “Aryan” could walk into a Jewish office or flat or any property and declare, simply, “You: Get out into the street. I take over, free” — which they did with my father’s office, and he had to go into hiding. Nina, my wife, whom I hadn’t met by that time, of course — her father [was] arrested immediately for no particular reason. It was a free-for-all.This is where the children suddenly became adults. My younger brother and I had now to try to get our visas, our police certificates, our various permissions to work toward emigrating. You couldn’t do that so easily as adults, because when they were in these long lines outside the offices, including the American Embassy, the trucks of the SS would come in, load them all up, and they were never seen again. So the good thing about being very young was that you could run fast.Then the question was how to get out. It was extremely difficult to go to the United States, except by some kind of a luck and constant push. Eventually, the Nazis in Europe had roughly 1,600,000 children targeted for various reasons, and only 7 percent of them came out alive. Ninety-three percent of them either died of starvation or were murdered. So I find myself in this small slice of 7 percent.Q: How did you get out?A: In my case, I had the immense luck of being allowed to be part of a lottery in Vienna set up by the wonderful British Quakers to get on the Kindertransport. You were selected to come to a certain advertised place to pull from a box a slip of paper. On that slip, there might be nothing — that’s your fate, you stay. It might say “Holland,” because there was a camp where young people would be taught agriculture before trying to get to Palestine. All of those children were killed when the Nazis invaded Holland. But the third possibility was a little slip that said “England.” And both I and my brother pulled out those two pieces of paper. I still have mine.In December 1938, both of us got on the Kindertransport train, a locked train. Examined by the Nazis first, going through our luggage to see that we don’t take anything valuable out. And then spending a good day and night to get to England. The ages of the kids were from 3 up. I remember that at the last moment, as the parents loaded up the train, one of them reached through the window and put a 3-year-old on my lap, saying, “Take care of him.”After a few weeks in the camp near Dover — in deep freeze; it was just a summer holiday camp — I happened to be one of 12 boys asked to sit for an exam, to see whether I could be allowed to go on to a school of technology in the city of Oxford. Not a college, but the city school [Oxford City Technical School, now Oxford Brookes University]. Three of us passed the exam. That’s how I got a certificate of electrical engineering a year and a half later.Q: I have to wonder about the fate of children who didn’t get out.A: Yes, terrifying. Unforgivable. And even for the non-Jews. Jews were dismissed from the Gymnasium in March 1938. But I am told most of those in my class who were not dismissed signed up for a parachute company. They were all shot down on trying to parachute into Rotterdam.I somehow managed to get my parents out to England as well, just before World War II. It was just a miracle actually. So we were reunited, although most of our relatives back there perished in the camps.By June 1940, finally our visa came through to come to America. We got on a ship which had the holes still from the evacuation at Dunkirk, 12 days by way of the northern route to elude the U-boats, and then arriving in America. [Laughter.] It was, of course, like coming into heaven. The first official whom I encountered had just one question: “Sonny, how much money are you bringing in?” We all looked, and we had the equivalent of four dollars and a few pennies. But we had hopes.First night in New York. Coming from blacked-out Europe, from Nazified Europe, from war, walking down Broadway is unimaginable. It was in my mind like a toy store for children, the great lights, the agitation, the amusements. That kind of America was different from what Karl May’s books had promised. Much better, although no American Indians in sight, unfortunately. I had been looking forward to them. [Laughter.] A completely new life was beckoning.I heard that, at Fordham University, which was accessible by subway — a new idea for me — there is a man who teaches cosmic rays. Indeed, Victor Hess, the discoverer of cosmic rays, from Austria, himself a refugee.Since I could not find a job, except possibly as a dishwasher, I managed to take the summer course of Victor Hess on cosmic rays, which I thought would be a fascinating field for me to go into. It was a small class, three nuns and me.Then a letter from England caught up with me, which changed life again. The letter said, if you come to America, there is a fellowship waiting for you to continue your education at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Tuition will be free, food will be provided by the students. Unbelievable.It took me many years to figure out how this came about. It really had started at Harvard! The November 1938 pogrom, Kristallnacht — the Nazis gave it a refined name — was so frightening that two students at Harvard, two juniors, Irving M. London and Robert E. Lane, organized a meeting in the Sanders Theatre to bring some young refugees to Harvard [through the Harvard Committee to Aid German Student Refugees].That model was then adopted by many other colleges. One of them was Wesleyan, which decided to have one such refugee boy, because it was a boys’ school. And somehow it was me whom they selected.I am still not sure how exactly they zeroed in on me, and it’s not important. But it is very important for me to have been there. They gave me exams, and decided I was a senior, so I had one year to graduate. And I had a wonderful time there.I had already, in Oxford, obviously, been taught some English, by old dons who volunteered. One gave me lessons from the King James Bible. Another gave me lessons from Shakespeare. And it is said that my use of English in those days was very amusing.Q: Your English was stuck around 1600 or so?A: Well, if you are young, you can overcome almost everything.At Wesleyan, I really fell under the spell of two different professors. One of them was that wonderful physicist Walter G. Cady, who had gotten his degree in Berlin. I became his research assistant. The other was Fred B. Millet, a revered teacher of English literature. And yet I really oscillated back and forth between those two fields in my main affection. Until the last week practically, I didn’t know whether to graduate in physics or in English literature. But physics became my choice. I stayed on for another year as Cady’s assistant and got an M.A. at Wesleyan as well.‘Authority is not always benign, but at least it is a way of seeing the world and one’s place in it, and requires one to fight against it when necessary, as well. Authority does not have to be obeyed, but it has to be encountered.’Q: The M.A. in 1942?A: That’s right. So this enormous accident really — of that letter, which could have missed me easily.The war broke out and the time had come, since I now knew some physics, to have it put it to work. With the recommendation of Cady, I came to Harvard into the war labs. I was put into the section right off Jefferson Lab, the Cruft Lab, into the Electric-Acoustic Research Laboratory under that remarkable leader, Leo Beranek, who was an assistant professor here. (We just celebrated his 100th birthday.) I was also a teaching assistant to teach radar to Navy officers. Radar was top secret. And along comes an alien with a German accent and a swastika on his passport.Now, this is where the Quakers come in again, because I was also being interviewed by two people from Washington who said, “We would like you to come to Santa Fe for some research.” I said, well, tell me about it. “No, we can’t talk about it here, but we can take you to New York into a safe house, and there we can tell you what’s going on there.”I did go, I listened to them, and it was clear that this was about building an atom bomb. Most of the physicists at Harvard and elsewhere had disappeared, particularly those who knew nuclear physics, and most had gone to work somewhere. Nobody said they were at Los Alamos in those days, because it was supposedly at Santa Fe, Post Office Box 1663. That was the code for it.I said no. I am really attached to the kind of spirituality which asks you to do defensive, not aggressive work. In fact, in England, and for a time in the United States, I had gone to the Quakers’ weekly First Day meetings. So I worked at the electric-acoustic lab here to improve sound effects such as that people can more comfortably use oxygen masks and gas masks, and to get rid of the excessive, disorienting noise in aircraft, and so on, trying to make life safer for the troops.There was a problem, of course. Roosevelt had declared people like me with a German passport as not just enemy alien, but alien enemies. They had some rules for us. No radio, no camera, no travel beyond three miles without authorization. There were other rules like that. Nevertheless, this is a very pragmatic country. Among the 4,000 people that ended up in Los Alamos, there were a lot of people who had German passports, and also roughly 15,000 refugee boys in the Army. This is quite pragmatic again.Later on I got my Freedom of Information Act file, and I discovered that, although I was given full freedom at the research labs — I was even allowed to visit, on the same floor, the rooms where they were building the first computer, Mark I — I was being followed all the time, perhaps appropriately. It was clear almost every contact that I had was being asked about me, including, I regret to say, a very appealing young lady who seemed interested in me, but turned out to be on the payroll of the FBI. [Laughter.] But this was wartime.Q: After those war times, were you influenced at all about women appearing for the first time in Harvard classrooms? What, in fact, created your interest in women in science?A: Oh, sure. I should start with the fact that all my education had been in all-male schools, from age 6 on, from elementary school to a professorship in the brilliant Harvard Physics Department. Maybe because I came from Vienna, I was wondering, “Where are the women?” [Laughter.] There is a song there: Without women, things don’t work. I don’t want to say that I peek around to look for women, but it was obvious that there was something wrong in the life of the university where there are no women as equals in many classes, and I had to go over to Radcliffe and teach physics to women in those early days.Harvard had one or two women as tenured faculty members. The Faculty Club allowed women only through the back entrance, later called the handicapped entrance, and only into their room, not into the main room. Absolutely absurd.And we had no tenured woman in the Physics Department from my time here in the 1940s until 1999, when Melissa Franklin finally was asked.So that was another puzzle. The Physics Department was a beautifully working department. That there were no women tenured seemed to me to be a question that can be researched. I like researchable questions, particularly if they serve some purpose. So together with Gerhard Sonnert, who is an excellent sociologist at the Center for Astrophysics now, we sat down, got a little money, and spent quite a lot of time researching this in American science generally up to the 1990s. We wrote a book that’s called “Who Succeeds in Science: The Gender Dimension” (1995). It’s not like this now, but the book is still useful.We found generally there was no blatant misogyny, no glass ceiling, but what happened in the case of female scientists — it is now different, in law and so on — they tended to have an accumulation of disadvantage, many small disadvantages that accumulated, even when the quality of their work was as good or better than the men’s. Since then things have changed a lot as far as I can see.Q: A physicist researching gender inequalities in the sciences?A: My early education, with its wide-ranging curriculum, prepared me already to look around. I enjoy the whole spectrum of cultural activities, and so I dare to ask questions one doesn’t usually do when one is very narrowly focused on one thing only.Q: Is there a way to summarize the many facets of your work at Harvard?A: There are really four elements to it. They look very different, but they are related to each other. The first one, obviously, is physics. After I got my Ph.D. here under P.W. Bridgman — it was awarded in 1948 — I got my own lab space. And for 30 years, I had a busy lab myself, with graduate students and Ph.D.s, postdocs and so on, the usual.We concentrated on the structure of liquids under very high pressures, which is, high pressures being one of the conditions under which they reveal their structure far more than if you just take a look at ordinary pressures. So we did many, from water to other biologically important liquids, and had many publications.And then history of science got into the act. I had already been writing about history of science, starting with Kepler and Newton. In 1955, when Einstein died, our Physics Department wanted to do a memorial. I was asked to speak about the history of relativity. But there was practically nothing published about it, except in Einstein’s own autobiographical notes.So I went down to see his records in Princeton and got along well with his enormously well-informed secretary, who was still there, and had been with him since 1928, Helen Dukas. She showed me his files, which were marvelously huge — some 40,000 documents, but in great disarray. Only she would know how to go through it.I thought, it’s a moral obligation to try to put this into an archive that scholars can use. I ended up working on and off for two years, with some visits at length at the Institute for Advanced Study, at their invitation, to put all of this together and, on the way, reading Einstein’s material, both the published and the unpublished, the letters, the drafts.This is when I became a historian of science. Much of my research on the history of science was based on what I found. It became clear to me — to my surprise, I was not prepared — that Einstein obeyed an inner epistemological compulsion, as do so many scientists, of seeing science through certain keyholes, certain lenses. I called them themata — themes — namely, ideas which are so imprinted in them that they may not have been fully aware of them; these determine the basic underlying structure of their work. And they excluded the opposites.For example, it was very important to Einstein that a scientific theory gives you every detail, in every smallest dimension, of what is happening — unlike Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, who allow uncertainty. It led to collisions of opinion based on opposite themata.To Einstein, there were about seven themata throughout his work on different problems. The primacy of formal explanation instead of mechanistic explanation. Mathematics at the bottom of explanation. (That goes back all the way to Plato.) Then unity and unification; obviously, he wanted a unified theory for all of physics, even on a cosmological scale, from the tiniest particle to the cosmos itself, all to be under one roof, so to speak.Then logical parsimony, that nothing unnecessary should appear in it, very much like Newton himself, who said nature does nothing in vain. Then strict causality. Then the continuum. To Einstein, the atom was not the explanation, it was the puzzle. He had to try to understand why atoms exist out of the field. And finally, invariance.I found this concept of foundational themata true for others — for Planck, for Schrödinger, Mach, Heisenberg, for Bohr, for many others: Each had his own set of thematic imaginations, which empowers them, and at the same time keeps them from accepting the opposite. So that launched me into what, in terms of history of science scholarship, is probably a thing that I did, and still do, that may be of some use in the long run.Q: Didn’t you leave Harvard at some point?A: There happened a change in my career, or a threat to it, anyway, when the president of MIT, Jerome Wiesner, asked me to come over to MIT and start a history of science department. And this was a challenge. I loved being at Harvard, but I thought it would be an extremely interesting thing, for a great university like MIT, focusing mostly on science and engineering, to have a strong humanities presence as well, which they wanted.But Dean Henry Rosovsky called me in about 1976, and said I should not leave Harvard: “We need you here.” His idea was to split my professorship, which was just in physics, and make me also part of the History of Science Department here at Harvard, which needed a historian of physics. It meant two departments and two sets of graduate students, and two faculty meetings a week. At that point I had to stop my physics research, the laboratory, after all those decades.Q: So we have your work on the structure of liquids, and the history of science work. Then there was …A: My third thing about the direction of my work was of course education and teaching. I have always much enjoyed giving lectures. In fact it is said about me that I have stage fright only if I’m not on a stage. [Laughter.] I much liked teaching in these two departments.Way back in 1952, I had published an introductory physics book. I wrote it before I got to 30, an adventurous child. In it, I thought you can’t just do science all by itself. I already had this idea of civilization as a spectrum, with science part of the humanities, and there must be also the history and philosophy of science in it, a connective concept. So there were three chapters of philosophy of science in the book, and throughout, the history of science concepts as well, and some technology.All this was something fairly new. It meant, for example, that when you study Newton’s work, you would see that it comes from some mathematics and physics from the Greeks and gives rise to new mathematics and physics after him. That Newton had an effect on statecraft in America, because his model of the solar system was one that influenced writings of people like Jefferson and Adams — the harmonious universe. You have Adams talking about the law of action and reaction from Newton as the reason he wanted a bicameral, rather than unicameral Congress. He took a physics course at Harvard from John Winthrop, and they read Newton’s “Principia” in the original Latin, learning that the universe was harmonious and that it was understandable.So the sciences to me are part of a large kind of a tapestry instead of each just being a lot of pearls strung on one strand. That’s a picture I give to my students, who think that physics courses are just one pearl after another, each in its slot.The Project Physics course came in in 1964 as part of my educational work, when asked to do a national physics course by the National Science Foundation. We worked on it for years, based again on the connective view. We had large numbers of students, eventually 200,000 high school kids per year. And it’s still going. All text material is free on the Net now.And then the “Nation at Risk” report came in as another educational enterprise. I had to do the final draft, which is in pencil in the Harvard archives. [Laughter.]Q: Everyone remembers that report.A: The report told President Reagan: If other nations had forced the current education system on us, you would declare war on them. You know, exaggerating strategically to make him, as commander in chief, look at it. Making it just 36 pages in big type, with an appendix. I’m afraid he did not read it, but some governors of states did use it.Q: Is American education still at risk?A: We are at risk. It’s not just history. It’s a contemporaneous dispute, and our nation’s Achilles’ heel.Q: Physics, history, the business of education. Can you talk about that fourth aspect of your work?A: With the new online education coming, I am worried that students will not have adequate mentorship and role models during those critical years. That part is going to be either diminished or absent, that face-to-face mentorship over a long time, which each of us remembers as having been crucial in our own careers, that is going to be either very difficult or absent.And so such “virtual” students might learn factual matters and skills through distance learning — better than nothing, for many — but something has to happen to give them also long-term mentorship, not just a visit now and then.Q: You are talking about MOOCs and —A: That’s right. If there is one guiding thematic concept apparent in all my intellectual and scholarly life, I would say it’s really captured by E.M. Forster’s remark, “Only connect.” Connect physics with history, with philosophy, with the social effects, with the Industrial Revolution, technology, and connect students with mentors. When you talk about science, see it as part of culture. See it as part of society. You can’t leave out science. Without its history and its effects, it’s lame.And conversely, history and the social sciences — without the sciences attended to — they are blind. So connect. And that’s what we did in Project Physics, that’s what we did in my books, and that’s what I do in my teaching, also in Daedalus, which was an adult education quarterly I founded in order to bring together the new-on-the-horizon things and those from antiquity which have been forgotten but need not be. And Gen Ed was equally powerful. We had all those great books, which are now dismissed, as if “Western civilization” is a swear word. We’ll come to that when we talk about [Harvard President James Bryant] Conant, whom I came to know well. Conant is very important, for Harvard and for the lives of those here at his time.Q: How is that?A: I highly regard Conant, who is not much remembered anymore, as is true for everything long past, in a forward-looking institution like ours. Conant, to me, was a role model for Harvard as a scientist, as a statesman, as a Harvard president, as a teacher, as a scholar, as a human being.He changed Harvard in the most profound way during his whole time here. When he was appointed in 1933 at age 40 as a chemist, he saw that Harvard was essentially a New England college chiefly for prep school boys who didn’t work too hard, and he made it into a national university. And afterwards, [25th president of Harvard] Derek Bok, another great model, made it into a worldwide university. Those were the two great institutional changes that I’ve lived through here.Q: What was Conant like in person?A: He was not at all the kind of person who, when he gets into a room, no one else is in it. He was, I think, rather modest and very practical. He also had the demeanor of wanting to make the moment count.Once I asked him, why did you insist on General Education coming to Harvard? He said [that] while he was in Washington during the war, he discovered that the generals knew how to fight the war, but they didn’t know why to fight it. They did not know that it was a clash of civilizations, that it was Western civilization under attack from fascism, and that the ideological and material stakes were extremely high.One reason then for his bringing General Education back here, with a great deal of emphasis on — in at least some of the beginning courses — the historical achievements of Western civilization, including much history even in sciences classes: Gen Ed was to prepare future leaders to understand what is worth fighting for.So it wasn’t just simply teaching them more history of physics or chemistry or biology, but it was to give them a reason to treasure the moral dimensions of Western civilization. This, I think, was deeply inside him.Holton spent six years studying the fate of European child émigrés in the U.S.Q: This goes back again to your own training as a boy in school, where the sciences and technology and the classics were seen as equally important as foundations to being a learned person.A: Well, they were preparing us for anything that we might become, whether a professional or an academic or in industry. And to keep valuing the rest of culture.When I came to Harvard, to the Physics Department, whenever I could spare any time, I would take an hour of a day or every other day and sit in on one of those non-science courses — such as philosophy and history — because I still had a longing for it. And I always advised my students to do the same, because here we are in a cornucopia of remarkable scholars gathered from all over the world, the best people in the best fields, and students just walk by the door and don’t notice. So that was part of my mentorship, so to speak, to try to persuade them to perhaps miss one of the games and instead take a course on the epic with John H. Finley Jr., Harvard classicist and lead author of “General Education in a Free Society.”Q: What about the early Cold War period? Not long after the war, for instance, physicists seemed at the epicenter of debate over the bomb. How do you remember it?A: We have to wait for history to sort it out, because there are very many strands. For example, The New York Times, on the day after Hiroshima, look at the editorial page. It says this was the triumph of American science. It’s a eulogy, a euphoria, in that not only is it showing that our science is the best in the world, but it even shows how science should be done in the future, namely, the military should tell you what it needs and the scientists will obey.Q: A very 1945 editorial.A: And so now it has become more complicated, because there have been so many countries that have atomic weapons and the dangers of them. And when we look back on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we also have in mind the possibilities [of] the new terrifying things that might happen.Q: Were there clear lines of debate at Harvard over the bomb in those days, circa 1950?A: No. Scientists as a whole tend more to look forward, not back. I remember only two times when scientists in this department went outside the usual preoccupations. One of them was the debate about radioactive fallout — the debate about fallout, where we all chipped in and had a New York Times page against people like [Edward] Teller, who were propagating in favor of above-the-ground nuclear explosions.The other one was about Professor Wendell Furry. Wendell was one of our three theoreticians in the department, before World War II. E.C. Kemble, Wendell Furry, and John H. Van Vleck: The three of them, and their students, trained one-third of all American theoreticians in physics up to World War II. This was a very powerful group.Wendell was an important scientist but, as a human being, very sweet and harmless. He was easily confused on simple matters, whether it’s driving or whatever. And he stumbled somehow into a cell meeting of communists and then felt forced to take the Fifth Amendment when the McCarthyites got after him. The Harvard Corporation wanted to have him fired. At that point, our department, completely unified, stood up against that.Q: Questioned loyalty, political division, protest. Sounds like a prelude to Vietnam, in a way.A: On Vietnam, there is of course, in our memory here, the April 1969 takeover by the students of University Hall. Illegal. Had to be punished. A committee was set up, I was a member of it, a committee of 15, to decide what the punishment should be. A very divided committee. But in retrospect, again, history counts. What happened in Harvard Yard on an April day in 1969 was minuscule compared to the Vietnam War itself, a tens-of-thousands-times more illegal offense. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a lie, the equivalent of the Iraq War’s “weapons of mass destruction.”It was chiefly thanks to the White House that the trouble was going on at Harvard. The punished students had been essentially objecting to unpunished war crimes. There is a remark by Goya: “The sleep of reason begets monsters.” That was true for the whole Vietnam era.Q: Did the Vietnam War do lasting harm of any kind to the ideals, let’s say, of Conant and General Education, or the idea even of the university as a place of reflection and quiet deliberation?A: I think that, historically, the Vietnam War and its absurdities decreased the reign of authority in America. It was true in so many different ways. For example, I think a good deal of postmodernism in the arts and literature and philosophy, and structuralism, depends on the saying that there is no canon, there is no authority. A return to Nietzsche, at its extreme: Everything is equal to everything, and a matter of opinion.Some people to this day are of course very happy with the loss of an authority that is often mishandled. Authority is not always benign, but at least it is a way of seeing the world and one’s place in it, and requires one to fight against it when necessary, as well. Authority does not have to be obeyed, but it has to be encountered.Q: As a youth, you encountered an extreme kind of authority. What led you and Sonnert to study the fate and influence of European child émigrés in the United States?A: As I said, I’m vulnerable to becoming preoccupied with researchable problems. And it seemed to me that there was [such] a problem in the fact that 30,000 or so children fled to the United States in the 1930s and very early ’40s, mostly through New York, coming usually with one suitcase, half of them not having any parents that they ever saw again. They were regarded, as at least one of the books said at that time, as a danger to society, because they would spin down into anomie and would just be a burden on the state.But then I looked around at the list of people that I knew about who came out of this group, many of whom I had met, a highly achieving group when they grew up here.So how did it happen? That was our research project. It took six years. We found about 2,000 former refugees to work on, including face-to-face interviews with 100 of them in different parts of the country.The result, as you know from our book, “What Happened to the Children Who Fled Nazi Persecution” (2008), was rather astonishing: In terms of achievements, in terms of employment, in terms of education, and in terms of standard of living, on average, they vastly outperformed, both the boys and the girls, their native-born American equivalents, when we compare them.That was in a way a celebration of America, and this was more easily possible during a time of a huge positive bubble, if you wish, or positive slope, for America after 1945. For example, the boys who had been drafted into the Army, technically enemy aliens, got a chance of GI Bill as a result.It must also be said that there was a sieve at work. Those who made it had a lot of luck and pluck compared to those who didn’t. That has to be part of the equation.Q: You first arrived at Harvard in 1943. Help us imagine what Harvard will be like in 2023.A: That is very worth thinking about, particularly for somebody who has seen the changes over so many decades. And without extrapolating from them, without nostalgia, you have to put it into the present context. . . . Harvard is going to have many, many more students because of the online way of teaching. It will have students all over the world, something that even Derek Bok couldn’t have foreseen — how much more worldly Harvard is going to be than it already is. That is one of the givens.The other side of that is that there will be very much less mentorship, because students will be in Appalachia, or India, or China, or Bangladesh.Q: So that’s a worry.A: Every institution has a soul. And Harvard has had a good track record for much of its existence when it comes to the quality of its soul. But it does not automatically transfer into the future.It’s very important for everyone, particularly in this political period, to become aware that we, maybe undeservedly, are here just as a remarkably preserved slice from major vicissitudes. But as for the future, our institution is not immune from the possibility of large negative changes. So there is work to be done.Interview was edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Continue reading

Students send letters to Pope

first_imgSaint Mary’s College Center for Spirituality introduced a program Monday called “Voices of Young Catholic Women” that gives young women a chance to express their perspectives on Catholicism in writing — and for those letters to be hand delivered to Pope Francis later this year.The program, which began accepting submissions Monday, will continue to do so until November, when Saint Mary’s College President Carol Ann Mooney and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend take the letters to Rome, director of Campus Ministry Judith Fean said. There, the letters will be hand-delivered to the Pope in a general audience, Fean said.Women of the millennial generation, ages 18-30,  are invited to write letters to Pope Francis expressing their perspectives on the Catholic Church, in relation to their demographic and why its participation has fallen, Fean said.Fean said the program was created in response to concerns raised by an article published in “America” in February 2012 titled “A Lost Generation?” by Patricia Wittberg.“It was a study … talking about the women who have been leaving the Church, especially in the range of the millennial generation,” Fean said. “Men are not leaving as quickly as women are and it’s not 100 percent certain why, but … there might be something that [women] hope for that isn’t there.”Fean said Wittberg’s article sparked reflection and conversation among students active in campus ministry in the College’s Center for Spirituality. Fean said 11 students met continuously for a year to bring their idea to fruition. There, they discussed how to reach out to other women within their generation.“We asked [the Campus Ministry students] whether they would like to participate in exploring what we could do with the College,” Fean said. “And so this idea of writing letters to the Pope [was born].”The effort to reach women in the Church extends far beyond Saint Mary’s campus, Fean said. All Catholic colleges and universities within the United States have been contacted about the opportunity, she said.“The word has gotten out,” she said. “The invitation to participate went out to all … campus ministries with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. … It’s also been sent out to parishes … and there’s an ad appearing in ‘America’ magazine.”Fean said the goal is to allow Catholic women across the United States to let their voices be heard within the Church.Although the letters and content will remain confidential, messages will be screened to make sure they follow the appropriate guidelines for expression, Fean said. Submissions of prayers, poetry, works of art and other creative expressions are welcome in addition to traditionally-formatted letters. All submissions must be received by Nov. 1 and follow the guidelines for submission. More information can be found at saintmarys.edu/Letters.Tags: A Lost Generation?, Campus Ministry, Center for Spirituality, Patricia Wittberg, Pope Francis, Voices of Young Catholic Womenlast_img read more

Continue reading

Clean First

first_imgSummer comes with its own set of toys and tools to maximize fun and adventure. Beach days, camping trips and even time on the patio require towels, sleeping bags, cushions and more. Now that fall has arrived, it’s a good time for a thorough cleaning to make sure these items will last through the winter and be ready to use next spring.Follow these tips from the American Cleaning Institute and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension to get all your favorite things ready for storage. Nobody wants to be surprised by musty linens and smelly toys when it’s time for summer fun next year!Sleeping bags: If you spent any time on the beach, your sleeping bag may have quite a bit of sand on, and in, it. Start by turning the bag inside out and drying out any dampness. Then shake the bag and vacuum any remaining residue from the surface. Once it’s sand-free, wash it according to the care label on the bag, as there are many different materials used to make sleeping bags.Musty beach towels: Nothing is worse than a smelly, musty towel. To counteract this, wash towels in the hottest water setting that’s safe for the fabric. Most of the time, fabric softener is not recommended for towels as it can coat the fibers and reduce their absorbing power. However, for beach towels, it’s OK to add a small amount of fabric softener to the final rinse. Machine dry them thoroughly. Avoid overloading the washer or dryer to ensure thorough cleaning and drying.Flannel-backed plastic tablecloths: After each use, the plastic side of tablecloths should be wiped with a soapy sponge to clean the surface well. To wash the whole tablecloth, place it in the washing machine and use the gentle cycle. Dry on the delicate cycle for 15 minutes; any longer and the vinyl could be damaged. Hang the tablecloth to finish drying.Patio furniture: In humid areas, it’s common for resin furniture to get some mold and mildew over the summer season. Resin and plastic furniture can be cleaned with mild detergent and water. Bleach and abrasive powders are not necessary or recommended. For outdoor cushions, use liquid dish soap and lukewarm water to spot clean acrylic, polyester and cotton fabrics. Rinse the furniture with water and air dry.Muddy sneakers: Hiking, biking and many other outdoor activities leave sneakers very dirty. Let mud dry completely, then take the shoes outside and clap the soles together to remove any big chunks of dry mud. Then, clean sneakers with a toothbrush and a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid. If there are stubborn stains, use a nylon pad. Wipe the sneakers with a wet paper towel or damp sponge, then let them air dry. Stuff paper towels inside the shoes to absorb excess moisture.Plastic pool toys: These toys get a lot of love over the summer! Wash them with warm water and soap, then let them soak for five minutes in a solution of bleach and water — ¾ cup bleach in 1 gallon of water. Let the toys dry thoroughly before storing them in a closed container to keep dirt and dust away over the winter months.For more information on cleaning, visit www.cleaninginstitute.org or www.gafamilies.org/home.last_img read more

Continue reading

Nixon era judges celebrate 30 years on the bench

first_imgNixon era judges celebrate 30 years on the bench Associate Editor The year was 1970. The Vietnam War dragged on; National Guard troops killed four students at a protest at Kent State University; and Richard Nixon resided in the White House when he appointed four lawyers from Florida as federal judges. Peter Fay, James Lawrence King, Paul Roney and Gerald Tjoflat all went through Senate confirmation hearings together. Three decades later, that Floridian foursome celebrates 120 years on the federal bench between them. Besides impressive longevity, there will be a laudatory occasion on September 14 when Judge King, the 72-year-old senior judge of the Southern District of Florida, will be honored with the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, likened in legal circles to an Oscar for lifetime achievement. They’re all friends. They’re colleagues who have watched the courts grow, caseloads skyrocket, issues shift and the country change. And they’re public servants who know what it’s like to be the target of death threats and guarded by marshals 24-7 for months at a time. Through it all, they still love their jobs. Unlike state judges who are subject to “constitutional senility” and mandatory retirement during the term they hit age 70, federal judges “serve life plus 10,” as Judge Fay joked. This quartet of the third branch isn’t about to retire. “It went by in a hurry. It seems like yesterday that we were going through the Senate confirmation hearings together,” said 70-year-old 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Tjoflat in Jacksonville. “I’ll be doing this till the Almighty says it’s time to quit.” “People ask me: `Are you still working?’ And I say, `No.’ If you don’t have to do it and you enjoy it, you can’t call it work,” said 79-year-old Paul Roney, senior judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Petersburg. “I don’t have to do it. I do enjoy it. And it is something I can’t imagine myself not doing.” From his North Carolina summer home, 71-year-old Fay, senior judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami, said: “I’m sitting here reading briefs.. . I’ll keep working till they put me in a box.” And when Judge Fay looks back on his long distinguished career on the federal bench that was launched with three other Floridians, he remarks: “We’ve sure become four close, good friends.” These four federal judges took time out to reflect on their collective 120 years on the bench: James Lawrence King Here’s how dangerous the job of federal judge can be: The “Black Tuna Gang” wanted Judge King dead. Thankfully, it was the FBI who succeeded in first arresting the drug conspirators who were eventually convicted of paying $1 million to a New Jersey organized crime family to eliminate Judge King. Three times in 30 years, Judge King and his family were guarded by federal marshals 24 hours a day for months at a time. As Judge King said in 1990: “Courage is the ability to do what you know is right, even in the face of fear.” He has presided over many of South Florida’s most intriguing courtroom dramas: Iran-Contra, Colombian drug cartels, Cuba’s shoot down of the Brothers to the Rescue plane, Operation Court Broom. And when he walks to work each morning, he’s gratified to see his name on the 12-story federal justice building in downtown Miami, the city where he was born. “Such an honor had never before been bestowed upon the living, but was entirely appropriate for the venerable Judge King,” former Florida Bar and American Bar President Chesterfield Smith wrote in a letter nominating King for the Devitt Award, administered by the American Judicature Society. Smith’s nomination letter was joined by more than 65 other letters of support, including those from former Attorney General Griffin Bell, former FBI Chief William Sessions, current FBI Chief Louis Freeh, former U.S. special prosecutor Kenneth Starr and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida. In a ceremony later this month in Miami, complete with a personal visit from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judge King will receive that coveted Devitt Award. “I’m terribly excited about the award,” said Judge Fay, who had nominated his friend for the Devitt Award a decade ago. “He’s very deserving. We’re very, very close friends. We eat lunch together three or four times a week. I don’t know of anyone in our country who has devoted more energy or time to the betterment of the federal court than Larry King.” Judge Fay and Judge King have been friends for more than 45 years. Their wives were sorority sisters in college together. In the early ’60s, when Judge Fay served on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, Judge King was president of what was then called the Junior Bar (now the Young Lawyers Division). He recalls helping launch the Junior Bar’s big project that continues in a much more sophisticated form to this day: an educational program to help with the transition of law school graduates into the practice of law. Judge King has known Judge Tjoflat back when they were both state circuit judges. “I was a state circuit judge in Dade and Gerry Tjoflat was a circuit judge in Duval. I went up to Jacksonville to be a visiting judge, and Gerry Tjoflat was being sworn in as circuit judge. He came bouncing in my office and threw his arm around my shoulder and said, `Come to my swearing in, my investiture.’ And I did. “Later on, the four of us were appointed together, and Judge Fay and I went to Gerry’s investiture as U.S. district judge. And later when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals, I went to that investiture, too. I sent him a telegram that said: `I’ve been to three of your investitures. And from now on, you’re on your own!’” Judge King and Judge Roney were the two judges from Florida who served together on the Judicial Conference of the United States. For the seven years he served as chief judge of the Southern District from 1984 to 1991, Judge King oversaw the building of two new courthouses, adding 23 courtrooms and chambers, and expanding from five to 16 active judges to handle cases from Ft. Pierce to Key West. Even though he became a senior judge in 1992, King still carries the caseload of an active judge. He has written 451 published opinions. Last year, Judge King completed 54 civil and criminal trials — more than twice the national average of trials for an active judge and more than any other judge in the country. Judge King is particularly respected for two seminal rulings in human rights law for immigrants. In Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, 614 F.2d 92 (5th Circuit 1980), Judge King halted the mass deportation of Haitian refugees, ruling they were entitled to full hearings on their political asylum applications before the Immigration and Naturalization Service. And in 1997, Judge King stopped the U.S. government from the massive deportation of Nicaraguan immigrants without due process, based upon the INS interpretation of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Judge King also wrote the first decision under the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, awarding $187.6 million in damages to the families of three of the four Brothers to the Rescue fliers who were shot down by the Cuban government in international airspace in 1996. His dedication to improving the federal judiciary has had ripple effects nationwide, as he has taught his “differentiated case management” or “tracking” system that categories civil cases as either expedited, standard or complex and schedules discovery and trials accordingly. Along with retired Judge Joseph Hatchett, King studied the masters’ system and English judicial procedures in London and was instrumental in shaping the U.S. magistrate judge system now relied upon heavily in the federal system. “I do the same thing I did for the last 30 years,” Judge King said. “We always have new judges coming on, and I’m involved with the training of new judges about programs and administrative work.” Recalling the day he and his good friend were sworn in together as judges in Miami’s “Old Central Courtroom,” Judge King said: “Judge Fay and I had what we referred to as a double-ring ceremony on October 30, 1970. . . . After he found out about the Devitt Award, Judge Fay said to me: `What are you going to do now?’ And I said: `Walk off into the sunset.’” Judge Peter Fay One of Judge Peter Fay’s most interesting assignments has been serving since 1994 on the three-judge panel that chooses and oversees the nation’s independent counsels, including Ken Starr. But don’t try to pry out the details. He’s mum on the inner workings of the Independent Counsel. What about the Clinton affair? All he’ll say is “very interesting and very unique.” “My wife will say to me: `What are you reading?’ And I’ll give her a vague and general description. And she’ll say, `Can I read it?’ And I’ll say, `Sure honey, but after you read it, I’ll have to kill you.’” “Most of the work we do is secret,” Judge Fay said. “But in general terms, it has given me great insight into the way our government works and I’ve gained an awful lot of knowledge I wouldn’t have any other way. The executive branch is really contingent upon the good faith and the good intentions of people who fill the positions of high-level members of the executive branch and cabinet members, and it makes you realize how important it is to have good people there. “I’ve seen an awful lot over the past years that has made us scratch our heads and makes us disappointed. You come away with feeling that an awful lot of people go to Washington with good intentions, and while there they become convinced that the work is so important that the rules and law simply don’t apply to them. Certainly, they can’t be required to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, and they lose sight of the balance. I don’t think they’re bad people, but sometimes they get lost.” When Judge Fay looks back over his 30 years on the federal bench, he says the most dramatic change has been the increasing workload. “I don’t know how much any one judge can do,” said Judge Fay. “Without intending to sound critical, Congress has to face the facts of the reality of the situation that the federal courts can’t handle everything. “Federal courts were not designed to handle domestic matters or pure state law. It’s politically advantageous to try to convince your constituents you’re doing a great good by making domestic disputes civil rights violations, but there are just thousands of cases. It’s a very difficult balancing act. . . . “Article 3 judges simply can’t handle everything that is going on in the country. Individual judges are being overwhelmed. “Somewhere, sometime, the state legislative bodies and federal legislative bodies have to grapple with: What is the role of state courts and what is the role of federal courts?” Another troublesome area of the federal judiciary, Fay said, is immigration law. “Congress has simply failed to pass any semblance of an orderly statutory scheme for immigration,” Judge Fay said. “Congress has given great discretion to the Attorney General. And Congress has created a situation where there is no orderly process to arrive at a termination point. Cases go on and on forever, and it’s created all kinds of problems. “Congress has great, great authority in the field, but they don’t want to face the hard questions. “No one is opposed to immigration, but Congress has failed to set meaningful quotas. We have become a borderless society. The only ones who can’t come in are the ones who do it orderly. Anyone who simply walks across the border, they’re here!” The bigger question, Judge Fay says, is: Are we going to have a border patrol again? And he sees no reason why branches of the armed services can’t help the U.S. Customs Service in that duty. “That doesn’t mean don’t let people into the country. Simply preserve the rules.. . . We all know Cubans have been given all kinds of benefits and entitlements that no other group has had in this country. “I’m not suggesting the Cubans who fled to this country didn’t deserve help. It’s often a matter of life or death. But that’s no way to approach the overall question of immigration.” While the job has its aggravations, there are plenty of what Judge Fay calls “the hard, but fun cases,” the ones involving intellectual property rights, cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars and big contracts. “I enjoy working with very able attorneys who do a wonderful job. I’m ruling on very, very serious questions that affect commerce and affect millions of people,” said Judge Fay, who was honored to have the American Inns of Court at St. Thomas law school named after him. And the busy senior judge who begins most days at 5 a.m. reading to prepare for court said: “I tell my kids: `I can’t wait to get to the office each day.’” Judge Paul Roney Besides his main job as senior judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Petersburg, where he has lived since he was four years old, Judge Paul Roney has the distinction of presiding over what has been described as America’s most secretive court: the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. In a highly restricted area on the sixth floor of the Justice Department, this is where the government gets the go-ahead to conduct secret surveillance of people in the U.S. beyond the limits of usual criminal investigations. “It’s a nice title. That’s the best part of it,” Judge Roney said with a laugh. “If the U.S. government is going to wiretap a foreign agent or a person suspected of being a foreign agent, they have to get a court order.” To get a court order, the government needs to show probable cause that the target is either a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power who knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities, terrorism or sabotage on behalf of a foreign power. As a senior judge, Roney has lent his judicial services to every federal circuit court in the nation, except the D.C. circuit that doesn’t use senior judges. It has been estimated that if the federal judiciary did not have senior judges to depend upon, the courts would need an additional 100 active judges to handle the workload. “Right now, I’m contemplating whether to go to California next year,” Judge Roney said. “When I sit as a senior judge, I’m an equal partner with other judges regardless their ages, or what’s deemed active judges.” Four times a year, Judge Roney sits with the court and does some nonargument cases. “You can work as much or as little as you’d like to. There’s no mandatory requirement to work, either. They call us juror volunteers.” In 1969, the year before Judge Roney came on the court (what was then the old Fifth Circuit before it was divided into the new 11th Circuit in 1981), oral arguments were heard on every case. “Now, the statistics show they’re deciding two-thirds of the cases without oral arguments. “It’s a struggle to keep up with the workload. When I came on the court, there were two staff attorneys in New Orleans working for the court, mostly with pro se petitions. Now, I think we have 100 staff attorneys. When I came on, the judges had two law clerks and one secretary. Now, we have five clerks,” Judge Roney said. “Of course, the trick is to make sure the judges do the judging and the staff does the research and the time-consuming records research. That’s the major change.” Another big change, Judge Roney said, is the shift from marijuana cases to cocaine and crack. “I don’t know if you ever see a marijuana case anymore,” he said. “And the whole area of civil rights law really developed after the late ’60s during our term. There has been a lot of change in that kind of law. Take sexual harassment. I don’t know if I saw one for 20 years I was on the court. Now, I see one on every docket. It’s the cutting edge of the law.” The Harvard Law School graduate and member of the Bar Board of Governors from 1967-70 had practiced law for 22 years before the opportunity to become a federal judge came along. “As you practice law, your focus becomes narrower and narrower. If you’re going to become really good, you have to specialize. Coming on the court opens all that up,” Judge Roney said of his judicial job that requires a generalist’s broad knowledge. “With the help of really good lawyers, we can cover a lot. The lawyers are the experts. We decide which are the most expert.” Judge Roney recalled the only time he had to endure 24-hour federal marshal protection, after the pipe bomb assassination of Robert Vance, an Alabama federal judge, in 1989. “It makes you appreciate what people go through who have that kind of protection all the time, like the President of the United States, just the whole invasion of privacy. I never worried about that very much as far as myself was concerned,” Judge Roney said. “Sometimes, I was concerned about my staff. They didn’t buy into this. I did. They aren’t responsible for our decisions.” Judge Gerald Tjoflat Judge Tjoflat’s day begins at 5 a.m. with a workout in the courthouse gym. “I take a shower and shave, and by 6 a.m. it’s time to grind,” he said. And he’s been grinding away and loving it for three decades. After serving as judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, he was appointed federal judge of the Middle District of Florida, then to the old Fifth Circuit Court, then to the newly created 11th Circuit that covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama, where he served as chief judge from 1989 to 1996. He remembers the old Fifth Circuit as having fewer judges in six states than the current 11th Circuit’s three. “As a matter of fact, I would dare say that by the mid ’70s, I probably knew everybody in the federal judiciary. It was small and very collegial.” His federal judicial career began with the difficult cases of the civil rights era, in a time of fleshing out the law with the seminal case Swann v. Charlotte Board of Education, argued in 1970 and decided in 1971. “We were going through the heavy school desegregation litigation,” he called. “All of the cases in the South were held in the Fourth and Fifth Circuit courts of appeals. Society was very tense, and judges were under the protection of the U.S. Marshal Service.” Nearly two decades later, December 1989, four mail bombs were sent to different addresses in the Southeast, one tragically killing Alabama’s Judge Vance, and another killing civil rights attorney Robert Robinson in Savannah, Ga. The FBI referred to the case as VANPAC, because of the assassination of Judge Vance with a bomb sent in a mail package. And in June 1991, a federal jury convicted Walter LeRoy Moody, Jr., on charges related to the bombings. “The person who has been convicted threatened to kill the rest of us,” Judge Tjoflat recalled. “Everybody on our court was on 24-hour protective custody for 11 months. You don’t forget those kinds of things.” For 16 years from 1973 to 1989, Judge Tjoflat was a member of the Committee on the Administration of the Probation System of the Judicial Conference and chaired it for the last 10 years. In that role, Judge Tjoflat was the judiciary spokesman before Congress on all matters relating to the criminal justice system, including bail reform and sentencing reform. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 eliminated the parole commission and changed to guideline sentencing with minimum mandatory sentences. “The problem is, we lost the drug war a long time ago. The crime control policy right now is to warehouse offenders. The theory is to reduce crime by the number of crimes a person would commit if out on release,” Judge Tjoflat said. “When the problem is really going to be visited upon society is when these people are released to society who were sentenced to 30 years in prison. They will be incapable of holding a job properly. And another generation or two will keep paying the tab for all of these people warehoused.. . . “When you add the cost of incarceration with the cost of dealing with people following release, you’re talking about an enormous amount of money.” Right now, the ramifications are just being felt from the tough 10-year minimum mandatory sentences for drug offense imposed a decade ago, he said. Forty percent of the docket is criminal cases and drug cases are 80 percent of that, not counting habeas corpus cases, Judge Tjoflat said. Drug cases and prisoner litigation are swallowing up the system, he said. “If you’re going to sit in prison for 20 years and can’t get out on parole, what else is there to do? When they had a parole system and could be released at the discretion of the parole board, inmates would think twice about suing the warden.” The long, mandatory sentences for drug offenses are called “death sentences” in federal court, he said. “Most of the people who violate drug laws had no idea what lies in store. They may now. But they’d get into a van with a U.S. deputy marshal and say: `I just got a 440-month sentence. When am I getting out?’ And the marshal will respond: `Yes, you will do that time, less 15 percent for good time.’ “Now it begins to dawn on the inmate for the first time: `Hey, it was pretty stupid to be driving an automobile with a trunkload of cocaine from Miami to New York, only to be stopped by the Highway Patrol because of falling asleep and going over the line.’ “One of the problems is the leaders of the drug enterprise have things to bargain. But the poor slob who is the courier has no information to sell. They have nothing to give in cooperation, which would authorize asking the judge to impose a sentence below the minimum mandatory. Every judge worries about that.” Besides the nature of drug cases and the stiff sentences, Judge Tjoflat said, the “whole federal docket has had a dramatic change” in the 30 years he’s been on the bench. “Now we’re inundated with employment discrimination — sex and age discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act cases, ethnic discrimination, you name it. We didn’t have any of that in 1970.. . . “You see every kind of bizarre case. Some are highly meritorious; some are frivolous. There are a lot of disgruntled people, both employees and employers. “We can’t keep tearing each other up. The place of employment can’t be an armed camp.” But for Judge Tjoflat, as well as his three colleagues appointed together 30 years ago, the work place has been an exciting, sometimes difficult, always interesting place. Judge Tjoflat has what he unabashedly calls “career love,” and what has made him happiest about his job is “the relationship you have with colleagues, whether you agree with what they say or you don’t.” Nixon era judges celebrate 30 years on the bench September 1, 2000 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img
Continue reading

Share your respect for Mother Earth

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion “Nature adorns the Earth with many natural occurrences of life. The trees, flowers and grass come into full bloom, live a gentle, seasoned existence and then under the guidance of Mother Nature, die, only to be re-born again in the Springs.“The almighty dominance of man on this earth, puts him in authority to re-decorate the surroundings with everlasting symbols of life. Man tends to feel more at  home when he can find in many cities, flashing neon signs, plastic flowers and most of all, garbage in the streets.”I personally liked Gina’s words, “Take time to respect and be kind to the earth and each other so this would be a nicer please to live.”I’m very fortunately to have neighbors, family and friends who share those sentiments. Happy Spring to all.Helen CaldaroBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Re April 13 letter, “Be kind to Earth, pick up your trash,” by Gina Sauter: I couldn’t have said it better if I had written it myself. Gina’s words brought back memories of my deceased son, Joseph P. Pallermo’s, verse that he wrote when he was in high school many years ago.last_img read more

Continue reading

Prizes for your writers awards

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Continue reading

Major regions still classified as red zones despite claims of improvement

first_imgWhile the government has claimed an increase in the number of regions that are COVID-19 free and categorized as low-risk zones, epidemic risk mapping shows that 57 cities and regencies are still classified as red zones, or areas with high rates of transmission. According to data from the COVID-19 national task force, 13 out of the 57 high-risk areas were the capital cities of their respective province. The data showed East Java had recorded the highest number of red zones with 13 cities and regencies followed by South Kalimantan with 11. As of Friday, East Java has surpassed Jakarta, the first epicenter of COVID-19 transmission, with 10,901 confirmed cases compared to 10,796 in the nation’s capital.Additionally, 157 cities and regencies were categorized as orange zones with a medium risk of infection, while 188 were classified as yellow zones or low-risk areas. The remaining 112 were either completely free of the disease or have not recorded any new cases in four weeks, with a 100 percent recovery rate of patients.An epidemiologist on the national task force, Dewi Nur Aisyah, said the percentage of green and yellow zones had gradually increased. On May 31, regions listed as low-risk or COVID-19-free zones comprised 46.7 percent of the 514 cities and regencies while on June 21, the figure had risen to 58 percent.“Overall, we saw improvements in cities and regencies,” Dewi said during a press conference hosted by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency on Tuesday.At the press conference,  task force chief Wiku Bakti Bawono Adisasmito said the team had used 15 indicators to assess the risks in cities and regencies.As of Friday, Indonesia has recorded 51,427 cases of COVID-19, the highest in Southeast Asia, with 2,683 fatalities and 21,333 recoveries.Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

Biden, Harris slam Trump over social unrest, COVID response

first_imgTopics : “Instead of looking to calm the waters, he adds fuel to every fire. Violence isn’t a problem in his eyes — it’s a political strategy,” Biden said. “And the more of it, the better for him.”With Trump set to close out the Republican convention with a speech Thursday night, Harris sought to shine a light on racial injustice and police brutality.”As vice president Biden put it, the shots fired at Mr Blake pierced the soul of our nation,” she told reporters in an address in Washington. “It’s sickening to watch. It’s all too familiar. And it must end.” Harris said she would “always defend” peaceful protesters but they should not be confused “with those looting and committing acts of violence.”She also warned against citizens taking the law into their own hands, a veiled reference to the arrested teen.”Make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice,” Harris said.Harris also went after Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president showed “reckless disregard” by failing to take decisive action.”President Trump got it wrong in the beginning. And then, he got it wrong again, and again. And the consequences have been catastrophic,” she said.”Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a president of the United States. He failed to protect the American people,” she said.Trump is expected to speak Thursday about his efforts to end the pandemic and revive the battered US economy. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris launched a two-pronged attack Thursday against Donald Trump, saying the president is fueling unrest over police brutality and racial injustice and has failed to protect Americans.Trump “refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America,” Biden said in a statement amid swelling social unrest after an African-American man, Jacob Blake, was shot in the back at close range multiple times by police in Wisconsin.The shooting sparked nationwide rage and three nights of violence in the city of Kenosha. Tensions soared when two protesters were shot dead Tuesday.center_img A white 17-year-old was detained on murder charges connected to the protesters’ slayings, and Trump announced he was sending federal forces to Kenosha to “restore law and order.”On Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence warned people watching the Republican convention that they “won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” Biden shot back that the deadly violence did not occur on his watch, and won’t during a future Biden presidency.”The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me,” Biden said, adding that Trump — who has yet to publicly address Blake’s shooting — is turning a blind eye to the crisis.last_img read more

Continue reading