first_img[Video: Farm Aid]Headline photo courtesy of Brian Bruner/Bruner Photo. Videos courtesy of Farm Aid.Words by Sarah Bourque On Saturday, September 22, 2018, Farm Aid came to Xfinity Center in Hartford, CT. Before the sold-out event began for 24,000 fans, festival organizers held a press conference to talk about the current state of affairs in the farming community. Founder Willie Nelson joined co-founders John Mellencamp and Neil Young on stage, along with Dave Matthews, who has been a board member since 2001.Connecticut’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Steven Reviczky, kicked off the press conference stating that “this crisis is real. 93% of dairy produced has been lost since 1973. 500 family farms lost. Connecticut has 100 dairy farms.” On that note, local farmers from throughout the state spoke of their current situation.Joe Greenbacker of Fort Hill Farms put it simply by stating, “We’re tired of working for no money.”Blue Hills Orchard’s president, Eric Henry, indicated that “every avenue we have to make money is a good thing. Farming in New England is pretty tough. You see land being lost all the time. To keep the farms that we have is crucial. That’s key. Why would you want to lose that?”A once-empty acre of a concrete lot in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is now home to Reservoir Community Farm. Alexis Martin stated that “it’s basically an acre of land that was built from the ground up. The youth program is eight weeks long, and kids from Bridgeport can come and learn. They learn that they have options other than the corner store.”The major names behind Farm Aid also spoke at the press conference. Nelson was very to the point, noting that “everyone should be very concerned about who does their food. I would hope most of it comes from our local farmers.”Mellencamp was pissed off and noted that his song “Rain On The Scarecrow” was inspired due to the state of the farm economy. He explained,That’s how I met Willie [Nelson]. The admiration is bullshit now. Having the farms having to deal with some madman’s trade habits, fuck that. Big companies run all these radio stations. You’re going to hear corporate bullshit. We’re going to eat corporate bullshit, and we’re governed by corporate bullshit. If you don’t vote we’re going to get shit, which is what we’ve got right now.Young reflected his passion on the matter with strong words that he hoped would stick and drove that point home by stating thatYou should never drive by a farmer’s market without going in and taking part in humanity. I’m Canadian, and I love America. There’s nothing here that needs to be made great again. The corporate farmers suck. They’re poisoning you. Their food is bad. You can stop this if you stand up. Don’t support it. Just don’t drive by another farmer’s market ever again without buying something. Please don’t abandon the farmers of America. Do whatever you have to do. Vote. Buy an orange. Buy something.Matthews followed the same theme, as he went on to say,It is unfathomable in a country that has as much as we have, that has the richest people in droves, that we can still look at ourselves and say we’re the greatest nation on the planet when we have people that are going hungry. When we have people that have to go five miles to get to a grocery store is crazy. Our tax dollars should go to people that are starting urban farms. Our tax dollars should be supporting people that are growing good food.After the hour-plus press conference on stage, doors opened and attendees started to stream in. The venue was packed with fans coming from as far away as Florida, New Jersey, and all points in between. As expected, Willie Nelson opened up the day’s musical event alongside the Wisdom Indian Dancers before Ian Mellencamp took to the stage on acoustic guitar, followed by Particle Kid. It eased fans into the day as they continued to stream into the venue under gorgeous blue skies.Throughout the day, attendees had the chance to learn more about farming and the state of the industry by exploring the interactive exhibits that were available in the “Homegrown Village.” Groups from across the nation provided learning experiences regarding soil, water, energy, and food within this area. At the FarmYard stage within the Village, musicians who performed on the main stage joined local farmers on various discussions. Ian Mellencamp spoke in the panel regarding diversity and told listeners to “get to know your local artists just as you should get to know your local farmers. Art, music, and good food go so well together.”During every performance, enormous screens behind and to the sides of the stage showed stunning photos that continuously changed. Everything farm related, from gorgeous fields of flowers to barns to farm equipment, was seamlessly splashed on the screens, creating a striking backdrop that quietly reminded the audience of the importance of the day’s event.Back at the main stage, the music moved at a quick pace. Afternoon sets featured Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, and Jamey Johnson. Johnson was no stranger to the event as this was his eleventh appearance at Farm Aid. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats captivated the crowd with a steamy, energetic set, with Margo Price and Lukas Nelson joining in to wrap things up with a cover of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In.” The angelic vocals of Kacey Musgraves were simply as Nashville as her, and the band was decked out in classy blue outfits.As the sun started to set, the performance time for each artist became lengthier. Sturgill Simpson bounded onto the stage with an energy that just wouldn’t quit. Grammy-winning Chris Stapleton had the crowd charged up, with fans wasting no time belting out the lyrics to “Tennessee Whiskey” at the end of his set. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds gave an impressive acoustic performance that included heavy hitters such as “#41”, “Ants Marching”, and “Don’t Drink the Water.”Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – “Don’t Drink The Water”[Video: Farm Aid]John Mellencamp continued to keep the Farm Aid crowd spirited as he reached into the catalog and busted out some of his greatest hits. “Small Town”, “Jack & Diane”, and the song that started his journey on the path for farmers, “Rain On the Scarecrow”, had the entire venue singing along to the lyrics. At times, Mellencamp would back away from the mic and let the audience take over a tune. Over 20,000 people singing along to his songs visibly impressed Mellencamp as he surveyed the crowd while they sang.Neil Young was joined by Promise of the Real, and they did not disappoint. With such a passion for the Farm Aid cause, Young maintained his stance and took the time to repeatedly remind the crowd to shop at farmers’ markets and help the small-town farmers. His set graced the entirety of his legendary career, varying from “Show Me,” “Heart of Gold”, to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Ohio,” and featured the live debut performance of “Children of Destiny.”Neil Young & Promise Of The Real – “Heart Of Gold”[Video: Farm Aid]Willie Nelson bookended the music by closing out the event with his set in annual fashion. Lukas and Micah joined their father on stage to back him during his set, which included heavy favorites “Whiskey River”, “On The Road Again”, and the Brenda Lee cover “Always On My Mind.” A tip of the hat was made to Waylon Jennings with a performance of “Good Hearted Woman”, and Nelson also performed several Hank Williams covers, including “Hey Good Lookin’”. Neil Young took to the stage and helped close out the show as the event wrapped up with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” and the Albert Brumley cover of “I’ll Fly Away.”The event that sold out in four hours was a huge success in Connecticut. For more information on how you can donate to farmers in need, please visit Farm Aid’s official website.Willie Nelson & Family – “Always On My Mind”last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two Nassau County police officers were injured while arresting a father and son who authorities said they caught burglarizing copper pipes from a vacant house in South Farmingdale over the weekend.The officers responded to an abandoned house on Carmen Gate when they were confronted by 51-year-old Steven Merrill and his 21-year-old son, James, both of East Farmingdale, at 10:35 a.m. Saturday, police said.James Merrill allegedly pushed an officer before he ran away and scuffled with the officers who chased him down, police said.Both officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries suffered while taking the two suspects into custody. One officer suffered a fractured hand and the other suffered a sprained ankle and hand. Each suffered back injuries.Police said the suspects were found with a bag containing bolt cutters, flashlights, wrenches, screwdrivers, pipe cutters and other tools.Father and son were each charged with burglary and possession of burglars tools. James Merrill was also charged with assault.Bail for Steven was set at $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash. James’ bail was set at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash. They’re both due back in court Wednesday.last_img read more

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Gus Ruelas(Left to right): USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Dean Robert A. Cutietta, school benefactor and namesake Glorya Kaufman, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Kaufman Vice Dean and Director Jodie Gates participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center on Wednesday.last_img

first_imgIOWA CITY, Iowa – It wasn’t quite as easy as it was on Jan. 20, but No. 5 Wisconsin  defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes for the second time in eleven days at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.With just a six point lead at the half, the Badgers shut down the hot-shooting Hawkeyes in the second half while Frank Kaminsky scored a game-high 24 points as the Badgers knocked off Iowa 74-63.Wisconsin scored the first five points of the second half to open up an 11-point lead with 18:37 left in the game, but from there, both teams would struggle to score and after Iowa closed Wisconsin’s lead to six with 16:10 remaining, it would not make another field goal until nine minutes and 25 seconds left in the game. Following a field goal from Mike Gesell at the 9:25-mark, Iowa’s next field goal didn’t come until three minutes and 30 seconds left in the second half on a layup by Gabriel Olaseni.By that time, the Badgers had a 65-54 lead and were well in control as they held the Hawkeyes the rest of the way and made their free throws down the stretch to win their fourth straight game and remain in first place atop the Big Ten standings.While the Hawkeyes struggled offensively in the second half, so did the Badgers, as they were just 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) in the half and only 2 of 8 (25 percent) from three. While Wisconsin was struggling to score, it could have been an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to take the lead, but UW’s defensive efforts prevented that from happening.“That could have been a time that changed the tide,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of his team’s offensive struggles in the second half. “But it didn’t so we kept plugging defensively. Kept getting it back.”Iowa didn’t go away quietly and kept chipping away at the Wisconsin lead for the majority of the second half. But anytime the Hawkeyes began to close the gap, the Badgers always seemed to respond.Josh Gasser hit a huge three with the shot clock winding down mid-way through the second half after Nigel Hayes threw down a put-back dunk earlier in the half. Wisconsin used 15 offensive rebounds to score 16 second chance points Saturday and converted 21 of its 26 free throw attempts.With the memory of the Michigan game fresh in the Wisconsin players minds, they weren’t going to let another 11-point lead slip away on the road.“Well, if you look at last week, against Michigan, we had an 11-point lead and we let them chip it down and eventually tie the game,” Kaminsky said. “But we didn’t want that to happen again, so we just knew in our minds that we had to get stops and convert on offense.”Four players for Wisconsin, Nigel Hayes (14), Sam Dekker (11), Josh Gasser (11) and Kaminsky (24) scored in double-figures Saturday. Kaminsky led the Badgers in rebounding with nine while Dekker had eight, including five offensive rebounds. Once again, every starter for UW hit a three with both Gasser and Kaminsky leading the way, going 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.After allowing Iowa to score 22 points in the paint in the first half, the Badgers held the Hawkeyes to only 10 points in the paint second half. It was a large reason why Iowa struggled offensively in the final 20 minutes of play.“In the first half we made a couple mistakes, couple communication mistakes,” Hayes said. “I think we did a better job of switching which made it harder for them to get into the lane which works to our advantage.”Wisconsin took a 42-36 lead into halftime after both teams shot over fifty percent from the floor in the first half. Iowa finished 16-for-25 (64 percent) while the Badgers were 15-for-38 (54 percent). The game stayed fairly close in the first half with Wisconsin taking the largest lead of the half at eight points with 9:02 left.The Badgers used seven offensive rebounds in the first half to convert 10 second chance points while making seven free throws to Iowa’s one to take the lead from the hot-shooting Hawkeyes. Both teams combined for just one first half turnover.Kaminsky had a game-high 11 points at the half while Dekker had nine points and a team-high five rebounds for UW.Aaron White led the Hawkeyes with seven points and four rebounds. Gabriel Olaseni also chipped in seven points in the first half for Iowa.White finished with a team-high 15 points while Olaseni was the only other Hawkeye to score in double digits, adding 12 for Iowa.Iowa center Adam Woodbury saw limited court time due to foul trouble and only played 18 minutes. He was effective and efficient though, scoring eight points on 4-5 shooting.Wisconsin returns to the court Tuesday when they take on Indiana at the Kohl Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m.last_img read more

first_img Travellers to Jamaica are being urged to declare all agricultural products in order to avoid the introduction of foreign pests and diseases that could threaten the agriculture sector and the environment. Travellers to Jamaica are being urged to declare all agricultural products in order to avoid the introduction of foreign pests and diseases that could threaten the agriculture sector and the environment.Chief Plant Quarantine Produce Inspector, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Sanniel Wilson, said that persons are required to declare seeds, meats, plants and animal products and by-products being taken into the island.The declaration must cover all items carried in checked baggage, carry-on luggage and shipped items.Miss Wilson, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on September 7, cautioned persons against illegally smuggling plants into the country.“Be it a tourist, a Jamaican or returning resident, if you intend to carry any plant or plant products here, you are required to have a permit. This permit will tell the exporting country the requirements for taking in this plant,” she noted.Miss Wilson explained that in cases where there are no permits, the inspectors at the borders of entry will determine whether the items meet the entry requirements.She is encouraging persons to adhere to the laws in order to avoid sanctions.She noted that the Plant Quarantine Act of 1993 and the Plant Import Control Regulations outline clear fines and other sanctions for persons who intentionally smuggle in plant-related items.“Sanctions for illegal introduction of plant and plant products range from $50,000 to $200,000, and could also lead to imprisonment,” Miss Wilson pointed out.Meanwhile, for persons who may have visited a farm or ranch in a foreign country, she said: “the clothes you wear, we ask you to leave it there”.Clothes and shoes worn on farms could contain traces of soil that might harbour foreign diseases.Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dermon Spence, said part of the Ministry’s mandate is to expand agricultural production and ensure that people have access to safe, quality food for consumption.He noted that achieving these objectives will require that the sector is not compromised by persons bringing pests and diseases into the country.As such, he stressed the need for travellers to fill out the declaration forms that they receive at the airport.Mr. Spence noted that prohibited items that are not declared by passengers will be confiscated and disposed of, and persons could also face civil penalties. Chief Plant Quarantine Produce Inspector, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Sanniel Wilson, said that persons are required to declare seeds, meats, plants and animal products and by-products being taken into the island. Story Highlights “Be it a tourist, a Jamaican or returning resident, if you intend to carry any plant or plant products here, you are required to have a permit. This permit will tell the exporting country the requirements for taking in this plant,” she noted.last_img read more

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsAfter two days of hearings for the proposed $875-million Sixties Scoop settlement a Federal Court Judge has approved agreement-in-principle.The decision came early Friday evening.Judge Michel Shore told the court he would provide a more detailed decision at a later date.After two days of hearings, many survivors say they felt dissatisfied with the process.Despite nearly 200 survivors filling a makeshift courtroom in a downtown Saskatoon hotel, only roughly 30 men and women got to voice their objections on Thursday.The hearings were scheduled for two days, but survivors found out Shore would only listen to their objections for one day.“It was supposed to be two days and then we were told [Thursday] it’s only one day,” said survivor Coleen Rajotte. “Today they’re hearing arguments around the $75-million fees around the lawyers.“So, today is a day for the lawyers… this is not a day for survivors.”Coleen Rajotte outside the hearings. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTNOn Friday Shore heard from some of the law firms included in the settlement as well as other law firms objecting it.One of the four law firms included in the settlement argued $75-million was a reasonable amount – even about 20 per cent less than what law firms have received in other class-action lawsuits.Rajotte drove from Winnipeg to voice her objections.Since March she has been working with a group of survivors in Manitoba to object to the settlement.The group has travelled to First Nations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta and spoke with dozens of survivors.She says she was disappointed to learn survivors were given a time limit to speak.Shore told the crowd they had three minutes to voice their objections.“This is our first opportunity to appear in a courtroom setting where a judge is presiding over the objections, and you would think he would want to know a little bit about our stories,” said Rajotte.Shore warned survivors if personal stories were included he would have to interrupt because they did not relate to the settlement at hand.In his opening statement on Friday, Shore sympathized with survivors but said, “this wasn’t the venue to tell your stories. Your stories should be told for hours and for days.”He touted the proposed $50-millon healing foundation as the place to share stories. The foundation is included as part of the agreement-in-principle put forth by the federal government last October.The $875-million settlement would see a maximum of $750-million for individual survivors plus $50-million for a healing foundation and another $75-million for lawyer fees.Not included in the settlement are the Metis people and non-status Aboriginals.Robert Doucette is a Metis Sixties Scoop survivor and has been vocal about the exclusion of the Metis people in the settlement.He says the hearings have re-traumatized him and left him with little faith survivors concerns have been taken seriously.“It’s sad how we’ve been treated in the last 50-60 years and it’s sad how we’ve been treated today,” said Doucette.“It’s my prediction that they’re just going to ram this agreement through. They had made up their mind already.”For Rajotte, the hearings brought back memories of being scooped as a child.“We weren’t consulted so everything is set up in basically the colonizers way,” she said.“And once again we were being told what to do.”[email protected]@bhobs22last_img read more