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Autism research fellowship open for applications

first_imgHarvard Medical School and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation are accepting applications for the Nancy Lurie Marks Junior Faculty Merit Fellowship.Applicants must be affiliated with Harvard Medical School or one of the Harvard hospitals, have at least two years of prior postdoctoral training, and be actively engaged in autism research. This fellowship is intended to provide salary support to the junior faculty members and limited funds for research supplies.Eligible candidates should submit a 5-page proposal to include a description of research plan (two to three pages); description of background, specific aims, and experimental approach; National Institutes of Health-style bio-sketch; three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with researcher’s accomplishments; and a 250-word abstract. All materials except references must be single-spaced, and in 10 pt. font.Two fellowships will be awarded in January. To submit completed applications, or for questions, email [email protected] Deadline to submit is Dec. 15.last_img read more

Ollie Jochim Joins West End Cast of Billy Elliot

first_img Directed by Stephen Daldry and featuring music by Elton John and a book and lyrics by Lee Hall, Billy Elliot is based on the Oscar nominated film and is an inspiring story of one boy’s dream to know his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England alongside the backdrop of the historic 1984-85 miners’ strike, Billy follows his passion for dance in secret to evade disapproval from his struggling family. The cast of Billy Elliot currently includes Ruthie Henshall as Mrs Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley as Dad, Chris Grahamson as Tony, Ann Emery as Grandma, Howard Crossley as George, Barnaby Meredith as Older Billy, Claudia Bradley as Dead Mum and David Muscat as Mr. Braithwaite. Jochim will alternate the role of Billy with Elliott Hanna, Bradley Perret , Mitchell Tobin and Matteo Zecca. The cast also includes Tomi Fry, Zach Atkinson and Zak Baker, who play the role of Billy’s best friend Michael, and Kyria Cooper, Dayna Dixon and Demi Lee, who alternates the role of Debbie. The West End has a new ballet boy! Ollie Jochim will start performances as Billy in Billy Elliot on July 14 at the Victoria Palace Theatre. He becomes the 75th boy to perform the role worldwide.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Merit selection rejected

first_imgMerit selection rejected Voters in Florida have spoken in favor of continuing to elect trial court judges. Florida voters were presented with two ballot questions in November relating to merit selection and retention. One question asked if they wanted to continue electing their circuit judges or switch entirely to a merit selection and retention system. The other question asked the same for county judges. Currently, mid-term vacancies in the trial courts are filled by merit selection and end of term vacancies by elections, and all trial judges stand for election at the end of their terms, although traditionally most incumbents are unopposed. The referendums were held pursuant to a 1998 constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by the Constitution Revision Commission and approved by voters. That amendment, in addition to requiring the state to pick up more funding of the trial courts, set a referendum in every circuit and county on switching to pure merit selection and retention. The Florida Bar, after holding several public hearings and consulting with its Citizens Forum, voted to educate voters about the choice they were making and also to support switching to the appointive system. “The bottom line is notwithstanding the yeoman effort by the Bar and numerous members of the Bar in making presentations, visiting newspaper editorial boards, passing out pamphlets and other activities, the voters have spoken,” said Board of Governors member Alan Bookman, who chaired the committee that oversaw the Bar’s campaign. “The sense in my community [the Pensacola area] was the voter did not want to give up his or her right to vote,” he added. Bookman said the Bar took its pro merit selection position as a way to lessen politics in judicial selections and also find better qualified candidates. The Bar should now turn its attention to addressing problems in judicial elections, he said. “I think what the Bar should do right now — since from my standpoint it is a very critical Bar issue — is to look into the election process, work with the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and discuss potential campaign reform and get the word out in a better fashion to potential judicial candidates about basically what the existing rules are,” he said. “The Florida Bar distributed information concerning how lawyers evaluated the appellate bench, and all of the justices and 18 district court of appeal judges received highly favorable ratings,” Bar President Herman Russomanno said. “The voters reaffirmed the excellent job that the Supreme Court justices and DCA judges are doing in Florida. “The right to vote is the most basic right of American citizenship,” Russomanno added. “The Florida Bar will continue to provide information to the public about judges and continue our efforts to vigorously defend judicial independence.” Russomanno said the Bar will intensify its efforts to provide detailed information to the voters about judicial candidates and inform the public about the qualifications of all candidates. Russomanno noted the ABA House of Delegates recently approved recommen- dations that states create judicial eligibility commissions to determine minimal standards. “The Florida Bar is considering the appointment of a Judicial Election Task Force to study these issues and make recommendations to the Board of Governors,” Russomanno said. “Issues to be discussed would include standards for judges and whether candidates would be rated as qualified or not.” Currently, Russomanno said, Florida’s only requirement for a trial judgeship is admission to the Bar for five years. “The Florida Bar Judicial Election Task Force will study ways to provide the electorate with information about these judicial candidates so voters have the needed information,” he said. Russomanno said the task force will study campaign-finance reform and campaign practices and procedures in addition to minimum standards for pre-qualifications. “The Florida Bar will work with all voluntary bar associations, the public and the legislature to correct any faults in the present system,” Russomanno said. Miami attorney Victor M. Diaz, Jr., chair of Citizens for an Open Judiciary, agreed with Bookman that citizens were not willing to give up their right to directly elect judges and that more needs to be done, both to improve the elective and appointive process. “their record voter turnout and their resounding rejection of these referendums, voters sent a strong message of how much we value the most precious right of any American citizen, which is the right to vote,” said Diaz, who testified at the Bar public hearings against going to pure merit selection. He added he hopes the Bar is willing to work with his and other groups to make changes both to elections and the current merit selection process. Those recommendations include, for the merit selection process, “to adopt mandatory conflict of interest rules, to adopt lobbying restrictions and disclosure requirements, and to increase public awareness and participation in the nondeliberative aspects of the process,” Diaz said. For elections, “It is to move up the filing deadline so incumbent judges can’t be ambushed at the last minute, to raise the qualifications for circuit court judges, to implement partial public financial on a local option basis for judicial elections — which would include caps on spending — and the most rigorous code of campaign ethics in the nation,” Diaz said. He also called on the Bar to use the defeat as a chance to be more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of its members and the public. Florida Association for Women Lawyers President Barbara Eagan agreed the referendums should not be the end of a campaign, but the start of finding other ways to improve the system. She noted that judicial campaigns that attract public disgust have a spillover effect on the perceptions of the legal profession as a whole. FAWL opposed switching to pure merit selection and retention, and Eagan attributed the defeats to the public reluctance to give up the ability to elect judges and perhaps a lack of understanding. “A lot of people thought `Give up your vote’ and voted no,” she said. “I think the public didn’t understand the issue generally.” In the majority of counties, the switch to merit selection was rejected by at least 70 percent of the voters, and in many it topped 80 percent. The highest came in rural Holmes County, where 88.5 percent of the voters rejected appointing their county judge. In no county did 40 percent of the voters support switching to merit selection, although Broward garnered a 39.9 percent “yes” vote. In the 20 circuit referendums, voters were slightly more likely to vote for switching completely to the merit appointments. Only seven of the 20 circuits had more than 70 percent of the voters rejecting merit selection, and none exceeded 80 percent. But, by the same token, only the 17th Circuit (Broward County) exceeded the 40-percent approval mark. Second was the 15th Circuit (Palm Beach County) with 37.4 percent voting “yes”. The Bar printed 500,000 brochures, which were distributed everywhere from voluntary bars to public libraries to civic groups. In addition, the Bar produced a video on merit selection, explaining both sides of the issue and why the Bar was urging support of switching to the appointment process. Around 500 copies of that video were distributed, including to Bar speakers who appeared before various groups, to newspaper editorial boards and television stations, and to voluntary bars. More than 200 Bar members actively spoke on the issues, and the Bar’s speakers bureau arranged around 115 appearances before civic and other groups. Bar representatives, led by Russomanno, also visited several newspaper editorial boards and gave interviews to a variety of newspapers and TV stations on the issues. At least 10 papers around Florida editorially endorsed changing to merit selection for trial judges. The newspapers in Florida also endorsed the retention of all justices and the judges of the district courts of appeal. Merit selection rejected December 1, 2000 Regular Newslast_img