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Sarasota, Florida (PRWEB) April 12, 2014

Jonathan Greco, MD will speak on the subject of regenerative medicine on Monday, April 14th at the Savannah Grand Senior Community in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Greco is a leading physician in Regenerative Medicine, a rapidly growing field that offers alternatives to invasive surgeries. Titled “Keeping Your Own Hardware – Alternatives to Joint Replacement” the presentation will begin at 11:30 a.m. and include a question and answer session, and there is no charge.

Every day there are breakthroughs in the science of regenerative medicine, which is really exciting and promising for patients who are in pain, said Dr. Greco. Surgery is always an option, but we are trying to restore health through these new technologies, which involve far less stress and strain on the body.

Advances in PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and CRP (C-Reactive Protein) therapies are offering realistic and effective treatments that can actually repair damage to joints from normal aging and injuries.

Dr. Greco graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and Drexel University School of Medicine with advanced work at the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital and the Philadelphia Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Certifications include American Board of Clinical Lipidology, American Board of Internal Medicine, and the National Board of Medical Examiners. Licensed in Florida and Pennsylvania, Dr. Greco has numerous published cases and research papers and is nationally renowned in regenerative medicine.

The Savannah Grand of Sarasota is located at 7130 Beneva Road | Sarasota, FL 34238 | Phone: 941-404-1473.

Dr. Grecos office is located at 1990 Main Street, | Suite 700 | Sarasota, FL 34236 | Phone 941-952-3300 | http://www.kneepainflorida.com.

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Regenerative Medicine Specialist to Speak on Alternatives to Joint Replacement

The University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine will host a symposium on Friday, April 11, 2014 to detail the progress researchers are making toward reprogramming human cells to treat a variety of diseases.

In addition to talks on the basic science of regenerative medicine, Nobel laureate John Gurdon will present the keynote address entitled, “Past, Present and Future Prospects for Nuclear Reprogramming by Amphibian Eggs and Oocytes,” and New York Times reporter Nicholas Wade will speak about “Regenerative Medicine: Promises and Perils.”

When: Friday, April 11, 2014, 8:30am – 5:00pm

Where: BRB Auditorium, 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104

What: Agenda and other details can be found on the IRM web site.

Symposium schedule:

8:30 Introduction and Welcome J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD Executive Vice-President, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System Dean, Perelman School of Medicine John Gearhart, PhD Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine

8:45 Keynote: Past, Present and Future Prospects for Nuclear Reprogramming by Amphibian Eggs and Oocytes John Gurdon, FRS, FMedSci 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute The Henry Wellcome Building of cancer and Developmental Biology

9:45 Progress Towards Instructing Our Cells for Therapies John Gearhart, PhD

10:00 BREAK

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Penn Medicine to host symposium on regenerative medicine

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Newswise PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvanias Institute for Regenerative Medicine will host a symposium on Friday, April 11, 2014 to detail the progress researchers are making toward reprogramming human cells to treat a variety of diseases.

In addition to talks on the basic science of regenerative medicine, Nobel laureate John Gurdon will present the keynote address entitled, Past, Present and Future Prospects for Nuclear Reprogramming by Amphibian Eggs and Oocytes, and New York Times reporter Nicholas Wade will speak about Regenerative Medicine: Promises and Perils.

When: Friday, April 11, 2014, 8:30am 5:00pm

Where: BRB Auditorium, 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104

What: Agenda and other details can be found on the IRM web site.

Symposium schedule:

8:30 Introduction and Welcome J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD Executive Vice-President, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System Dean, Perelman School of Medicine John Gearhart, PhD Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine

8:45 Keynote: Past, Present and Future Prospects for Nuclear Reprogramming by Amphibian Eggs and Oocytes John Gurdon, FRS, FMedSci 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute The Henry Wellcome Building of cancer and Developmental Biology

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Symposium on Cellular Reprogramming to be Held at Penn Medicine

Pennsylvania students have a free speech right to wear ‘i boobies’ bracelets to school to support breast cancer awareness, a US appeals court had ruled. The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal, letting that decision stand.

The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that seventh- and eighth-grade students in a Pennsylvania school district have a free speech right to wear bracelets proclaiming i boobies!

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School officials had asked the high court to take up the case and reverse the ruling to allow administrators more leeway to censor messages worn by students at school.The high court turned aside the appeal without comment.

The bracelets were designed to build awareness of the struggle against breast cancer, and wearing them became a fad among a group of 11- to 14-year-old middle-school students in the Easton Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania.

School officials were uncomfortable with the sexual double-entendre and concluded that the slang reference to female anatomy constituted lewd or vulgar speech that detracted from the schools educational purpose.They worried that the bracelets might contribute to a sexually hostile environment at school.

They banned the bracelets.

They took the action even though the school district had voted to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In an effort to enforce the ban, a school official made a televised announcement instructing students not to wear the bracelets to school. That announcement was made the day before Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Most students followed the mandate. But two female students, ages 12 and 13, wanted to make a statement. They asked their mothers for permission to wear their bracelets to school to show solidarity with those fighting the disease and in defiance of the school ban. The mothers agreed.

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Student free speech prevails, as Supreme Court refuses 'boobies' bracelet case

Pennsylvania students have a free speech right to wear ‘i boobies’ bracelets to school to support breast cancer awareness, a US appeals court had ruled. The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal, letting that decision stand.

The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that seventh- and eighth-grade students in a Pennsylvania school district have a free speech right to wear bracelets proclaiming i boobies!

Subscribe Today to the Monitor

Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition

School officials had asked the high court to take up the case and reverse the ruling to allow administrators more leeway to censor messages worn by students at school.The high court turned aside the appeal without comment.

The bracelets were designed to build awareness of the struggle against breast cancer, and wearing them became a fad among a group of 11- to 14-year-old middle-school students in the Easton Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania.

School officials were uncomfortable with the sexual double-entendre and concluded that the slang reference to female anatomy constituted lewd or vulgar speech that detracted from the schools educational purpose.They worried that the bracelets might contribute to a sexually hostile environment at school.

They banned the bracelets.

They took the action even though the school district had voted to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In an effort to enforce the ban, a school official made a televised announcement instructing students not to wear the bracelets to school. That announcement was made the day before Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Most students followed the mandate. But two female students, ages 12 and 13, wanted to make a statement. They asked their mothers for permission to wear their bracelets to school to show solidarity with those fighting the disease and in defiance of the school ban. The mothers agreed.

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Student free speech prevails, as Supreme Court refuses 'boobies' bracelet case (+video)



Ken Krawchuk (K'14 #014) at the Harrisburg Liberty Alliance
http://www.KenK.org – Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian for Pennsylvania Governor in 2014, gives his stump speech at the monthly meeting of the Harrisburg Liberty Al…

By: Ken Krawchuk

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Ken Krawchuk (K’14 #014) at the Harrisburg Liberty Alliance – Video

At first glance, Katy Perrys latest music video, the Egypt-themed fantasy Dark Horse, seems to bear little resemblance to actual Egyptian history but you might want to look twice. The clips director says theres good reason for the Egyptian references, and prominent Egyptologists say that reason is good enough for them.

[Perry] said that theres actually a place in Egypt called Memphis, and she thought it was so interesting that Juicy J is from Memphis, Tenn., explains director Mathew Cullen. She basically came to me and said, I want to do something Egyptian and I want to combine it with Memphis hip-hop. Thats music to my ears when an artist has a couple concepts that they want to mash up to create something fresh.

Cullen says that while there was no on-site Egyptologist involved in the Los Angeles video shoot, they researched the period online to better respect the symbolism while having fun. Though Perry has been criticizedfor appropriating the symbols and images of other cultures and has been under attack for Dark Horsefor the same reasons Cullen says he believes that while its dangerous to rip things directly from modern cultures without adding anything to them, ancient Egypt is part of what he calls our shared collective mythology.

Were only here because we build on the stories of every human being since the beginning of mankind, he says. The most important thing is that when you create something, and this is actually something Katy and I worked to do you bring a new spin to it.

And as it so happens, Perry and Cullen (who also directed the California Gurls video) did a pretty good job building on those stories.

(MORE:Miley Cyrus and the History of the Wrecking Ball)

Full disclosure: when I called up some Egyptologists to ask them about Katy Perry, I was fully expecting them to trash the video. The inaccuracies in her similarly-themed performance of the song at the Britshave already been pointed out,andfans who are sticklers for history wereturned off the video.But the reality was very different.

I find this really very wonderful, but Im willing to bend my formal standards, says Robert K. Ritner, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago.Whoever put this together actually knew something about the myth of Cleopatra. There are a number of features in here that I could use in class.

Here are some of those points that get a hearty thumbs up, courtesy of Ritner and David P. Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of Penn Museums Egyptian Section:

And even the parts that arent accurate at all the Twinkies, for example arent problematic. If Katy Perry fans do a little research about Ancient Egypt, theyll follow a long line of people whose interest was sparked by Egypt-inspired pop-culture from Boris Karloffs mummy to Brendan Frasers, and from Betty Boops Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylors.

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Theres a Very Good Reason Why Katy Perrys Dark Horse Video Is Set in Ancient Egypt

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'Transhumanism: Recreating Humanity' Exposes a New Cult of Scientists

Before the lawsuits and the retreat into federal bankruptcy court, before the change in ownership in a veiled roll-up by an out-of-state coal baron, before the Justice Departments environmental-crimes investigation, the presidentially declared emergency, and the National Guards arrivalnine years before all of thatthe co-founder of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9 chemical spill that cut off tap water for 300,000 West Virginians, was convicted of siphoning payroll tax withholdings to splurge on sports cars, a private plane, and real estate in the Bahamas. And 18 years before that, in 1987, before he started Freedom Industries, Carl Kennedy II was convicted of conspiring to sell cocaine in a scandal that brought down the mayor of Charleston.

Little known, even locally, Freedom was born and operated in a felonious milieu populated by old friends who seemed better suited to bartending at the Charleston-area saloons they also owned. These people who were running Freedom Industries werent the sort youd put in charge of something like chemical storage that could affect the whole community, Danny Jones, Charlestons current mayor, says. Who are these guys, anyway?

Good question. Kennedy kept the books for bars and restaurants, including a rib house Mayor Jones used to own, although he hadnt gotten to know him well. He was pleasant enough, Jones says. Until the spill, the mayor had no idea his former accountant had been enmeshed with Freedom. That really seems troubling, Jones says, especially with the cocaine stuff in his history.

Kennedys main partner was a college buddy named Dennis Farrell, who had some technical background and took over Freedom after Kennedy went to prison in 2006. By Farrells own account, the company, founded in 1992, nearly ran aground on his watch. Only a rescue in 2009 funded by the federal antirecession stimulus program kept the company going.

The third member of the companys leadership triad, Gary Southern, has served as Freedoms public face since the spill. He lives in Marco Island, Fla., and says hed been advising the company for several years before becoming full-time president in 2013. Not blessed with a talent for public expression, Southern didnt mention in the first days after the leak of 10,000 gallons of coal-processing compounds that Freedom had been acquired, only 10 days earlier, by Cliff Forrest.

A different sort of character from Kennedy, Farrell, and Southern, Forrest founded and heads Rosebud Mining, the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania and the 21st-largest in the country. Hes a prominent figure in his industry and an opponent of what he calls the Obama administrations war on coal. Why he wanted Freedoms decrepit facilities for blending and distributing chemicals remains a mystery. Publicly, Forrest hasnt said a word. His connection to Freedom wasnt confirmed until Jan. 17, when his lawyers put the company into bankruptcy. The Chapter 11 filing in Charleston required disclosure of a financial paper trail that led to Forrests coal company headquarters near Pittsburgh via another entity called Chemstream Holdings.

So while the spill revealed once again that porous legislation and murky assumptions about industry self-policing hinder oversight of dangerous chemicals, it also highlighted a peculiar and deeply troubling element of American commerce, one where holding companies and roll-ups make it difficult to determine whos accountable. Kennedy grew up in Montgomery, W. Va., a small city on the Kanawha River. He went to college there at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. It was later, in Charleston, that he attained a measure of notoriety.

West Virginias rugged mountains and forested hollows are home to struggling coal-mining communities. Locals call the Kanawha region Chemical Valley because of the network of foul-smelling refining plants spread across it. The state ranks among the nations poorest. Charleston, with its office towers and expensive eateries, is a place apart: Home to a social and business elite of lawyers, lobbyists, and coal executives, the capital enjoys a wealth and lan alien to the states rural and industrial precincts.

In the mid-1980s, Kennedy moved easily in a narcotic-fueled night scene associated with Charlestons Republican mayor at the time, James Mad Dog Roark. Targeted by a federal investigation, Roark pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in 1987, resigned as mayor, and went to jail. The same year, Kennedy, then 30 years old, was charged with distributing the not-trivial amount of 10 ounces to 12 ounces of coke. In a plea deal, he admitted to one distribution count and was sentenced to five years probation. In all, federal prosecutors notched some 30 convictions.

A forgiving town, Charleston didnt ostracize Kennedy. Despite his criminal record, he and Farrell became prolific business partners. Farrell had earned a masters degree from West Virginia University and for a time was employed by a company called Sherex Chemical. Together they invested in commercial real estate and a saloon in Montgomery called the Bank Bar & Grill. In a laudatory 2002 article, the Charleston Gazette marveled at the pairs far-flung array of business ventures, which included a manufacturer of a synthetic fuel additive, a trucking company, and a plant in the town of Nitro, W. Va., that mixed chemicals. Kennedys portfolio also contained Freedom Industries, which he incorporated in 1992, according to filings with the West Virginia secretary of state. (Kennedy, Farrell, and lawyers who have represented them over the years all failed to respond to telephone and e-mail messages.)

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Who Runs Freedom Industries? West Virginia’s Chemical Spill Mystery

It hasnt taken long for fratricide to erupt between two companies blamed for the early January chemical spill in West Virginia. In a court filing, a local water utility has accused Freedom Industries, the chemical supplier blamed for the leak in Charleston, of trying to pull a fast one in its federal bankruptcy filing.

As I explained in my last post on the legal wrangling in the wake of the spill, closely held Freedom Industries filed on Jan. 17 for Chapter 11 protection from its creditorsan unsurprising move designed to freeze a growing wave of liability lawsuits seeking damages related to the cutoff of public water to some 300,000 customers in the Charleston area.

Freedom also hinted in the filing that it would attempt to shift culpability to the West Virginia unit of American Water Works. Many of the plaintiffs suing Freedom have filed claims as well againstAmerican Water Works (AWK) (AWK)for failing to move swiftly enough to close its intake in Charleston. The intake to the public water system is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms chemical-storage facility. Freedom suggested that perhaps American Water had helped cause the leak in the first place when a water main break contributed to damage to a storage tank.

In its own filing dated Jan. 19 and made available yesterday, the West Virginia unit of the water company fired back. West Virginia-American Water accused the chemical supplier of concealing its true ownership, using a proposed emergency loan to put creditors at a disadvantage, and generallyfailing to provide the bankruptcy court with sufficient financial information about such matters as Freedoms insurance coverage. The situation smells of collusion, the water utility alleged in its court papers.

West Virginia-American Water said it has a big stake in Freedoms Chapter 11 because the utility suffered expensive damages as a result of the water shut-down. The utility added that, in those suits naming it as a defendant, the company plans to file cross-claims shifting liability to Freedom. West Virginia-American Water ultimately will become the largest creditor by far in this bankruptcy case, the utility said.

Freedoms Chapter 11 filing is indeed vague about the chemical companys current owner, identified in court papers only as Chemstream Holdings, a Pennsylvania company. Cross-referencing publicly filed corporate records from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, however, I was able to show that Chemstream appears to be controlled by a Pennsylvania coal magnate named J. Clifford Forrest, who had the misfortune of acquiring Freedom Industries only weeks before the Charleston chemical spill was discovered on Jan. 9. I also showed that, via other corporate vehicles, Forrest has proposed to loan his deeply troubled new acquisition $5 million to keep it operating during the bankruptcy process.

Now West Virginia-American Water is alleging that the loan, which would require bankruptcy-court approval, is actually a disguised tool to manipulate the bankruptcy process. Without naming Forrest, the water company warned the court that Freedoms owner is trying to use the loan to hold onto those parts of the business that it deems valuable, abandoning the rest, taking the going concern value from the debtor, and leaving the debtor and its many creditors holding the bag.

West Virginia-American Water requested that the bankruptcy judge slow down the process, allow the water utility and other creditors an opportunity to get organized, and force Freedom Industries to be more transparent about its ownership structure and plans for satisfying creditors claims.

So far, lawyers for Freedom and Forrest havent responded to my inquiries. Presumably they will soon answer the utilitys allegations in their own court filings. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek will stay on top of these strange legal doings in Charleston.

See the article here:
Freedom Industries Faces New Claims in Chemical Spill

It hasnt taken long for fratricide to erupt between two companies blamed for the early January chemical spill in West Virginia. In a court filing, a local water utility has accused Freedom Industries, the chemical supplier blamed for the leak in Charleston, of trying to pull a fast one in its federal bankruptcy filing.

As I explained in my last post on the legal wrangling in the wake of the spill, closely held Freedom Industries filed on Jan. 17 for Chapter 11 protection from its creditorsan unsurprising move designed to freeze a growing wave of liability lawsuits seeking damages related to the cutoff of public water to some 300,000 customers in the Charleston area.

Freedom also hinted in the filing that it would attempt to shift culpability to the West Virginia unit of American Water Works. Many of the plaintiffs suing Freedom have filed claims as well againstAmerican Water Works (AWK) (AWK)for failing to move swiftly enough to close its intake in Charleston. The intake to the public water system is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms chemical-storage facility. Freedom suggested that perhaps American Water had helped cause the leak in the first place when a water main break contributed to damage to a storage tank.

In its own filing dated Jan. 19 and made available yesterday, the West Virginia unit of the water company fired back. West Virginia-American Water accused the chemical supplier of concealing its true ownership, using a proposed emergency loan to put creditors at a disadvantage, and generallyfailing to provide the bankruptcy court with sufficient financial information about such matters as Freedoms insurance coverage. The situation smells of collusion, the water utility alleged in its court papers.

West Virginia-American Water said it has a big stake in Freedoms Chapter 11 because the utility suffered expensive damages as a result of the water shut-down. The utility added that, in those suits naming it as a defendant, the company plans to file cross-claims shifting liability to Freedom. West Virginia-American Water ultimately will become the largest creditor by far in this bankruptcy case, the utility said.

Freedoms Chapter 11 filing is indeed vague about the chemical companys current owner, identified in court papers only as Chemstream Holdings, a Pennsylvania company. Cross-referencing publicly filed corporate records from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, however, I was able to show that Chemstream appears to be controlled by a Pennsylvania coal magnate named J. Clifford Forrest, who had the misfortune of acquiring Freedom Industries only weeks before the Charleston chemical spill was discovered on Jan. 9. I also showed that, via other corporate vehicles, Forrest has proposed to loan his deeply troubled new acquisition $5 million to keep it operating during the bankruptcy process.

Now West Virginia-American Water is alleging that the loan, which would require bankruptcy-court approval, is actually a disguised tool to manipulate the bankruptcy process. Without naming Forrest, the water company warned the court that Freedoms owner is trying to use the loan to hold onto those parts of the business that it deems valuable, abandoning the rest, taking the going concern value from the debtor, and leaving the debtor and its many creditors holding the bag.

West Virginia-American Water requested that the bankruptcy judge slow down the process, allow the water utility and other creditors an opportunity to get organized, and force Freedom Industries to be more transparent about its ownership structure and plans for satisfying creditors claims.

So far, lawyers for Freedom and Forrest havent responded to my inquiries. Presumably they will soon answer the utilitys allegations in their own court filings. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek will stay on top of these strange legal doings in Charleston.

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New Accusations Against Freedom Industries in West Virginia Spill

Searching for shelter in the face of liability lawsuits, Freedom Industries, the source of the big West Virginia chemical spill, has retreated into federal bankruptcy courtwith a Chapter 11 filing late Friday. In addition to temporarily freezing litigation against a debtor company, Chapter 11 proceedings allow the bankruptcy judge to sort out whose claims go first. A side benefit is that the process forces troubled corporations to reveal some secrets. Here are my initial findings on Freedom Industries:

The companys owner made one of the worst-timed acquisitions ever. We now know who owns Freedom Industries, which was identified on Jan. 9 as the company leaking a hazardous coal-processing chemical into the Elk River in Charleston. The lucky winner is J. Clifford Forrest, a Pennsylvania coal magnate. Forrest acquired Freedom only weeks before the spill that cut off water to 300,000 people and shut down businesses in nine counties. Talk about buyers remorse!

Not that Forrest has stepped forward to deal with the mess. Connecting the dots took some detective work. Freedoms Chapter 11 documents identify its sole owner as Chemstream Holdings. The Pennsylvania company is headquartered in Kittanning, near Pittsburgh, at the same street address as Cliffords Rosebud Mining. Rosebud claims to be the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania and the 21st-largest in the U.S. Freedoms filings also show that entities called VF Funding and Mountaineer Funding are seeking to lend as much as $5 million to keep Freedom Industries operating during its reorganization. Mountaineer Funding was incorporated just this past Friday in West Virginia; its sole member is Forrest. In other words, hes seeking bankruptcy-court permission to lend millions to his besieged new acquisition.

Separate West Virginia corporate filings identify Forrest as the manager of two other companies that were merged into Freedom Industries as of Dec. 31, 2013. The corporate rearrangement might have seemed smart on New Years Eve; today, not so much. Lawyers for Forrest and for Freedom Industries didnt respond to my phone calls and e-mail seeking comment.

Freedom has a strategy for spreading the blame. The companys bankruptcy attorneys, led by Mark Freedlander of the Pittsburgh office of McGuire Woods, used Chapter 11 to float a theory designed to ease Freedoms liability: It is presently hypothesized that a local water line break [caused] the ground beneath a storage tank at the Charleston facility to freeze in the extraordinary frigid temperatures in the days immediately preceding what Freedlander delicately termed the incident. Freedom further hypothesized that the hole in the affected storage tank was caused by an object piercing upwards through the base of the tank.

It seems the idea is that water turning to ice expanded, pushing that mystery object through the floor of the tank. Hard to say if the court will buy that. Shouldnt steel tanks containing dangerous chemicals be able to withstand the consequences of winter weather?

Whose allegedly troublesome water line is Freedom talking about? Apparently, the suggestion is that the burst pipe might have been the responsibility of Freedoms co-defendant in many of the liability lawsuits: the local water utility. Business and home owners are blaming the West Virginia unit of American Water Works for failing to move swiftly enough to shut down its intake, which is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms plant. If the utility were also implicated in puncturing the chemical storage tank in the first place that might shift a lot of the legal hassle to American Water (AWK), the nations largest publicly traded water company.

The president of American Waters West Virginia unit has said his company did everything possible to minimize harm from the spill. Something tells me Freedoms lawyers are going to argue otherwise.

Freedom doesnt have much money on hand. American Water had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2012. The companies that now comprise Freedom Industries collectively had revenue of $25.7 million that year, according to the Chapter 11 filing. In 2013, Freedoms sales increased, but only to $30.7 million. Freedom told the bankruptcy court that it has assets of worth from $1 million to $10 million. The filings show that Freedoms top 20 unsecured creditorsapart from lawsuit plaintiffs, of courseare owed a total of $3.6 million.

Among the creditors is Eastman Chemical (EMN), the Kingsport (Tenn.)-based manufacturer that sold Freedom MCHM, the chemical that escaped into the Elk and from there into the regional water system. Eastman has much bigger concerns, however, than recovering the $127,474.84 Freedom owes it. Plaintiffs in liability suits have also named Eastman as a defendant, alleging that the company failed to warn adequately of MCHMs hazards. Eastmans spokeswoman has called the allegations meritless. She went out of her way, though, to add that the manufacturer couldnt vouch for the conduct of American Water or Freedom Industries.

See the article here:
Freedom Industries Ch. 11 Filing Reveals Owners’ Strategy

Searching for shelter in the face of liability lawsuits, Freedom Industries, the source of the big West Virginia chemical spill, has retreated into federal bankruptcy courtwith a Chapter 11 filing late Friday. In addition to temporarily freezing litigation against a debtor company, Chapter 11 proceedings allow the bankruptcy judge to sort out whose claims go first. A side benefit is that the process forces troubled corporations to reveal some secrets. Here are my initial findings on Freedom Industries:

The companys owner made one of the worst-timed acquisitions ever. We now know who owns Freedom Industries, which was identified on Jan. 9 as the company leaking a hazardous coal-processing chemical into the Elk River in Charleston. The lucky winner is J. Clifford Forrest, a Pennsylvania coal magnate. Forrest acquired Freedom only weeks before the spill that cut off water to 300,000 people and shut down businesses in nine counties. Talk about buyers remorse!

Not that Forrest has stepped forward to deal with the mess. Connecting the dots took some detective work. Freedoms Chapter 11 documents identify its sole owner as Chemstream Holdings. The Pennsylvania company is headquartered in Kittanning, near Pittsburgh, at the same street address as Cliffords Rosebud Mining. Rosebud claims to be the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania and the 21st-largest in the U.S. Freedoms filings also show that entities called VF Funding and Mountaineer Funding are seeking to lend as much as $5 million to keep Freedom Industries operating during its reorganization. Mountaineer Funding was incorporated just this past Friday in West Virginia; its sole member is Forrest. In other words, hes seeking bankruptcy-court permission to lend millions to his besieged new acquisition.

Separate West Virginia corporate filings identify Forrest as the manager of two other companies that were merged into Freedom Industries as of Dec. 31, 2013. The corporate rearrangement might have seemed smart on New Years Eve; today, not so much. Lawyers for Forrest and for Freedom Industries didnt respond to my phone calls and e-mail seeking comment.

Freedom has a strategy for spreading the blame. The companys bankruptcy attorneys, led by Mark Freedlander of the Pittsburgh office of McGuire Woods, used Chapter 11 to float a theory designed to ease Freedoms liability: It is presently hypothesized that a local water line break [caused] the ground beneath a storage tank at the Charleston facility to freeze in the extraordinary frigid temperatures in the days immediately preceding what Freedlander delicately termed the incident. Freedom further hypothesized that the hole in the affected storage tank was caused by an object piercing upwards through the base of the tank.

It seems the idea is that water turning to ice expanded, pushing that mystery object through the floor of the tank. Hard to say if the court will buy that. Shouldnt steel tanks containing dangerous chemicals be able to withstand the consequences of winter weather?

Whose allegedly troublesome water line is Freedom talking about? Apparently, the suggestion is that the burst pipe might have been the responsibility of Freedoms co-defendant in many of the liability lawsuits: the local water utility. Business and home owners are blaming the West Virginia unit of American Water Works for failing to move swiftly enough to shut down its intake, which is a mere mile and a half down the Elk River from Freedoms plant. If the utility were also implicated in puncturing the chemical storage tank in the first place that might shift a lot of the legal hassle to American Water (AWK), the nations largest publicly traded water company.

The president of American Waters West Virginia unit has said his company did everything possible to minimize harm from the spill. Something tells me Freedoms lawyers are going to argue otherwise.

Freedom doesnt have much money on hand. American Water had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2012. The companies that now comprise Freedom Industries collectively had revenue of $25.7 million that year, according to the Chapter 11 filing. In 2013, Freedoms sales increased, but only to $30.7 million. Freedom told the bankruptcy court that it has assets of worth from $1 million to $10 million. The filings show that Freedoms top 20 unsecured creditorsapart from lawsuit plaintiffs, of courseare owed a total of $3.6 million.

Among the creditors is Eastman Chemical (EMN), the Kingsport (Tenn.)-based manufacturer that sold Freedom MCHM, the chemical that escaped into the Elk and from there into the regional water system. Eastman has much bigger concerns, however, than recovering the $127,474.84 Freedom owes it. Plaintiffs in liability suits have also named Eastman as a defendant, alleging that the company failed to warn adequately of MCHMs hazards. Eastmans spokeswoman has called the allegations meritless. She went out of her way, though, to add that the manufacturer couldnt vouch for the conduct of American Water or Freedom Industries.

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Freedom Industries Chapter 11 Filing Reveals Owners’ Strategy

New York revelers will pay a relatively low state sin tax for their favorite bubbly beverage.

Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, Democrat-dominated California and New York actually have low tax rates or at least they do for Champagne.

Empire State stock traders pay just $.30 a gallon in excise taxes on their sparkling wine, the same rate charged to tech executives and movie stars in the Golden State, according to a fact sheet from the Wine Institute, which tracks and lobbies on wine policy issues.

Wisconsin and Wyoming residents pay a few cents less per gallon.

[ZUCKERMAN: Looking Back at 2013]

Floridians planning to pop a cork in the first moments of 2014 Wednesday will pay the highest sparkling wine excise tax, at $3.50 a gallon, followed by Alaskans, who can thank their legislators for raising the rate to $2.50 a gallon in 2002.

Massachusetts nicknamed “Taxachusetts” by small-government fans charges a lower rate than any state in the Deep South, at $.70 a gallon.

A gallon of liquid fills approximately five 750ml bottles.

[PHOTOS: The Best D.C. Holiday Parties]

In Utah, there’s no per-gallon excise tax rate and residents instead pay a 65 percent mark-up that goes into state coffers. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania also charge a mark-up, rather than a per-gallon tax.

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California, New York Are Low-Tax Havens for Champagne Mavens

Dec 20, 2013 2:37pm

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are among the politicians and citizens who have said A&Es suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson from the show this week was an affront to free speech and the First Amendment.

Robertsons comments in which he compared being gay to bestiality were released this week by GQ magazine, prompting A&E to suspend the bearded reality show star as punishment. In the wake of the suspension, many have cried foul over A&Es policy.

The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I dont agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive, Jindal said.

I also acknowledge that this is a free country, and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended, he said.

Palin echoed his concerns:

Free speech is an endangered species. Those intolerants hatin and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us, she wrote on her Facebook page.

Kermit Roosevelt, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said the issue is not actually a First Amendment violation.

The First Amendment, like the constitution generally, only applies to the government, so if the government stops someone from talking or punishes them, thats a First Amendment issue. If a private person says I wont hire you or let you be on TV anymore, thats not, Roosevelt said.

The idea is we dont let the government decide whats a good opinion, but we do let individuals decide what they think is offensive and what should be rewarded and what should be discouraged. Thats the way the marketplace of ideas is supposed to work, he said.

Read the rest here:
‘Duck Dynasty’ Fight Not About 1st Amendment: Expert

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) and MarkWest Liberty Ethane Pipeline, L.L.C. (MarkWest Liberty), collectively MarkWest, will hold a binding open season for the previously announced Liberty Ethane Pipeline. The open season will commence at 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time on November 8, 2013 and will end at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on December 9, 2013. This pipeline is part of MarkWests comprehensive ethane solution in the Northeast, which will include purity ethane transportation infrastructure and de-ethanization facilities located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Subject to the outcome of the binding open season and all of the necessary regulatory authorizations, the Liberty Ethane Pipeline will transport purity ethane from Majorsville, Pennsylvania, to Houston, Pennsylvania. From there, shippers will have direct access to multiple, major ethane takeaway projects including Mariner West, Mariner East, and ATEX. The Liberty Ethane Pipeline is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The binding open season will allow interested parties to make volume commitments and execute long-term transportation contracts with MarkWest Liberty for transportation on the Liberty Ethane Pipeline. Shippers electing to make long-term volume commitments to MarkWest Liberty will be eligible to receive priority transportation service at a premium transportation rate for their committed volumes.

The Liberty Ethane Pipeline will provide transportation of purity ethane to ethane markets in North America and internationally. MarkWest is the first midstream operator in the Northeast to offer its producer customers the ability to recover and produce purity ethane and provide access to all announced large-scale ethane pipeline projects. Ethane produced in the Northeast has the potential to become a key driver for the future expansion of the global petrochemical industry.

Parties interested in participating in the open season and shipping on the Liberty Ethane Pipeline should contact Joshua Hallenbeck, VP of Finance and Treasurer at (866) 858-0482 or investorrelations@markwest.com. Information on the Liberty Ethane Pipeline and the binding open season can also be found on MarkWests website at: http://www.markwest.com/operations/ferc-pipelines/liberty-ethane-pipeline.

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. MarkWest has a leading presence in many unconventional gas plays including the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Huron/Berea Shale, Haynesville Shale, Woodford Shale and Granite Wash formation.

This press release includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included or incorporated herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary significantly from those expressed or implied in such statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although MarkWest believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, MarkWest can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that affect operations, financial performance, and other factors as discussed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Among the factors that could cause results to differ materially are those risks discussed in the periodic reports filed with the SEC, including MarkWests Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2013. You are urged to carefully review and consider the cautionary statements and other disclosures made in those filings, specifically those under the heading Risk Factors. MarkWest does not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement except as required by law.

Copyright Business Wire 2013

The rest is here:
MarkWest Energy Partners To Start Open Season For Previously Announced Liberty Ethane Pipeline

Eagles great Chuck Bednarik was honored as part of a special program called “Hometown Hall of Famers” presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate at Liberty High School in Bethlehem.

Chuck Bednarik hardly resembles that same fearsome figure who is regarded as one of the toughest to play professional football and perhaps the greatest to ever wear a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. At age 88, the Upper Saucon resident walks with a cane and relies on the help of others to get around.

But on Friday at Liberty High School, Bednarik appeared healthy and happy as he thoroughly enjoyed two ceremonies on his behalf.

Bednarik was honored as part of a special program called “Hometown Hall of Famers” presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate during an afternoon ceremony in Memorial Gymnasium. The 1943 Liberty graduate pumped his fist as the school’s world-renowned Grenadier Marching Band played the alma mater and he rhythmically banged his cane on the stage as it belted out “Liberty Forever.”

Bednarik’s longtime friends, former basketball coach Pete Carril and Bill Werpohoski both Liberty alums, presented Bednarik with a plaque that will remain on display in the high school.

That was Act I of the big day for the man known as “Concrete Charlie.”

The second act came prior to Friday night’s Lehigh Valley Conference football game between Liberty and Central Catholic at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium. Bednarik was present as a seven-foot bronze statue was dedicated in the southwest corner of Frank Banko Field.

It is identical to the statue of his likeness that is located at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field, where he starred in college.

Bednarik, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967, received a standing ovation from this year’s Hurricanes football team and select other student-athletes after the afternoon ceremony that included a brief video of his football career.

The football players gathered around Bednarik for a “team photo” after the event, which preceded Liberty’s Homecoming pep rally.

View original post here:
Chuck Bednarik honored at Liberty ceremony

In 1978, John Todd came to the Open Door Church in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and told the crowd that before hed been a Christian, hed been a witch.

(To listen to the podcast, click here.)

The Illuminati, a secret organization run by the Rothschild banking dynasty, was the master of witchcraft, and it was preparing to take over the world, Todd explained to his listeners.

Arranged in a hierarchy below the top were Freemasons, the ultrarich, including Rockefellers, Kennedys and DuPonts, and major corporations such as Sears, Safeway, the Bank of America and Chase.

Throw in the Federal Reserve, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communist Party and you got a sense of just how widespread and powerful the organization was. In the U.S., the Illuminati were known as the Council on Foreign Relations.

Todd told the crowd that since his conversion, there was a price on his head. He was raising money to create a retreat for other witches who wished to embrace Christ.

But it was dangerous, and people were afraid to leave the occult. Just take a look at what had happened to witch Sharon Tate — the Illuminati had cut her throat and left her hanging by a foot as a Tarot card warning.

For a story weaving in so many colorful strands of U.S. conspiratorial belief, Todd got $1,000 in contributions from the assembled Christians.

I spoke with Jesse Walker, author of The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, on the following topics:

1. Secret Forces.

Continue reading here:
Lewis Lapham: Americans Love a Good Conspiracy Yarn

Sunday September 29, 2013

Americans freedom story revealed in 50 documents

Proclamation from Harpers Ferry abolitionist among pieces highlighted

The Associated Press

In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 photo, Erin Paulson stabilizes a 1900th century document at the The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The society’s new web site charts the evolution of American freedom, a story of struggle and conflict through 50 carefully selected historic documents, from an early draft of the Articles of Confederation to a suffragette’s letter to her parents to a 1970′s tract on gay rights. The organization hopes its interactive “Preserving American Freedom” web site will gain favor with educators.

PHILADELPHIA — The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds more than 21 million documents and items. It was Rachel Moloshok’s job to sort, sift and select just 50.

What was she looking for? No less than a history of how Americans have defined freedom and how they’ve fought for it.

After two years of effort, the fruits of her labor can be seen on a new interactive website that charts the evolution of what many Americans take for granted. It’s a 350-year-old tale of struggle and conflict told through original documents both famous and obscure, from an early draft of the Articles of Confederation to a suffragette’s letter home, from a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation to a 1970s speech arguing against the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The documents are a reminder that Americans’ quest for freedom didn’t end with the British surrender at Yorktown, or the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Rather, it was just beginning, with succeeding generations claiming freedom for themselves and fighting for it, nurturing it and protecting it.

“The way I define this project is not necessarily tracing the history of American freedom, but essentially the history of how Americans have defined or have envisioned and struggled for freedom,” said Moloshok, project director of the Preserving American Freedom initiative. “At some point, everybody who has struggled for their own freedom kind of turns around and says, ‘Yeah, but we didn’t mean you.’ It’s this great, very complicated history of struggle.”

Original post:
Americans' freedom story revealed in 50 documents

September 1, 2013 – Frontier League (FL) Florence Freedom FLORENCE, KY – The Florence Freedom are pleased to announce third baseman Jacob Tanis has been named as the Frontier League’s Most Valuable Player.

Tanis, 24, was elected the Morgan Burk Award winner as the MVP by managers, coaches, general managers and members of the league’s media. Through 91 games this season, the Peachtree, Georgia native is fourth in the league with 17 home runs, and leads the league with 72 RBIs.

“We’re so excited to honor Jacob as the MVP,” Freedom manager Fran Riordan said. “He has been such a productive player for us both offensively and defensively. He’s a great teammate and one of the most professional young men I’ve ever had the privilege to manage.”

Tanis, in his first season with the Freedom, was also recognized on the league’s post-season all-star team as the top third baseman. He wins these honors after not making the Frontier League’s mid-season classic as an all-star.

“I think this speaks to how clutch he’s been to our team down the stretch,” Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson said. “He’s proven that he’s the guy you want at the plate when the chips are down.”

The Freedom enter Sunday’s action in Washington, Pennsylvania with a record of 51-41 and leading for the Frontier League’s final wild card playoff spot by one game over the Gateway Grizzlies.

The Freedom are trying to make it back-to-back seasons with a post-season run. In 2012, the Freedom were league runners-up to the Southern Illinois Miners as the team fell 3-1 in the championship series.

Should Tanis and the Freedom clinch another playoff berth, the most likely scenario for the team to play it’s first home game would be Tuesday, September 10 at 6:35pm at University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium.

The team will have the opportunity to clinch their playoff berth at home this week when the team returns home for it’s final three regular season games Tuesday though Thursday against the Windy City Thunderbolts.

The Freedom are members of the independent professional Frontier League and play all home games at UCMC Stadium, located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, Kentucky. Playoff reserved ticket vouchers are currently on sale for only $8. The Freedom may be reached at 859-594-HITS (4487).

Read this article:
Freedom's Tanis Named League's MVP



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