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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The latest in a string of successful court challenges to college "free speech zones" is unfolding in Virginia, where lawyers are negotiating a settlement in the case of a student who was barred from preaching on campus.

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Va. college 'free-speech zones' latest to fall

The freedom and openness of the Internet are at stake after the U.S. government announced plans to end its contractual oversight of ICANN, some critics said Thursday.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administrations announcement last month that it will end its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to operate key domain-name functions could embolden other nations to attempt to seize control, some Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said.

All hyperbole aside, this hearing is about nothing less than the future of the Internet and, significantly, who has the right, the ability and the authority to determine it, said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. Should it be decided by a few people in Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paolo or even Silicon Valley or should it be determined by those who use and stand to benefit from it?

Goodlatte suggested that other countries would try to control ICANN after the U.S. ends its contract. The U.S. can rightly take credit for the freedom that exists the Internet today, he said during a hearing. When we let go of that final link, will that institution be safer from those efforts to regulate the Internet, or will it be more exposed because it no longer has the protection of the United States?

The Internet engineers, companies and civil society groups involved in ICANN wouldnt allow a government takeover of the organization, supporters of the NTIAs plan said. I cannot imagine the Internet engineers that I know agreeing to do any of the parade of horribles that people are concerned about, said Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat.

Separately, the technology subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday to approve the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act, which would require a U.S. Government Accountability Office study about the effects of the transition before it happens. Members of that committee raised similar concerns in a hearing last week.

President Barack Obamas administration opposes the bill because it raises questions about the U.S. governments long-term support of a multistakeholder governance model at ICANN, said NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling.

Strickling assured Judiciary Committee members that the agency would not give up oversight of ICANN unless it is satisfied that the organization has a transition plan in place that prohibits a government takeover.

Several Republicans committee members questioned NTIAs move to end its contractual relationship with ICANN as soon as late 2015, but Strickling defended the plan, saying one of the main reasons for the change is to remove the perception in some countries that the U.S. has too much control.

While the NTIAs contract for ICANN to operate the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions is largely symbolic, the move would show the world that the U.S. supports a multistakeholder governance model at ICANN that it has advocated since 1998, Strickling said.

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End of ICANN contract puts Internet freedom at risk, critics say



Zephaniah : 'Mystery' surrounds Mass Dolphin Deaths along the East Coast (Aug 03, 2013)
Summertime in Virginia Beach is chance for visitors to enjoy sand, sun and sea life. But hundreds of dead dolphins are washing up on the beaches from New Yor…

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Zephaniah : ‘Mystery’ surrounds Mass Dolphin Deaths along the East Coast (Aug 03, 2013) – Video

Replica bullets and a dud shotgun shell got a man convicted of weapons charges in the nation’s capital, in a case gun rights activists say shows how overzealous authorities are trampling the Second Amendment.

On Friday, just two days after his conviction of attempted possession of unlawful ammunition, Mark Witaschek went to a Washington, D.C., police station to register in the city’s Gun Offenders Registry. The act was part of a sentence meted out after Witaschek lost his two-year legal battle that began when police searched his home and found an inert shotgun shell, a spent shell casing and a box of muzzle-loader bullets.

Im completely outraged by it, Witaschek, who moved to Virginia after he was arrested following the 2012 search, told the Washington Times. This is just a continuation of the nightmare. Just to sit there. I could not believe it.

Witaschek was also handed a $50 fine, punishments he fought as a matter of principle.

“This case is yet another example of D.C. run amok over citizens Constitutional rights,” the National Association for Gun Rights said in a statement. “Its no wonder anyone with the option and half a brain is fleeing D.C. for areas where self-defense is a virtue, and not criminalized.”

The search was in response to a complaint from his estranged ex-wife. The evidence presented against Witaschek included a 12-gauge shell that failed to fire while Witaschek was hunting years ago, a spent .270 Winchester shell casing, and a box of .45 caliber Knight muzzleloader bullets with plastic sabots. The muzzleloader bullets were for use in only antique or replica firearms.

Witaschek is an avid hunter, but says he never kept his guns in Washington D.C., because he know of the city’s strict gun laws.

Witascheks attorney, Howard X. McEachern, vowed to appeal the verdict.

Clearly the judge thought that this was overkill the sentence reflects how he felt about the prosecution of this case, he said when asked for his opinion of the verdict.

The judge never ruled on the shotgun shell itself, which was what the prosecutions case was built around.

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Man gets weapons conviction for replica bullets in DC

Today’s special event: March 16, 1751, is President James Madison’s birthday.

The Constitution is presented in several ways on this site. This page presents the Constitution on one large HTML-enhanced page. Other pages present the Constitution as a series of individual pages, in plain text, in standard Palm DOC format, and in enhanced TealDoc format. A quick reference is also available, as are photos of the Constitution. The Constitution of China is available for comparison.

In these pages, superseded text is presented like this: (This is superseded text.) Added text that is not a part of the Constitution is presented like this: (This is added text.)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Section 1 – The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2 – The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

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The United States Constitution – The U.S. Constitution …



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LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — via PRWEB – Edison Ventures announces that it has exited JTH Holding Inc. , the parent company of Liberty Tax Service, of Virginia Beach, VA. Edison invested $3.3M in Liberty Tax …

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Edison Exits Tax Preparation Leader, Liberty Tax

Some states are going after multinational corporations which avoid state taxes by stashing some of their earnings in offshore tax havens, an effort aimed at recouping some of the more than $20 billion states lose to such gimmicks each year.

Shifting income to subsidiaries in places like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda, which have minimal or no taxes, allows corporations to avoid U.S. and state taxes on those profits. Congress has been unable to thwart the practice at the federal level, but some states are taking action.

Montana was first about a decade ago, followed by Oregon just last year. Now, Maine is looking at legislation modeled on the Montana law. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, is studying the issue as well.

All but four states collect taxes on corporate income, based on the amount of money a company makes in that state. If a company operates in multiple states, it pays taxes on the amount of income it earned in each one, based on a formula set by state law. Some states also tax a percentage of the profits earned by international firms. But multinational companies that hide earnings in offshore tax havens can avoid paying taxes on that money.

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would add 38 known offshore tax havens to the formula of calculating corporate tax collections in the state. If a big company like Apple sells things in Maine, they should pay a portion of their corporate tax in Maine, even if they have income in Bermuda, said Democratic Rep. Adam Goode of Bangor, the sponsor of the bill. The Maine Legislatures Joint Taxation Committee voted 8-5 for the bill last month, and Goode is optimistic the full legislature will follow suit.

Two other states Alaska and West Virginia and the District of Columbia require companies with subsidiaries in tax havens to include that revenue in their income tax reporting. But none of those states lists specific tax havens in its tax code, a provision that would make the statutes stronger, according to experts.

Originally posted here:
States target firms' offshore tax havens

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved the first phase of the tank decommission plan of Freedom Industries’ Charleston facility where MCHM and other chemicals spilled into the Elk River Jan. 9, spoiling the water for 300,000 people in parts of nine southern West Virginia counties.

The plan was prepared by Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc., a company from Export, PA., and details the order of activities, procedures and safeguards workers will use to begin removing the above-ground storage tanks at the facility.

Freedom was ordered to begin the process of dismantling, removing and properly disposing of all of its above-ground storage tanks, as well as the associated piping and machinery at the Elk River site. The 14-page plan outlines dust control, stormwater management, precautions in case of spills or releases and regulatory compliance.

None of the materials stored in the tanks are considered “hazardous waste” under either West Virginia or federal law. The DEP has indicated that the odors associated with MCHM will again be present as construction activities at the plant intensify.

According to the DEP, most of the tanks’ liquid inventory has been removed, with the exception of tank heel in a number of the above-ground storage tanks. Tank heel is the product that remains in the bottom of storage tanks because it can’t be removed through the normal pumping procedures.

Freedom Industries conducted an asbestos survey to facilitate the demolition of the tanks and associated infrastructure. The company also will start a lead-based paint assessment study.

According to the tank decommission plan, contractors will first begin removing tanks at the north end of the property. Workers already have cut a hole in tank No. 393, the tank responsible for the Jan. 9 leak. It will be cleaned and sandblasted by the Chemical Safety Board. Contractors will remove the floor section of the tank, and it will be retained by the CSB.

To protect area water, liner materials that cannot be penetrated will be used to cover the areas exposed during tank removal operations, according to the DEP, and workers also must take all necessary steps to prevent spills or releases to the ground or the Elk River.

Freedom Industries is required to give a 48-hour notice to WVDEP representatives as well as representatives for litigation parties and counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee prior to entering into a demolition contract and commencing field work at the Elk River facility.

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Freedom Industries submits first part of its decommission plan



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Despite a major victory in Arizona this week, the battle over where the line will be drawn between “religious freedom” and protection for gays against discrimination is only just heating up, advocates on both sides say.

Since August 2013, lawmakers in at least 13 states have introduced legislation similar to the controversial Arizona bill vetoed Wednesday as a new front line emerges in the battle over same-sex marriage and gay rights.

Eunice Rho, advocacy and policy counsel at the ACLU, said there has been a significant uptick in the introduction of such legislation the last few years.

Our opponents have made it quite clear that this is a deliberate strategy on their part to erode the significant gains that LGBT people have made, she said Thursday. What is noteworthy in 2014 is just the sheer scope of these kinds of bills. They are broader than we had ever seen before.

The bills, generally modeled off a 1993 federal law (the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”) that set the standard for when a religious protection argument can be invoked, are being pushed just as judges in Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas recently knocked down bans on same-sex marriage the first victories for gay marriage advocates in the South and conservative states.

And, since January, four more states have allowed gays and lesbians to wed, bringing the number of states where such unions are legal to 17 (the District of Columbia permits it, too).

Fifty years ago, businesses were allowed to turn people away because of the color of their skin and we as a nation decided that was unacceptable.

Though gay marriage opponents had raised concerns about religious protection many years ago, the recent sweeping changes have made their work more urgent to ensure that religious liberty is protected, said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.

Some of those efforts have included the recent legislation, which in states like South Dakota, Tennessee and Kansas, did target gays, according to the ACLU. Gay marriage opponents say the Arizona bill was not specifically aimed at allowing businesses or individuals to deny services to the LGBT community, though gay rights supporters maintain it was.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer came under a lot of pressure from businesses, the major sports leagues and human rights advocates to veto the legislation. Its defeat “proves the case that we have been making, Sprigg said. It validates our sense of alarm over this issue because it shows that there is a conflict between the same-sex marriage movement and religious liberty.

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Religious liberty? Or anti-gay discrimination?

Officials with Freedom Industries met with the company’s creditors in federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday and answered questions about the company’s insurance coverage and assets and liabilities.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with Freedom Industries met with the company’s creditors in federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday and answered questions about the company’s insurance coverage and assets and liabilities.

Freedom Industries, which contaminated the water of thousands of West Virginians with a chemical leak into the Elk River on Jan. 9, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 17. Chapter 11 allows a company to reorganize and continue operating, but during a hearing last week, Freedom’s attorney said the company would soon shut down.

After the meeting with creditors, Freedom President Gary Southern said company officials were dedicated to cleaning up from the leak and trying to find other jobs for its employees.

“This has been an extremely traumatic event for everybody to deal with, particularly our employees,” Southern said outside the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston.

“We’re absolutely committed to the people of the state of West Virginia in terms of our remediation of the facility and our employees, with whom we’re working extremely hard to find them new positions for those that will be displaced as a result of the bankruptcy,” Southern said. “That is the forefront of our focus and will continue to be so until we meet all of our obligations.”

During the meeting Tuesday, Southern and the company’s chief financial officer, Terry Cline, testified that chemicals had been removed from the property. In an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection, Freedom has agreed to dismantle its site on Barlow Drive on or before March 15.

There are about 240 unsecured creditors to whom Freedom owes money. Many of the unsecured creditors are those who filed lawsuits against the company before its bankruptcy filing. There are at least 30 lawsuits against Freedom.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald G. Pearson said in a hearing last week “there’s a serious limit on funding available.”

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with Freedom Industries met with the company’s creditors in federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday and answered questions about the company’s insurance coverage and assets and liabilities.

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Freedom officers, creditors meet in bankruptcy court

CHARLESTON, WV –

The man caught at the center of the water crisis made a confession Tuesday.

“Of course we feel bad,” said Gary Southern, the CEO of Freedom Industries.

Company executives testified in federal bankruptcy court Tuesday morning. Southern and Chief Financial Officer Terry Cline also answered questions about Freedom’s assets and liabilities.

The company became infamous almost instantly Jan. 9, when first responders discovered the chemical crude MCHM had escaped from a storage tank last month, tainting the drinking water of nearly 300,000 West Virginians.

“This has been an extremely traumatic event for everybody to deal with, particularly our employees,” said Southern, addressing the media outside the courthouse.

The executives testified that operations were “winding down” as they continue to liquidate their inventory.

“I”ve pretty much lived at Freedom Industries,” Southern said, claiming he oversaw clean-up efforts every day.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ordered the company to start tearing down the Etowah River Terminal by March 15. One day after the spill, environmental regulators ordered Freedom Industries to remove all materials from the leak site. Southern said Freedom is “in compliance with the de-commission of the Etowah Terminal.”

Cline and Southern said Tuesday most materials had been relocated, but some chemicals may still remain in the tanks. He previously estimated clean-up costs at $800,000 in the first week after the spill.

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Freedom Industries CEO speaks out about the chemical leak

Feb 262014

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Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the Jan. 9 chemical leak that left 300,000 people in Southern West Virginia unable to use their tap water for several days, announced Feb. 21 it is “shifting its sales and service support to other providers, exhausting its existing inventories and pledging to assist displaced employees.”

The announcement came from Gary Southern, president of Freedom Industries, and went on to say the move was “in an effort to maximize resources for its top priority of environmental clean-up,” at its Elk River facility where the Jan. 9 leak occurred.

Southern said the strategy “represents Freedom’s best opportunity to generate funds it needs for our environmental remediation efforts.”

The company filed for bankruptcy Jan. 17.

Southern said the company’s moves will provide “clarity for Freedom’s customers with whom Freedom will work diligently to assist in transitioning to alternate sources of supply.”

“Freedom is committed to continuing to assess its strategic options going forward, taking into account what is best for the state of West Virginia, the people and businesses who call it home, our customers and creditors and all others affected by the case,” Southern said in the announcement.

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Freedom Industries announces it will shift its sales and service support

The liveliest (and oldest) former member of the U.S. Supreme Court is at it again. John Paul Stevens, 93, served on the highest court in the land for an impressive 35 years, from 1975 until his retirement in June 2010. Known for his bow ties, brilliant legal mind, and striking transformation from Midwest Republican conservative to hero of the political left, Stevens remains an intellectual force to reckon with. In his latest book, the forthcoming Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, he offers a half-dozen stimulating ideas for altering, and he would say improving, our foundational legal document. Today, lets consider his most controversial proposal: changing the Second Amendment. Stevens is not going to win any friends at the National Rifle Association, because his undisguised agenda is to make it easier to regulate the sale and ownership of firearms.

With exquisitely awkward 18th century syntax, the Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

For a couple of centuries, you might be surprised to learn, the Supreme Court didnt say exactly what the Second Amendment means. As far as Stevens can tell, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by the text was limited in two ways: first, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. He recalls a colorful remark on the topic by the late Warren Burger, who served as chief justice from 1969 to 1986. Responding to the NRAs lobbying campaign opposing gun control laws in the name of Second Amendment rights, Burger, a lifelong conservative, remarked during a television interview in 1991 that the amendment has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraudI repeat, fraudon the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.

Strong stuff. Times change, though, and so do constitutional interpretations. In 2008, Stevens was on the losing end of a 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark ruling in which the high court, in an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, for the first time declared that the Second Amendment protects a civilians right to keep a handgun in his home for self-defense. In 2010, by another 5-4 vote, the justices extended Heller to apply to state and local governments.

Stevens dissented with characteristic eloquence in both cases. But he lost, and in the process, the conservative majority struck down laws in Washington, D.C., and Chicago that effectively banned civilian ownership of handguns. Those decisions are rippling through the legal system, and it will take some years before its clear whether gun rights advocates will succeed in using Heller to knock down other regulations, short of across-the-board bans.

Reflecting on these developments, Stevens makes several important points: Heller did not by its own terms preclude federal, state, or local governments from restricting the ownership of the sorts of large-capacity weapons used in mass shootings in Connecticut, Virginia, Colorado, and Arizona in recent years. That Congress failed to act is a function of elective politics and lobbying, not constitutional law. Stevens also observes that whether one thinks Heller was right or wrong, the decision had the effect of shifting the ultimate power to determine the validity of gun control laws from elected politicians to life-tenured federal judges.

Since Stevens believes that the authors of the Second Amendment were primarily concerned about the threat that a national standing army posed to the sovereignty of the statesas opposed to homeowners anxiety about violent felonshe thinks the best way to fix the situation is to amend the Second Amendment. Hed do that by adding five words as follows:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.

To support the change, he argues: Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands.

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Gun Control and the Constitution: Should We Amend the Second Amendment?

This Wednesday I stumbled upon an article in Richmonds Style Weekly magazine covering the Feb. 8 convention of the Libertarian Party of Virginia. According to the articles author Tom Nash, this convention was the biggest and most important for Virginia Libertarians for quite some while. Given the recent relative success of the partys gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis (who made his mark by running a seemingly honest, intellectual campaign and winning 6.5 percent of the vote), Nash contends that the party hopes to maintain this momentum by having as many Libertarians as possible on the upcoming ballots.

Apparently, the tactic to achieve this involves inviting everyone on the partys email list to run for office, even if they have no chance of winning. One person who received this invitation was a high school student from the Maggie L. Walker Governors School for Government and International Studies. The student told Nash that he would consider running for office after finishing college.

Anyone who knows me also knows that my politics tend to fall so far left that they occasionally slip off the scale into an alternate universe where the gender binary has been all but eradicated, socialism reigns and everyone is free to sip tea and play with their cats in a borderless world of total equality.

Needless to say, libertarianism is not always consistent with these ideals. I do, however, hold a soft spot in my heart for the well-intentioned rationality of the party, so Nashs article made me wonder how many capable, up-and-coming young people might be drawn into politics by what is essentially a power vacuum in the Libertarian party.

One member of the University of Richmonds chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, Kelly Farley, WC17, said she planned on pursuing business as a career, but could easily see herself in politics: Libertarians are the party of the individual, liberty and, in my opinion, self-responsibility. I would be honored and proud to represent the libertarian opinion some day.

Another UR student, Martha Ashe, WC15, said that although she identified with the Libertarian party philosophically, she chooses to vote Republican because she is fiscally conservative and the party has more traction. She said, While I dont think I would ever run for politics, if I did, it would be hard for me to run as a Libertarian because I dont think the party has as much traction at this time. Ashe added, however, that she is confident we are trending toward a greater support of libertarianism: I do believe that most young people in my generation are Libertarian, whether they realize it or not, and that as my generation matures, the libertarian party will start to gain popularity.

While the upper levels of the two dominant parties in this country can seem like private clubs that require 80 percent networking and 20 percent underhanded dealing to gain entry, it might be that all it takes in Virginias Libertarian party right now is to show up.

Since the platform tends to attract a mixture of young people who are intelligent, ambitious or radical (and occasionally all three), I can happily picture a future where the party is dominated not by gun- and flag-toting old men, but by recent college graduates with clear plans for a more free country. Whether or not I support the whole ideology, I would rather have a relevant faction of young, educated people than not.

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Recruiting the next generation of political leaders

World Premiere of Beaches Musical, Co-Starring Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress, Begins Feb. 18

By Michael Gioia 18 Feb 2014

Virginia’s Signature Theatre presents the world premiere of Beaches, adapted from the 1985 novel by Iris Rainer Dart, beginning Feb. 18 at Signature’s MAX Theatre. Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress co-star in the roles originated on screen by Barbara Hershey and Bette Midler, respectively.

Directed by Signature artistic director Eric Schaeffer (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet), the musical chronicling a decades-long friendship between two women stars Davi (A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone) as Bertie and Umphress (American Idiot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) as Cee Cee Bloom.

Beaches, originally scheduled through March 23, was given a week-long extension through March 30. Opening night is set for March 4.

Based on the 1985 novel by Dart (later adapted into the 1988 movie with Midler and Hershey), the musical features a book by Dart and Thom Thomas, lyrics by Dart and music by David Austin.

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“We’ve assembled an amazing cast along with a terrific creative team to bring this special story to life,” said Schaeffer in an earlier statement. “Iris, Thom and David have created a magical world of memories and friendship in this heartfelt story for the stage in a very original way.”

Joining Davi and Umphress are Clifton Samuels (Follies) as Michael Barron, Matthew Scott (Sondheim on Sondheim, Jersey Boys) as John Perry, Donna Migliaccio (Ragtime) as Leona Bloom, Helen Hedman (Signature’s My Fair Lady) as Rose White, Brooklyn Shuck (Annie) as Young Bertie, Presley Ryan (NBC’s “The Sound of Music”) as Young Cee Cee, Maya Brettell (Studio Theatre’s The Big Meal) as Teen Bertie and Gracie Jones (Olney Theatre Center’s Spring Awakening) as Teen Cee Cee.

Rounding out the cast are Svea Johnson (Karen Lewandowski/Nina), Michael Bunce (Arthur/Melman/ensemble), Bayla Whitten (nurse/ensemble), Jamie Eacker, Heather Brorsen, Davis Hasty, Dan Manning, Ryah Nixon and Robbie Roby.

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World Premiere of Beaches Musical, Co-Starring Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress, Begins Feb. 18



Raven Tools Site Auditor Review – Virginia SEO
This is a quick video review of Raven Tools SEO Site Auditor, which is a very good tool to use in your daily SEO workflow. I highly recommend purchasing a su…

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This aerial photograph shows the Freedom Industries tank farm along the Elk River in Charleston. The arrow identifies Tank 396, which leaked the coal-cleaning chemical Crude MCHM into the river on Jan. 9, contaminating the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians for weeks.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Cleanup crews at Freedom Industries are still several weeks away from emptying all of the site’s chemical storage tanks, and still don’t have a clear idea of how much of which materials could have contaminated soil at the site.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is overseeing the cleanup, which is being carried out by Freedom Industries and contractors for the chemical company.

Mike Dorsey, director of emergency response and homeland security for the DEP, said he hopes remediation of the facility might be completed by late spring. However, state and federal government officials remain unsure of the extent of contamination in a key part of the site.

The area around the chemical tanks in the northern end of the site — including Tank 396, which leaked Crude MCHM into the Elk River on Jan. 9 — has yet to be fully investigated, largely because the eight chemical tanks there haven’t been removed.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin is conducting a criminal investigation of the leak. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board also is examining the incident. Neither agency has completed its work in that area, Dorsey said, but those investigators should finish in the area soon.

“The sooner we can get in there, the better,” Dorsey said in an interview last week.

Until the tanks are removed, he said, it’s impossible to judge the extent of soil contamination or to know how much remediation must be done to clean up the area.

“The stuff was flowing around underground and who knows where,” Dorsey said. “I don’t expect to find large quantities of it, but I expect to find some.”

The presence of more MCHM in the soil at the site not only will require additional cleanup, but that work likely will bring with it more of the licorice-like smell Charleston residents have become familiar with since the Freedom Industries leak.

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Freedom Industries cleanup advances



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