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Vermont Symphony Orchestra celebrates $3.5 million endowment campaign

first_imgThe Vermont Symphony Orchestra announced today (Wednesday, January 19, 2011) that it has successfully reached its ambitious endowment goal to raise $3.5 million.At a State House press conference, Honorary Campaign Chair Ed Colodny stated, ‘In a time when cultural organizations around the country face hard times, the VSO’s audiences have been loyal and dedicated, and our programming has been innovative and rich. Now this fabulous endowment ensures stable funding for the future. We are especially grateful for the hundreds of donors who have stepped forward to allow us to reach this incredible milestone.’The three-year campaign follows the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary, celebrated during the 2009/2010 season. The purpose of the endowment is to ensure a healthy, sustainable symphony orchestra for Vermont and to help bring the Orchestra to more communities across the state through concerts and outreach programs including the popular SymphonyKids education programs in local schools.‘Music is the universal language,’ Colodny said, ‘and its existence contributes immeasurably to our quality of life. The VSO contributes mightily in making Vermont a special place to live.’The endowment campaign came at a critical moment in the Orchestra’s 75 year history. Like other orchestras, the VSO has faced economic uncertainty in the past. ‘It’s our statewide volunteer network that sets us apart,’ says Alan Jordan, VSO Executive Director. ‘Our volunteers allow a $1.8 million operation to work like a $3 million orchestra, generating enthusiasm and awareness, selling tickets and raising funds, accommodating musicians in their homes, whatever it takes,’ he says. ‘And, with these volunteers, we have raised this crucial endowment to support the orchestra for future generations.’The VSO was formed as the nation recovered from the Great Depression. It has survived through 12 recessions, and has flourished over the years. It began in the fall of 1934 when visionary musician Alan Carter gathered Vermont’s scattered musical forces’musicians who were also farmers, bankers, plumbers and teachers’to form the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. From the beginning, the VSO traveled around the state to perform wherever an audience could be found. It became the first state-supported orchestra in 1939 when the legislature provided funds for a performance at the New York World’s Fair.‘The fact that the VSO is the oldest state symphony in America and has continued with so little bedrock endowment is amazing,’ says Ken Squier, Chairman of the Governing Board of Directors. ‘We especially thank the many generous individuals and organizations whose gifts will help us perpetuate the great work that Music Director Jaime Laredo, our Orchestra, and the staff have done.’Guilford resident and world renowned violinist Jaime Laredo became Music Director in 2000. His tenure has been marked by critically acclaimed performances, and guest appearances by leading classical musicians, including Midori, Lang Lang, Jennifer Koh, Leila Josefowicz, Peter Serkin, Soovin Kim, Michael Tree and Leon Fleisher. World class cellist Yo Yo Ma returns to perform with the Orchestra on April 30. The concert has been sold out since last September.During the 2009/10 season the Orchestra reached an audience of 53,791, including 24,089 school children through its popular SymphonyKids outreach program in Vermont schools. Overall the Orchestra produced 301 performances and events statewide’266 of the events were offered free of charge to audience members.For additional information, please contact the VSO at 2 Church Street, Suite 3B, Burlington, Vermont 05401 or call 800-876-9293. For information about forthcoming concerts, please visit VSO website at www.vso.org(link is external).Photos: 1) Ed Colodny, VSO Honorary Campaign Chair2) Ed Colodny, VSO Honorary Campaign Chair; Ken Squier, VSO Board Chair; Jeb Spaulding, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Administration; Jaime Laredo, VSO Music Director; Alan Jordan, VSO Executive Director (l. to r.)last_img read more

Colombian Army Destroys Cocaine Mega Lab in Nariño

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo October 11, 2018 Troops of the Colombian Army’s 23rd Brigade, the Special Counternarcotics Brigade, and the Colombian Police Counternarcotics Directorate located and destroyed a mega lab equipped to process cocaine hydrochloride in a joint operation, August 24, 2018. The drug lab was the largest authorities found so far in Cumbitara municipality, Nariño department, in Colombia’s southwest. “Cumbitara, with the municipalities of Leyva, Rosario, and Policarpa, is the third most productive coca area of Nariño department,” Colombian Army Colonel Oscar Moreno, commander of the 23rd Brigade, told Diálogo. “The area, under the influence of Front 29 and paramilitary and self-defense groups, has been at the center of a turf war as the main narcotrafficking corridor in the region.” The lab belonged to Front 29, a remnant armed group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish). According to the Army, the complex was divided into 13 rustic and interconnected structures able to produce 5 tons of cocaine hydrochloride a month, valued at $135 million in the illegal international market. Millions seized Authorities found five distillers to refine coca paste, two electric generators, five storage tanks and logos to brand each kilogram of cocaine to identify its owner. Law enforcement also seized vacuum sealers, 34 microwave ovens, two hydraulic presses, four improvised toilets, two industrial heaters, 14 test tubes, 18 acidimeters, two compressors, 10 gas cylinders, 65 plastic tanks, and 3,500 rolls of packing tape, among other equipment and supplies, the Army stated. Authorities conducted the operation as an air assault, with helicopters allowing for quick seizures, yet with the loud sound of spinning blades. Coca paste makers and security personnel ran away as soon as they heard the aircraft, preventing any arrests from taking place. International intervention The increase in interventions to locate and destroy labs is part of the Army’s Diamond Plan. The plan strengthens the course of action set by the Damascus doctrine at the core of the Colombian Military Forces, which leverages interoperability of joint, coordinated, and interagency operations. “We have a well-defined plan that considers every front. We receive a lot of support from the United States to make processes sustainable in the community,” Colombian Army Brigadier General Raúl Hernando Flórez, commander of the Counternarcotics Special Brigade, told Diálogo. “We work on mechanisms to restore capabilities for eradication, intervention, and intelligent spraying, based on the rules established.” The new legal guidelines classify cocaine production facilities and warehouses as high-value targets. “This increases intelligence, research, and judicial efforts,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “Strengthening international cooperation is one of the most important tools against this transnational crime. So is promoting coordination centers against its funding, with a coordinated approach of strategic communication and two clear messages: What comes around goes around, and, in particular, narcotrafficking crimes have no political connotations.” “But none of this will be successful if we don’t devise joint, coordinated, interagency, and multinational strategies to ban drug consumption and possession anywhere in our region,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “We are studying the case, adjusting the diagnosis of the problem.” Remnant groups devoted to narcotrafficking In 2018, the Army destroyed eight labs in the area. Authorities believe FARC remnants owned the drug labs. “Remnant groups are completely devoted to narcotrafficking; there’s no ideology, no politics, just business, and this is narcotrafficking financed by Colombian and Mexican rings,” Col. Moreno said. “Locating and reaching these labs is the result of a complex operation using intelligence, technical, and technological [resources], flyovers, heat inspections, many days of follow-up, and, obviously, the community’s help.”last_img read more

Video: Chilean saves Bundesliga side from relegation with stunning last-gasp free kick

first_imgHamburg just won’t go down, will they?Trailing Karlsruher 1-0 in the final minute of their Bundesliga play-off match, the six-time German champions looked like they would finally drop into the second tier.However, as the clock ticked into stoppage time, up stepped Marcelo Diaz.The Chile international, who signed for Die Rothosen from Basel in February, curled home a beauty of a free-kick to force the game into extra-time, where they won to retain their status in the top flight.Legendary status secured.Nicolai Muller poked home Hamburg’s winner in the 115th minute to consign their opponents to the second tier for another season, while the victors remain in the Bundesliga for a record 53rd successive season. They are also the only club to never suffer relegation since the league’s inception in 1963.Footballing drama at its’ finest. 1 Marcelo Diaz last_img read more