Monday, February 1, 2021 - Kaiser Health News

Monday, February 1, 2021 - Kaiser Health News Monday, February 1, 2021 - Kaiser Health News Posted: 01 Feb 2021 12:00 AM PST From Kaiser Health News - Latest Stories: Kaiser Health News Original Stories How a Bounty of Vaccines Flooded a Small Hospital and Its Nearby College An ad hoc, chaotic distribution system is leading to a bizarre mix of vaccine haves and have-nots. (Julie Appleby, 2/1) Older Adults Without Family or Friends Lag in Race to Get Vaccines Public health officials have singled out seniors as key candidates for the covid-19 vaccines but too many of these seniors are not able to get shots because they don't use computers, don't have internet services or transportation, or don't have someone to help them with the process. (Judith Graham, 2/1) Food Guidelines Change but Fail to Take Cultures Into Account For decades, the federal government has tried to guide our eating habits. They once again revi

YSU's 'Opera Scenes" premieres online Thursday - Mahoning Matters

YSU's 'Opera Scenes" premieres online Thursday - Mahoning Matters

YSU's 'Opera Scenes" premieres online Thursday - Mahoning Matters

Posted: 16 Dec 2020 01:26 AM PST

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University students Lauren Faber, LaNae' Ferguson, Emily Gerak, Marlina Karimi and Sierra McCorvey will be featured when Dana School of Music premieres "Opera Scenes" by the Dana Opera Ensemble on Thursday.

The online performance will be available at 7 p.m. on the Cliffe College YouTube channel.

Selections include "Porgi amor," "Sull'aria," "Voi che sapete" and "Deh, vieni non tardar" from "Le Nozze di Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and "Senza mamma" from "Suor Angelica" by Giacomo Puccini.

Also on tap are: "When I am Laid in Earth" from "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry Purcell; "Je suis encor tout ètourdie" from "Manon" by Jules Massenet; "Flower Duet" from "Lakmé" by Lèo Delibes; "C'est des contrebandiers ... Je dis que rien ne m'apouvante" from "Carmen" by Georges Bizet; and "O wär ich schon mit dir vereint" from "Fidelio by Ludwig" van Beethoven.

Faber, soprano, is a second-year graduate student, pursuing a master's degree in Vocal Performance. She earned Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Vocal Performance and Communications at Westminster College, graduating from her undergraduate studies in 2019.

Faber has performed in several operas and opera scenes with the Dana Opera Ensemble, recently playing the role of Genovieffa in "Suor Angelica."She has performed with Opera Westminster, portraying the roles of Cherubino in "Le Nozze di Figaro," Prince Orlofsky in "Die Fledermaus" and originating the role of Young Nun Anna in the world premiere of "Katharina von Bora."

Ferguson, mezzo-soprano, is a senior Spanish and Music Recording double major. She is an active member in the Voices of YSU and sang with Dana Chorale last fall. Ferguson has previously been a song and scriptwriter for the #J-E-S-U-S Easter Play at Rising Star Baptist Church.

She was a member of Opera Western Reserve's chorus for three years and was last seen in "Macbeth" last fall. She was also a member of The Youngstown Connection (founded by Dr. Carol Baird) from January 2017 until August 2018. Ferguson participated in the "New York New York" musical by Martha Brogdon in November.

Emily Gerak is a junior Music Education student. She is the soprano one section leader of the Dana Chorale, the secretary of the Dana Vocal Society and is the Vocal Director of Poland High School's Drama Department.

At YSU, she has played the roles Virtue and Petti-Sing in opera scenes, and was a gingerbread child in their production of "Hansel and Gretel."

Karimi is an American-Iranian soprano from West Palm Beach, Fla. In 2018, Karimi earned the Jeanie Queen award from the Florida Federation of Music Club's Stephen Foster State Awards. In 2017, she won first place in the voice category for the Jillian Prescott Competition.

Karimi has performed selected scenes from Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "Cosi fan tutte," playing the roles of Donna Anna and Fiordiligi in Verona, Italy with Opera Viva! during their 2018 summer program.

She also has performed Contessa from Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" at Florida Gulf Coast University's Opera Workshop in spring 2019. Later that year, she participated in the Opera Naples Academy receiving coaching from Bruce Ford, Sherrill Milnes and Veronica Villaroel. She is working on her Master's degree in Vocal Performance.

McCorvey, soprano, has been featured with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Packard Band and Mahoning Valley Chorale. McCorvey has sung several roles including Iris in Marc Blitzstein's "The Harpies" at Kent State University, Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte," Suor Angelica in 'Suor Angelica" and the Fairy in Massenet's Cendrillon at Youngstown State University.

He other roles include Lily/ Strawberry Woman in Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" at Cleveland Opera and Opera Western Reserve, and Second Witch in Verdi's "Macbeth" at Opera Western Reserve.

McCorvey holds a Bachelor's degree from YSU and is pursuing a Master's degree in Voice Performance with Dr. Misook Yun.

Obituary for Grace G. Edwards, Little Rock, AR - Arkansas Online

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 10:14 PM PST

Grace G. Edwards, the fourth of six children, was born in El Dorado, Ark., to Professor N. F. Jackson, principal at Washington High School, and Mrs. Ruth Jackson, who taught Music and English at Washington High School as well. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson instilled in their children the love of God, family, music, education, and a commitment to community service. These values were the foundation of every aspect of her life and work.

Blessed with a beautiful soprano voice and perfect pitch, Mrs. Edwards was a gifted, classically trained Musician who also focused on piano and organ. After graduating from Washington High School, Mrs. Edwards received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Arkansas Mechanical and Normal College, AM&N now, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1950. A true trailblazer, she was one of the few African Americans admitted to the graduate program at Indiana University in the 1950's. In June of 1953, after only one year, she earned a Master's degree in Music Education from Indiana University.

Mrs. Edwards then joined the faculty of Alabama State University. She became an active member of Martin Luther King's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In June of 1955, she married Robert (Bob) Eubanks. Three children were born from their union, Millicent, Robert (Bobby) and Brian. Her husband was killed in a tragic automobile accident in July of 1961. Despite her loss, Mrs. Edwards forged ahead. In 1962, a former colleague from Alabama State, Dr. R. D. (David) Crockett, the sixth president of Philander Smith College, offered her a teaching position. Mrs. Edwards taught at Philander Smith for over forty years, until she retired. During that time, she touched the lives of countless students. She was particularly gifted at using music to bring out her students' potential and self-confidence by helping them discover their inner voices. She would start with: "I hear a beautiful voice . . .have you ever taken voice lessons or sung in a choir. . .?"

Mrs. Edwards was known for generously sharing her musical gifts and for her ability to train others. Her choirs at Philander Smith and at Little Rock's Mount Zion Baptist Church were widely acknowledged. She was especially proud of the recognition received from Governor Bill Clinton. In 1973, Grace married Burrell Edwards, also a member of the Faculty/Staff at Philander Smith. They shared a love of music and were inseparable life partners for over 30 years. After she retired, she continued to remain close to the Church. She and Mr. Edwards were faithful members of First Baptist Church of Highland Park. She faithfully served as a member of the Music Ministry playing at weekly prayer services.

Mrs. Edwards was predeceased by her parents, four siblings, both husbands, and her beloved son, Bobby. She is survived by her sister, Bobbie Cope; her children, Millicent and Brian (Quinnetta, and children Lawrence, Briana, Calvin, Ashley, Thomas, Rayne, and Loren); her beloved granddaughter, Samantha Hughes (Christopher); and great-grandson, Gabriel Hughes. She will be missed by nieces: Nancy Cope, Leslie Brothers, Jill Petty, Audrey Petty, and Miriam Petty; brother-in-law, Joe Petty; many extended family members, friends and countless students whose lives she has touched.

A walk-through visitation will be held on Friday, December 18, from noon to 4 p.m., at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home Chapel, 1200 Chester Street, Little Rock, Ark., 72202, (501) 372-1305. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. Interment Services will take place on Monday, December 21, at 1 p.m., at the Arkansas State Veterans' Cemetery, 1501 Maryland, North Little Rock, Ark.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Baptist Health Foundation, Angel Fund. Donations increase the number of IPads available to help family members share last, precious moments with dying patients. Website:, Watershed Family Resources, Food pantry and family services. Website:, First Baptist Church of Highland Park. 1701 Pine St., Little Rock Ark., 72204 or Philander Smith College, 900 West Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock, Ark., 72202.

Published December 16, 2020

Ruffin & Jarrett
1200 Chester Street, Little Rock
Phone: 501-372-1305

Schools Work to Speed Up Internet in Rural Homes for Remote Learning - The Wall Street Journal

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 05:00 AM PST

Laura Gomez's two children were using her smartphone's hotspot to log in to remote school early this fall, but the video calls often dropped. The connection was so weak the children couldn't always see or hear their teachers.

Ms. Gomez, who lives in a small agricultural community in California's Central Valley, often had to drive 20 minutes east to her sister-in-law's home in Modesto so her children could connect to their first- and fifth-grade classes using their aunt's home broadband.

Then, in late September Ms. Gomez received a Motorola router and modem from the Patterson Joint Unified School District, and now her family has high-speed internet at home. "I'm so happy we have this for the children. The children are happy, too, because they can see everything more clearly now," she said.

School districts and cities across the country are racing to bridge a digital divide that has existed for decades. According to data collected before the pandemic, approximately 30% of U.S. K-12 public-school students lived in households without either an internet connection or a device adequate for distance learning, according to Common Sense Media. That is 16 million children.

Laura Gomez, Yaneth's mother, has decided to stay home from work to help her children with remote school, while their father works in fields nearby.

At least 39 states have said they would use funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act to help school districts close the tech gap, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The fixes can be fairly simple. School-district and municipal IT departments are using technology that has been around for years, such as solar-powered antennas to transmit Wi-Fi, or wireless broadband, closer to more peoples' homes. With fresh funding comes more elaborate fixes, such as extending a school's network infrastructure right to students' doors.

The hardest part is determining exactly who needs access. School districts survey parents about their internet needs but don't always get a high response rate. Administrators can narrow down which students are likely to be in need based on the families that qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.

Some districts are pairing that data with geographic information system software—a technology used for decades to draw school boundaries and create bus routes—to map out neighborhoods with the highest concentration of families with bandwidth needs. That enables districts to place radio or broadband antennas strategically to have the broadest reach.

Yaneth and her brother, 11-year-old Gabriel Ignacio Gomez, at right, played soccer in the yard after finishing their online classes.

Districts also can look at internet service providers' coverage maps to determine who might have connectivity, but they aren't always accurate. "We'd enter a family's physical address on a website, and it would say service is available, but when we went out there, that wasn't the case," said Jeff Menge, assistant superintendent of business services at the Patterson school district.

Mr. Menge realized the extent of his district's tech divide over a year ago, when he began getting alerts from the district's security company. He checked school security cameras and saw that children were entering school grounds at night and on weekends with their laptops to access the Wi-Fi.

"It hit me how much families are struggling when I realized that children have to jump the fence at school to do their homework," he said.

The district already had enough laptops to loan to every student in the district, but officials knew many of them probably didn't have internet access. Mr. Menge said he doesn't know the exact percentage, but more than 70% of the district's families are low income and up to 40% live in rural areas where high-speed internet isn't available.

Sharing hotspots between families wasn't ideal because of spotty reception, data caps and frequent connection drops, especially when more than one student was connected at a time. "It wasn't acceptable," Mr. Menge said.

Gabriel helping his sister with homework exercises; the region around Patterson is largely agricultural, and many families struggle with connectivity at home.

The district decided on a more-permanent fix—a private network developed by Motorola Solutions. Families can connect directly to schools' internet as if they were in the building. The district has control over who accesses the network, and which websites users can access. The district provides families with a router and a modem that communicates with private wireless broadband run on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. The Patterson school district has installed antennas—each with a radius of up to a mile—at six of its eight schools and plans to install two more. That should provide enough range to bring high-speed internet to all 6,000 of its students.

Funding from the Cares Act covered about 70% of the roughly $2 million project. The district started with families in the town of Grayson, where Ms. Gomez lives, because it is the most rural; the district plans to distribute another 2,000 modems and routers in January.

Philadelphia, with funding from Comcast Corp. , private donors and the Cares Act, in August began offering free hotspots or wired internet service to families in the city's public, private and charter schools. The effort is aimed not only at students in remote school, but also adults. As of July, roughly 18,000 households didn't have stable internet service, the city estimates.

Even though the program is free, it has been hard to persuade some families to sign up, said Mark Wheeler, Philadelphia's chief information officer. "There is a distrust of government and of free programs, because there always seems to be a gotcha. And there is a distrust of telecom companies," he said.

So far, nearly 9,500 families have enrolled in the program—the majority choosing the wired option, Mr. Wheeler said. The school district supplied 2,000 wireless hotspots to households last spring.

To identify families that still don't have access, the city plans to reach out to telecom carriers and internet service providers to cross reference lists of families who might not have internet access with customer lists of service providers.

As many as 40% of families in the Patterson, Calif., public school district live in areas where high-speed internet isn't available.

In Florida, Donna Goldstein, GIS/IT solutions manager at the Palm Beach County school district, used its GIS software to map out neighborhoods with the highest concentration of families likely to lack stable internet. She said the district has run into roadblocks from homeowner associations that don't want solar-powered Wi-Fi antennas installed in their subdivisions. The district had to get creative about finding places to install the antennas, placing them on school buildings, churches and an animal-control center. The local power company donated 1,000 wooden utility poles for the project.

The next step is to get Wi-Fi access points to families in the most rural parts of the county so they can connect to the internet. After that, the district plans to provide coverage to other parts of the county. Dr. Goldstein expects to have more than half of the 80,000 students who don't have internet connected by the end of March.


How have schools in your area worked to bridge the digital divide? Join the conversation below.

"One of the only good things that's come out of the pandemic has been the opportunity to close the digital divide because what we're doing today will be permanent," Dr. Goldstein said.

There is a long way to go before the digital divide is fully closed. Common Sense Media estimates that closing the gap would require a collaboration of government and private entities and that it would cost up to $5.5 billion in one-time installation and device costs, plus up to $5.6 billion in annual charges. But it has to start somewhere.

As many schools around the country start the year virtually, residents in rural communities like those in West Virginia are asking why they don't have reliable Internet service. The recent bankruptcy of Frontier Communications provides insight into how U.S. broadband policies have fallen short for many Americans. Photo Illustration: Carlos Waters/ Video: Jake Nicol/​WSJ

Write to Julie Jargon at

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Appeared in the December 16, 2020, print edition as 'Schools Speed Up Internet for Rural Students.'

First China-US music school Tianjin Juilliard starts graduate classes amid COVID-19 pandemic - Global Times

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 02:28 AM PST

Tianjin Juilliard School Faculty & Student Concert Photo: Courtesy of the Tianjin Juilliard School

One of the performance halls at the Tianjin Juilliard School Photo: Courtesy of the Tianjin Juilliard School

The Tianjin Juilliard School, the first performing arts institution in China to offer a US-accredited Master of Music degree, has kicked off its graduate courses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduate program brings together 39 graduate students from 11 countries around the world, including South Korea and Canada, to the school, which was co-founded by The Juilliard School in New York and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.

The 39 students make up the inaugural class majoring in Orchestral Studies, Chamber Music and Collaborative Piano. Among them, 61 percent are Chinese students and 39 percent are international. 

Everyone or no one 

All of the international students have overcome difficulties to get to the campus in North China's Tianjin Municipality. Alexander Brose, executive director and CEO of the school, told a story about Alla Sorokoletova, a student from Uzbekistan who is currently a flute major at the school.

Sorokoletova went to the Chinese Embassy in Uzbekistan several times to apply for her student visa, but she was turned away each time due to the influence the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel restrictions. After the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tianjin Municipal Government contacted the embassy and introduced the school, the latter finally agreed to give Sorokoletova her visa. 

Brose explained that they needed all 39 graduate students to arrive at the school as otherwise the student orchestra would not be complete and therefore unable to rehearse and perform. 

Sorokoletova has already arrived at the campus and started her studies. She told the Global Times that all staff members at the school have been friendly and helpful, so she has not been homesick despite living in a far-off city.

International cooperation

The Juilliard School in New York manages the school in partnership with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the Tianjin Binhai New Area Administrative Commission and the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company. The announcement on the initiation of the project was made at a ceremony attended by China's First Lady Peng Liyuan in 2015.

Students interested in studying at the school must provide the same application materials including TOEFL scores as required by the New York Juilliard School and will get a degree granted by the latter upon graduation.

Cooperation between the two schools takes many forms, with some students receiving instructions online from teachers in New York. 

When the pandemic eventually passes, it is expected that the people-to-people exchanges between the two schools will become more frequent. Teachers in New York will come to Tianjin and students at the school will have a chance to travel to the US for lessons and performances.

"I'll just add that obviously: This has been a very difficult time period for China-US relations," Brose told the Global Times. 

"But throughout that entire time, the support that we've received from our partners in Tianjin and from our partners in Beijing has been unwavering.

"So we feel that we have already served as a cultural bridge between the two countries and we know that we will be able to continue to do so in the years ahead," he added.

Besides graduate courses, the school also offers Pre-College lessons to students aged 8-18 every Saturday. Nearly 90 students from different places around China, including Beijing, the island of Taiwan and Hong Kong have been enrolled in the program.

Ample opportunities

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the campus covers about 45,000 square meters along the Haihe River in Tianjin. The school has 22 teaching studios and 84 practice rooms for students.

At the Tianjin Juilliard School, students are given ample opportunities to take part in solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts. The school has three state-of-the-art performing venues which form the cornerstones of the new campus. Through performances in the concert hall, recital hall, and black box theater, students can refine their performance skills and connect with audiences through music.

The largest hall, the Concert Hall, has 687 seats and is the main venue for large orchestral and ensemble performances, special events and recitals.  

The smallest has 250 seats and, as a multi-purpose space, can host music performances or multi-disciplinary programs.  

The school is also offering free public performances. After registering online, audiences can access performances presented by the school's students and teachers at its landmark new building.
Newspaper headline: Unwavering support



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