Watch All Three “A Very Jerry Christmas” Shows From Cris Jacobs [Full Videos]

first_imgCris Jacobs brought his A Very Jerry Christmas show back to Gypsy Sally’s last Wednesday before returning to the 8X10 in Baltimore for two sold out nights. He started this holiday celebration a few years ago and said, “it’s some of the most fun gigs of the year.”Jacobs, who has been riding a wave a success following the release of his new album, Dust to Gold, was joined by John Ginty on the organ, Mookie Siegel on keys, Dave Markowitz on bass, and Ed Hobugh on drums. You can catch Cris again with Everyone Orchestra for a two night new years run at Gypsy Sally’s on the 30th and 31st.Check out audio and videos from all three nights below:Gypsy Sally’s soundboard/mic audio mix:Gypsy Sally’s YouTube Live Recording:8X10 YouTube Live Recording, Night 1:8X10 Youtube Live Recording, Night 2:last_img read more

Turning on the lights

first_imgDespite the economic strides that many of its nations have made in recent years, Africa is still, in a literal sense, a dark continent. No country there represents this more clearly than Liberia, where only 2,000 homes in the nation of 4 million are hooked up to the electrical grid.But where others see a problem too big to solve, Richard Fahey sees a hopeful future, and a burgeoning commercial market for solar energy.“Liberia certainly is dark in terms of light, but not in human capital,” said Fahey, a 2010 fellow of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.This spring, Fahey will launch the Liberia Energy Network, a large-scale solar power project. If he reaches his goal of putting sun-powered lanterns in the hands of a million Liberians by next year, he will have proven, he said, that socially conscious industry can thrive in the impoverished nation.Fahey, a retired environmental lawyer from Ohio and a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia in the 1960s, had a chance to return to the fragile country in 2009. It was the first time he had visited since a 14-year civil war broke out in 1989.“One of the things that struck me was how shattered the social and cultural institutions are,” Fahey said. “The war did serious damage to the social order.”He did notice, however, that a surprising number of Liberians had cell phones. Estimates of the average Liberian’s annual income hover around $220, but there was clearly a thriving market for first-world technology.After the war, Fahey said, “so many people had to leave their traditional homelands and move to the cities. You have extended families now that are very distant from one another.” Cell phones became a way to stay connected to the village community.The cell phone is so valuable, in fact, that the average Liberian spends 25 percent of his or her income (roughly $48 a year) to charge it, according to Fahey’s research. Because the vast majority of the country’s homes lack electricity, Liberians travel to “electricity centers” that exact a high price in exchange for charging a phone.That figure could be greatly reduced if Liberians had individual solar-powered lanterns capable of charging a phone, Fahey said. Luckily, several manufacturers produce combination lantern-phone chargers that cost roughly $45.It’s what Fahey calls “just-good-enough technology,” a way to circumvent the expensive and unrealistic process of building a traditional energy grid. “That kind of investment is a very long way away,” Fahey said. “Plus it’s very old technology.” With solar power, he reasoned, “the people could build their own grid.”Currently, the country’s poor inhabitants use inefficient and environmentally unfriendly kerosene lamps to light their homes.“Their lives effectively end at sundown,” Fahey said. “And that has impacts for everyone.” It’s not uncommon, he said, to see children on sidewalks congregated around streetlights in the evening, trying to finish their homework by lamplight. Women and girls in particular are at a disadvantage, because they are often required to gather firewood or other fuel during the day and have no way to study at night, Fahey said.In addition, dirty energy takes a toll on health. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million people — 85 percent of them women and children — die annually from the air pollution caused by kerosene lamps and indoor cooking fires.“Electricity is such a fundamental need that so many other things are built on top of,” Fahey said.While Liberia, in Fahey’s words, “practically exists off foreign aid,” the microfinance industry has just begun to penetrate the country. Fahey is working with an anthropologist in Liberia to research traditional savings groups, which many Liberians use to finance cell phone purchases, as a way to help consumers purchase solar lanterns. He has also hired Liberians to lead focus groups that are testing different styles of solar generators.“We’ve been trying to tell others what we think the Liberians need rather than asking what they need,” Fahey said. “This is giving them choices and thinking of them as consumers.”That attitude is crucial to any business’s success, according to Michael Chu, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School (HBS) who specializes in social enterprise and emerging markets, known in the B-school lexicon as “business at the base of the pyramid.”Chu emphasized the role a successful, self-sustaining business can play in an untested market like Liberia. Good businesses attract competitors, which can in turn bring long-term economic growth to a region.“The big impact of applying commercial solutions [to poverty] is not that one successful firm that comes out of it,” Chu said. “The big social payoff is that one great, successful business will create an industry.”Chu’s ideas were among those Fahey absorbed at Harvard. The Advanced Leadership Initiative, now in its third year, offers late-career professionals the chance to audit courses across the University and prepare for new roles as leaders in the public sector, tackling social problems.Harvard was “a good place to come retool and recalibrate,” Fahey said. “I came here with a vague idea that would have looked a lot more like a traditional aid or development model. My thoughts have moved probably 180 degrees from that.”Like many of the initiative’s fellows, Fahey is showing that “public good can also be carried out by for-profit companies,” said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, HBS’s Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration and the chair and director of the initiative.“It’s not a question of nonprofit or for-profit, private sector or public sector,” she added. “We need more and better leaders in every sector, because the challenges and problems seem to be getting bigger and harder to solve.”Fahey will return to Liberia later this month to continue raising capital for the project. After a long career in law, he’s energized by the thought of returning to the country he first tried to help as a newly minted college graduate.“There are a lot of us who still have some tread left on the tires and really want to do something,” he said of his generation. “You just can’t play enough golf.”last_img read more

The Best Outdoor City

first_img Coolidge Park on the banks of the Tennessee River A river runs through it: From Lookout Mountain, the Tennessee River snakes through the cityBEST OUTDOOR CITY: CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEEThe city Walter Cronkite famously called the dirtiest in America in 1969 has reinvented itself into the outdoor mecca of the South and a model for green transformation. How did this traditionally industrial city once known as the “Pittsburgh of the South” accomplish such a feat? Turns out it’s because of its historical manufacturing background, not despite it.Spreading out from Moccasin Bend on the mighty Tennessee River, Chattanooga has always been a gateway to both the South and the West. The site was a hub of commerce as far back as the 17th century when French trappers established trade routes on the banks of the Tennessee. Chattanooga also played major roles in the French and Indian, Revolutionary, and Civil wars, a testament to its historical significance as a linchpin city. The steel and coal industries helped the city earn its dirty reputation, but then a funny thing happened: Chattanooga’s leaders woke up.Community businessmen realized that the city’s trajectory was not economically or environmentally sustainable. We are talking about a downtown in which workers had to change their shirts at lunch due to the grit and grime in the air, where you could barely make out the surrounding mountains due to the smog. Chattanooga reached a cultural and socioeconomic low-point in the 1980s as de-industrialization decimated its population. From those ashes, both figurative and literal, rose an idea to revitalize the downtown area with a $120 million investment in a riverwalk complete with paths, pocket parks, river access, and music venues centered around the Tennessee Aquarium and downtown art museum in one of the largest public/private development projects in the nation. Philip Grymes, executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga, says the changes not only affected the urban landscape, but the community atmosphere of the city as well.“Downtown Chattanooga was once a sleepy town you didn’t want to come into; once the doors closed at 5 o’clock it was like a runway to get out,” he said. “The community design has really changed. It’s no longer about how can we get people in and out of the city quickly. It’s more about how we can get people to enjoy the city and get out of their cars and walk around and get on a bike.”Those efforts include a progressive citywide bike share program, a model for larger cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, and because the public had significant input in the planning process, there is a sense of responsibility for the downtown area that was lacking before.“Collective ownership of this city has evolved so much over the last 10 years,” said Fynn Glover, who was born and raised in Chattanooga and is the founder of RootsRated, an outdoor startup providing grassroots trail reviews. “Chattanooga has a lot of very passionate citizens who are working very hard to continue the economic growth here in a way that does not lose our connection with our natural resources. People know that this playground is the most important thing. It’s what makes Chattanooga an attractive place to do business, an attractive place to live, and an attractive place to raise a family.”Spiral out from the revitalized downtown and it’s easy to see how the city has put in the effort to re-label itself as a model for the outdoor lifestyle. The Rim Trail on Lookout Mountain and the new Stringer’s Ridge system two minutes from downtown offer some of the best trail running in the nation. Mountain biking at Raccoon Mountain and Five Points on Lookout each boast over 20 miles of classic singletrack. The Cumberland Trail over Signal Mountain and the soon to be completed Cloudland Connector Trail are long distance hiking trails with stunning views. Need something more extreme? Learn to hang glide at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. The fact that Chattanooga will host the U.S. Cycling Championships from 2013-15 along with established events like Riverbend, a nine-day riverside music festival, only add to the city’s reputation.The recreation opportunities, Rock City, and Ruby Falls have always been there, only now the city attracts the outdoors enthusiast to not only visit, but also to stay. Those people include two of its greatest outdoor ambassadors. Grymes visited Chattanooga from western North Carolina with no plans to settle down; that was in 1996. Al Smith, the general manager at the Southside hostel The Crash Pad, came to Chattanooga for the extensive climbing opportunities at places like the famous Tennessee Wall and Sunset Rock, both 20 minutes from downtown.“You don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere,” Smith said. “You can live in the middle of a busy metropolitan city and still go rock climbing nearly every day. It’s a really easy urban lifestyle here, and it’s not too expensive. Chattanooga is like a giant summer camp. It has a lot to offer many different types of people, not just the outdoorsy person but the artist, student, and entrepreneur as well.”As more and more people come to Chattanooga because of the culture and vibe, the city has grown an extensive community of citizens who are willing to put in the work building multi-use trails at places like the Lulu Lake Land Trust and Prentice Cooper State Park. Connecting all those hundreds of miles of trails within different systems is now the name of the game, says Grymes.“Thanks to the efforts of our outdoor community, all the trails will be connected right to downtown,” he said.The mix of urban and outdoor life seems to be ideal in Chattanooga these days. People come for the outdoor recreation opportunities and stay for the urban economy and low cost of living.Best Mountain Town – Chattanooga from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.CHATTANOOGA QUICK HITS5 minutesRent a board and SUP at Ross’ Landing on the flat water of the Tennessee River right downtown. Check out for free clinics and rentals. Rent a bike and pedal the Tennessee Riverwalk over the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges.15 minutesGrab your bike and ride the East Rim Trail on Raccoon Mountain for breathtaking views of the city and access to intermediate and expert trails like MegaWatt and Table Rock. Climb the best rock in the Southeast at Tennessee Wall, or just watch the experts do their thing from solid ground.30 minutesTake a trail run to Lula Lake Falls in the Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain. Get high—2,000 feet high—in a glider at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Chattanooga Bike Statue Coolidge Park Chattanooga Chattanooga will host an IRONMAN triathlon for five consecutive years beginning in 2014. RUNNERS UPRICHMOND, VA.The mighty James River flows through the heart of the city, one of only a few truly urban whitewater runs in the country. The 2.5-mile run from Reedy Creek to 14th Street is a locals’ favorite, featuring Class I-IV whitewater and well known rapids such as Lulu and Hollywood, named after the Hollywood Cemetery that overlooks it – also a great place for a late afternoon run.You can pick up the James River Park system of trails at Belle Island and run, hike, or ride over 10 miles along both banks of the river and in Forest Hill Park. You can also get some urban climbing in at Manchester Wall, a set of four railroad pillars that offer over 40 routes in the 65-foot range. City pocket parks like Powhite and Larus maximize their space with honeycomb trail systems. Head south to Pocahontas State Park for over 40 miles of excellent singletrack surrounding scenic Beaver and Swift Creek lakes.Adding to Richmond’s outdoor cred is that it’s the host of the Xterra East Championship Off-Road Triathlon, which uses the James River trails for its running and biking portions. It will also host the 2015 ICU Road World Championships, one of the world’s premiere cycling races held for the first time in the U.S. since 1986.WASHINGTON, D.CDespite the political gridlock of the District, the city has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, no matter if you are blue or red. In 2010, we named D.C. one of our top Southeastern running towns, thanks to running clubs like the D.C. Road Runners and Washington Runners Club. Runners can hop on the Capital Crescent Trail, a popular rail trail running from Georgetown to Silver Springs or join the Cherry Blossom 10 mile, one of the nation’s most popular races.Just upriver from downtown is Great Falls Park and Mather Gorge, with world class Class II-IV paddling, miles of hiking trails tracing the Falls, and biking for all skill levels. Northwest Branch outside College Park has established bouldering routes or top rope at Carderock in Great Falls. These urban adventures are great, but our founding fathers chose the site of our capital for a reason: its accessibility. Some of the best parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia are just a short drive from the city limits.CLOSE CONTENDERSKNOXVILLE, TENN.This up and comer is starting to embrace its location on the Tennessee, Clinch, and Little Rivers, and investing in the Knoxville urban wilderness with over 40 miles of trails two miles from downtown. With epic biking and climbing in Big South Fork to the north and GSMNP to the south, expect to see Knoxville contend for the top spot in the years to come.CHARLOTTE, N.C.This finance hub is the home of the Charlotte Whitewater Center, training center for Team USA. Just outside of town, climb the summit of Crowders Mountain or head east to the Wood Run mountain bike trails of Uwharrie National Forest.RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C.Tobacco Road may be dominated by hoops fans, but water flows everywhere and this area boasts a thriving music and festival scene. W.B. Umstead State Park contains over 20 miles of secluded hiking trails and is one of the few North Carolina state parks that allows biking. Smallmouth and Roanoke bass fishing can be found just outside of town on the Eno River as it flows through Eno State Park.GREENVILLE, S.C.From downtown paddling to downhill mountain biking, you can pretty much do it all in Greenville, which may become the next Asheville, with its ease of access and cool mountain vibe. The Mountain Lake Wilderness Area holds 50 miles of the best hiking in South Carolina, and the 371,000-acre Sumter National Forest is perfect for a weekend backpacking trip along the Chattooga River.ATLANTA, GA.Hotlanta’s proximity to the mountains of North Georgia make it a hotbed of outdoorsy folks: excellent mountain biking, hiking, and fishing in Chattahoochee National Forest are just an hour north of the city. Meanwhile, Stone Mountain and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area are within city limits. Throw in urban bouldering at Boat Rock and the 1996 Olympic mountain bike course in the suburbs, and some of the world’s top runners in the Atlanta Track Club, and it’s easy to see why Atlanta is one of the region’s best outdoor cities.last_img read more

With Blake Griffin, Clippers are happy to play follow the leader

first_img“Because from a distance all you see are the dunks and the commercials and you’re like, ‘OK, obviously he’s doing a lot of things off the court,” Crawford said.The question being, was Griffin as committed to his on-court craft as he seemingly was building his off-court profile?Crawford soon had his answer, courtesy of a long Griffin work day that stretched across a 26-point performance against he Detroit Pistons, a long flight from Motown to Charlotte and an evening visit to the hotel weight room.Upon arriving in North Carolina, Crawford headed to the gym to get a quick abdominal workout in. Assuming he’d likely be the only Clipper there, he was shocked by the scene awaiting him.“Blake is already in there, like in a full workout,” Crawford said. “He’s got bands around him, he’s got a trainer with him, and I’m like, ‘this is unbelievable,’ I had to really go back and think, ‘Did we really just play today?’ Like, it was unbelievable.” From afar, the perception Jamal Crawford had of Blake Griffin was as mistaken as anyone else who writes Griffin off as nothing more than a highlight dunker with a couple of cleverly conceived commercials.Crawford now realizes his misguided assumptions, swayed by the two years he’s played alongside Griffin and privy to the inner-workings of a driven star whose ceiling keeps soaring higher and higher and higher.The latest display was Griffin’s 35-point hammering of the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference playoffs.Crawford took it in stride, but before the benefit of perspective, it was a curious Crawford who approached his new teammate upon signing with the Clippers in 2012. Crawford has been a believer ever since.“This guy just wants to be great,” Crawford said. “He really does.”The rest of basketball is beginning to understand just how much.Griffin launched himself into consideration for the Most Valuable Player award with a well-rounded regular season in which he averaged 24.1 points and 9.5 rebounds, then backed it up Monday by dominating the Warriors to draw even with them in this best-of-seven series.But the numbers only tell part of the story.By expanding his repertoire with a more consistent mid-range game and freeing his mind of the clutter resulting from the beating he takes every night and the referees’ inconsistency controlling it, Griffin is better equipped to deal with the physical and emotional challenges confronting him each game.It helped that he finally spent a healthy off season working on his game as opposed to rehabbing from surgery, as he did his previous three summers. But for Griffin the mental improvements are every bit as important as the physical.“We talk about it all he time,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, “You have no opponent. We throw you the ball, you score. I don’t care who’s guarding you, just go play. I don’t care what they do to you, just go play.”And as the Clippers Game 2 blowout victory showed, when Griffin is playing freely and confidently he’s nothing short of a beast.The Warriors have little recourse.Consider that his 35 points Monday came in just three quarters, and that when Griffin is on the court the Clippers own a 31-point advantage over Golden State.That’s of utmost significance considering he was hampered by foul trouble throughout Game 1 – eventually fouling out after playing just 19 minutes – and the Warriors stole a win at Staples Center as a result.With fouls never an issue Monday – remarkably, after being whistled for six in Game 1 he didn’t draw any in Game 2 – the Warriors were helpless defending Griffin and the Clippers as a whole.“You saw tonight how dominant he is,” said Clippers guard Chris Paul, who implored Griffin to be more cognizant of his importance after fouling out of Game 1, emphatically telling him he needed him on the court the rest of the series.Paul was but one voice in a chorus of Clippers urging Griffin to play smarter with his fouls, but also be more aggressive offensively. They understand his importance, and reminded Griffin it was his commanding regular-season performance, as much as anything else, that lifted them to a franchise record for victories and the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.The catalyst being a stretch of time in which Paul was sidelined with an injury and Griffin was forced to assume more responsibility. He responded by lifting the Clippers on his shoulders and carrying them during Paul’s absence, the ramifications of which reached far beyond the standings.Griffin was earning the respect of his teammates.“He led with his voice, led by example and led us every single night when Chris was out,” Crawford said.Griffin didn’t necessarily nudge Paul aside for ownership of the Clippers in the process, but he absolutely became a co-signer on the deed.“Now they can work together. We have two MVP candidates on the same team,” Crawford said. “They’re both unselfish and that makes it that much better.”The esteem with which Griffin is held in his locker room was felt between Games 1 and 2 when teammates urged him to punish the Warriors.It was an forceful plea, and it was appreciated.“It means a lot,” Griffin said. “Whether you believe it or not, you know, every NBA player deals with confidence issues at times and before every game. To hear CP, Jamal Crawford, DJ DeAndre Jordan, Matt (Barnes) DC (Darren Collison), on down the line and then our whole coaching staff say, ‘Go attack, go score, go do what you do,’ that’s a confidence-builder. That gets me into the game.”Griffin responded with a career playoff high in points, and in the process helped batter the Warriors into submission.If he continues the assault, it’s difficult to imagine the Warriors mapping out directions leading to three more wins.“When we play that way, when we play with that force and thrust, it’s tough to defend us,” Paul said. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Families split in federal raids

first_imgCommunity activists scrambled to locate the children, offer infant-care tips to fathers unfamiliar with warming formula and changing diapers, and gather donations of baby supplies. One baby who was breast-feeding had to be hospitalized for dehydration because her mother remained in detention, authorities said. Child-care arrangements had to be made for at least 35 youngsters. Officials of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division released at least 60 of the workers who were sole caregivers to children, but more than 200 were sent to detention centers in Texas and New Mexico. “What is going to happen to the children? These children are American-born,” said Helena Marques, executive director of the Immigrant Assistance Center in New Bedford. “There are hundreds of children out there without their moms, in tremendous need. These babies have become the victims of a problem that legislators can’t seem to fix.” One mother was located in Texas after her 7-year-old child called a state hotline set up to help reunite the families, authorities said. The Massachusetts governor said the woman would be returned to Massachusetts. HOUSTON – They are the hidden side of the government’s stepped-up efforts to track down and deport illegal immigrants: Toddlers stranded at day care centers or handed over to ill-equipped relatives. Siblings suddenly left in charge of younger brothers and sisters. When illegal-immigrant parents are swept up in raids on homes and workplaces, the children are sometimes left behind – a complication that underscores the difficulty in enforcing immigration laws against people who have put down roots and begun raising families in the U.S. Three million American-born children have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant; one in 10 American families has mixed immigration status, meaning at least one member is an immigrant here illegally, according to the Pew Center for Hispanic Research and the office of U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano. Children born in the U.S. are automatically American citizens and are not subject to deportation. This past week in Massachusetts, most of the 361 workers picked up in a raid at a New Bedford leather-goods factory that made vests and backpacks for the U.S. military were women with children, setting off what Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick called a “humanitarian crisis.” Massachusetts sent 37 social workers to Texas on Saturday to interview some of the women under arrest. Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby said the parents must be interviewed to make sure their youngsters are staying with responsible adults. Authorities said some of the women might be so afraid their youngsters will be taken away that they have refused to disclose they have children. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials defended their handling of the raid, saying the agency made arrangements in advance with social service agencies to care for the children. Spokesman Marc Raimondi said all immigrants arrested by ICE are interviewed to determine if they are the sole parent of their children. The agency can grant humanitarian releases, as they did in 60 cases in Massachusetts. As for the parents’ ultimate fate, being a single parent or the family breadwinner offers no special protection against deportation, said another ICE spokesman, Mike Keegan. “They made a decision to come into the country illegally,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that someone would not know of the consequences when they get caught.” U.S. Rep. William Delahunt said Sunday there would be a congressional investigation into the raid. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more