‘We owe much to the Sackler family’: How gifts to a top medical school advanced the interests of Purdue Pharma

first_img Partners for Understanding Pain, which is no longer active, was led by the American Chronic Pain Association, a patient advocacy group that has received funding from Purdue for years, including more than $300,000 from 2012 to 2017, according to a 2018 U.S. Senate investigation. Carr is on the ACPA’s advisory board.In an email, Penney Cowan, the founder and CEO of ACPA, said that the funding the group has taken from Purdue and other biopharma companies has been in the form of “unrestricted educational grants, in which the funder has no input or influence on the projects they fund, or general support for operating expenses.” She added that the group had had little success in getting funding from sources other than companies that make pain treatments.The risks of addiction and overdoses were underappreciated when OxyContin arrived on the market in 1996, but the 2001 panel and 2002 pain report that Carr participated in came after signs emerged that opioid painkillers posed risks. The U.S. attorney in Maine, for example, issued a warning in 2000 about the misuse of drugs including OxyContin, leading Purdue to form a response team.Seven years later, Carr and other physicians wrote a review article about worldwide pain management trends that called U.S. state and federal regulations on opioids “restrictive.”“Many physicians and patients,” they added, “harbor unrealistic anxieties about precipitating adverse side effects, believing that opioids should be reserved for the ‘end’ in cancer pain. There is also an unfounded assumption among physicians and patients that chronic opioid treatment necessarily impairs quality of life.”The review was published the same year Purdue pleaded guilty in federal court to underplaying the risk of OxyContin addiction. It alarmed some experts, who pushed back in the most academic of ways, responding in the same journal.Dr. Henrik Kehlet, a Danish surgeon, and Dr. Paul White, then of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, wrote that the Carr review did not include any evidence that pain was going untreated.“Although there is a clear need for improved techniques for controlling acute and chronic pain, we have serious concerns about the authors’ seemingly narrow focus on the alleged under-use of opioid analgesics and their suggestion that more liberal use of opioids can solve problems,” Kehlet and White wrote. “The recommendation by [Carr and his colleagues] that failure to alleviate pain ‘is negligent, a breach of human rights, and professional misconduct’ might well lead to increased morbidity and mortality.” By Andrew Joseph April 9, 2019 Reprints And as one of the founders of the pain program, and its current director, Carr was given a prominent platform from which to opine about opioid policy — in the classroom, in medical journals, in professional societies. Though his views have shifted, in 2001, he suggested that some patients be given strong opioids early in the course of treatment, minimized their risks, and questioned the cautiousness with which some clinicians were prescribing opioids. He has also taught continuing medical education courses for clinicians funded by Purdue.Meanwhile, Carr’s prominence grew: In 2016, he served as president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and moderated a panel with six governors about the opioid crisis.Dr. Daniel Carr speaks at an event in December 2018. Screen capture via YouTubeSTAT’s findings flesh out some of the allegations about Purdue’s ties to Tufts in the Massachusetts attorney general’s lawsuit against the drug maker, its executives, and members of the Sackler family. With its funding, the suit contends, “Purdue got to control research on the treatment of pain coming out of a prominent and respected institution of learning” and provided input on curriculum.Last month, Tufts announced it had hired Donald K. Stern, a former U.S. attorney, to investigate claims that Purdue was using Tufts to promote its drugs, allegations that university President Tony Monaco called “deeply troubling.”Aside from the Tufts allegations, the release of the unredacted Massachusetts complaint earlier this year cast a harsh glare on the alleged practices of Purdue and the Sacklers. It contends that Purdue, under the direction of some family members, misled prescribers and patients about the benefits and safety of OxyContin, ever focused on boosting prescriptions and profits while igniting an addiction crisis.The company and the family have denied the allegations and sought to dismiss the suit. In regard to Tufts, the company said in court filings that its donations were part of its general support for educational and charitable organizations, not an attempt to control research. In a motion, lawyers for the Sackler family wrote: “The insinuation that Purdue’s funding … might have undermined the independence of some of Massachusetts’ finest institutions is not supported by any specific factual allegations of impropriety by those institutions, or by any document cited by the” lawsuit.Carr declined an interview request. He said in a statement: “I have dedicated my medical career to advancing the understanding of the complexities of pain and its treatment. At all times, my goals in doing so have been to help patients in the most reasonable and responsible manner to receive effective pain treatment and to help medical professionals select and deliver such treatment. I have always worked toward these goals in an unbiased, objective, and patient-oriented manner, recognizing that debilitating pain is itself a serious medical condition that demands proper treatment to prevent and relieve suffering.”He added that the business interests of biopharma companies have no influence on his views and that he would cooperate with Stern’s investigation. Related: Document: Facing blame for seeding the opioid crisis, Purdue explored its next profit opportunity — treating addiction @DrewQJoseph Related: Please enter a valid email address. Please enter a valid email address. Alissa Ambrose/STAT “The [industry] money is so pervasive and tentacular, and we don’t even agree what’s a problem in academia. … Different people in academia have different tolerance for bad optics.” Related: Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. After three years of controversy, CDC clarifies its opioid prescribing guidelines In 2009, a Tufts University School of Medicine professor named Dr. Daniel Carr took stock of the accomplishments of the pain program he had helped start a decade earlier.Alumni of the master’s program included physicians, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, he said in a post on the center’s blog. Faculty at the Pain Research, Education, and Policy program had advised policymakers and were at work on a book about pain treatment in a changing health care landscape. He also thanked the program’s donors, including the billionaire dynasty that made it possible.“We owe much to the Sackler family, whose initial and ongoing support has been indispensable,” Carr said.advertisement So good it hurts: Why drug makers looking to replace opioids want to keep some pain in the picture ‘A blizzard of prescriptions’: Documents reveal new details about Purdue’s marketing of OxyContin In a statement, Purdue said Tufts in 1997 proposed that the drug maker help fund the program, but by that time, the program’s leaders had already outlined the curriculum. The company said it stopped funding the program in 2008.The lawsuit does not identify the Purdue employee who it says was promoted to adjunct associate professor in 2011. After being asked by STAT if it was Haddox, Tufts confirmed that he started teaching at the medical school in 2006. Haddox worked at Purdue from 1999 to October 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile, and as late as 2017, he was listing his credentials on academic papers as Purdue’s vice president of health policy and an adjunct associate professor at Tufts’ medical school.Haddox co-authored a 1989 paper that described a 17-year-old who was taking opioids for pain and was exhibiting addiction-like behavior. But Haddox and his co-author wrote that the issue was insufficient pain treatment, and introduced the term “pseudo-addiction.” Purdue later adopted the term in its marketing materials, saying it occurred because “opioids are frequently prescribed in doses that are inadequate,” according to a slide quoted in the Massachusetts lawsuit. At a 2003 conference on addiction, Haddox said OxyContin was not addictive, according to a 2017 New Yorker story.In a statement, Tufts spokesman Patrick Collins said that Haddox’s “teaching role was limited” and that he gave “occasional lectures in two courses that were part of the MS-PREP program.” He said Stern’s investigation would examine Haddox’s lectures.Purdue said in a statement that Haddox “routinely disclosed” his industry affiliation and “did not promote Purdue opioid medications” in his lectures. The company said he was not paid for the lectures.According to his LinkedIn page, Haddox is now president of Opos Consulting, which, according to its website, offers a “disease management and risk mitigation platform for the safe and compliant delivery of Chronic Opioid Therapy.” Haddox did not respond to a request for comment. Experts in pain medicine and conflicts of interest who reviewed the Tufts and Carr case at STAT’s request said it does not appear as simple as Purdue buying positive research and messaging. Instead, they said, the allegations get to the heart of knottier issues of money in medicine.So much industry money flows to academic institutions, professional societies, and patient advocacy organizations that it’s hard to tease apart what’s a purchase of influence and what’s a marriage of convenience for groups with aligned interests or beliefs, the experts said. Disclosing the funding can help resolve questions, but it’s mostly up to individuals to police themselves about what is reported. And even when funding sources are included, it doesn’t address questions about whether companies are supporting research with a hands-off approach or trying to sway the scientific process.“The money is so pervasive and tentacular, and we don’t even agree what’s a problem in academia,” said Michelle Mello, a professor at Stanford’s medical and law schools. “We have differences of opinion about how free we can keep ourselves from bias. Different people in academia have different tolerance for bad optics, but we’re generally left to make our own calls in these gray areas.”People who know Carr, who earned his medical degree from Columbia in 1976, said that as a pain medicine specialist, his purview has been people in pain, and thus his priority has been keeping all options for pain treatment available.“I think he’s a true believer,” said Dr. Jane Ballantyne, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington and the president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, which advocates for limits on opioid prescriptions. Some experts said disclosing industry funding to one’s institution is a gray area. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors — a group whose reporting guidelines hundreds of journals follow — does not specifically address whether general support for a program like the Tufts pain initiative should be reported. It recommends that study authors “report all sources of revenue paid (or promised to be paid) directly to you or your institution on your behalf” for the past three years, including funding sources with relevance to a paper, not just those that directly funded it. It adds: “If there is any question, it is usually better to disclose a relationship than not to do so.”“When somebody is critiquing efforts to rein in opioids, they should disclose the fact that their institution depends on funding from pharma,” said Dr. Roger Chou of Oregon Health and Science University, an author of the CDC guidelines. “I don’t think that’s a subtle thing.”Carr said he was not aware of donations made by Purdue after the company’s early support for the pain program in the late 1990s and early 2000s, or of funding to Tufts programs beyond the pain initiative.The debate over the CDC guidelines gets at broader questions about whether opioids are effective for chronic pain. Many experts believe that not only do people build up a tolerance to opioids the longer they are on them — meaning they require higher doses and face greater risks of addiction — but also that long-term use can make people more sensitive to pain.Purdue, for its part, has promoted the CDC guidelines to prescribers, but said that ultimately, it believes that medication decisions for patients should be left to clinicians.This story has been updated with information about Dr. Jane Ballantyne’s work as a paid consultant in opioid litigation. This information was disclosed after the story was originally published.  Privacy Policy Leave this field empty if you’re human: Carr and his colleagues wrote their own reply, saying they believed that opioids were one way to manage pain and that they should be “prescribed and used in a manner that is reasonable and appropriate.”White, who now consults for companies working on non-opioid pain treatments, described himself in a recent interview as a bit of a “radical” in his anti-opioid views. But he said his and Kehlet’s commentary was “a polite way of trying to say, ‘Hey, don’t be aggressive in promoting opioids.’ … It was a warning we tried to sound that fell on deaf ears.”Carr has also taught at least two continuing medical education courses that were funded partly by Purdue, one in 2012 and one in 2014 — called “Caring for Outliers in a Mean Minded World” — about a growing approach to pain management that he argued excluded effective treatment for some patients. Typically, instructors of such courses receive payment directly from the medical center or medical education company sponsoring the course, not a drug company that is supporting it.Critics of the practice, however, argue a portion of the industry money is essentially being passed through the course sponsor to the instructor, and that courses promote messaging that helps the funder.“They are carrying water for opioid manufacturers” by teaching CMEs funded by companies, said Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a Georgetown University Medical Center professor who runs PharmedOut, which examines industry influence on medicine. (Fugh-Berman is a paid expert in lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, though not the Massachusetts case.)Purdue said that its support for the CMEs was not related to Carr being the presenter. It said the company supports CMEs as part of the Food and Drug Administration’s risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for opioid manufacturers.Mugs for sale at the Tufts University Health Sciences Bookstore in downtown Boston. Alissa Ambrose/STATThe way Carr talks about opioids has shifted as overdose deaths have jolted the nation’s attention. His recent papers mention the addiction crisis and he has said “an unintended consequence” of doctors’ views about pain and opioids in the 1990s is the “epidemic of diversion and misuse.” In a 2013 panel discussion, he said that opioids should not be a first-line treatment, and that he “would be suspicious of any physician who said an opioid is a first-line treatment.”Carr has also worked on pain treatments beyond opioids. He was an executive at Javelin Pharmaceuticals, which developed a non-opioid pain treatment called Dyloject that was approved in 2014, after Javelin had been purchased by Hospira. Hospira was acquired by Pfizer in 2015.His writing and public statements now often include critiques of the opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain issued in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which he calls flawed. Some of his concerns are echoed by other pain physicians, advocates, and some addiction experts, who argue that the CDC guidelines — which, for example, recommend that physicians “should avoid increasing dosage” beyond certain strengths — are being misapplied by doctors, insurers, and state agencies to justify cutting patients off opioids.In a 2016 study, Carr and co-authors questioned the methodology of the CDC guidelines, saying that the CDC “review reached far more negative conclusions about the risk-benefit ratio for long-term opioid therapy” than prior reviews. The funding source listed on the paper is internal funding from the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts.Carr has reported receiving research funding from Purdue at least once, in a 2004 paper that also said the company had given an unrestricted grant to the Tufts pain program, but he has regularly reported no relevant financial disclosures. A government database that tracks industry contributions to researchers and hospitals shows Carr has not received any funding from Purdue since at least 2013 (the first year with data available).In 2015, tax forms show, the Richard & Beth Sackler Foundation gave $50,000 to Tufts’ medical school for “program support.” And in 2017, Purdue paid Tufts Medical Center $415,000, the largest industry contribution in general funding to the center from 2013 to 2017, according to the federal database. But Collins, the Tufts University spokesman, noted that while Tufts Medical Center is the primary teaching hospital for the university’s medical school, it is a separate organization. Over two decades, Carr has expressed the view that clinicians are not effectively treating pain, in part because training programs fail to emphasize it. He describes pain relief as a human right and warns that doctors who fail to ease pain are uncompassionate.During the early years of the pain program, when untreated pain had become a growing concern in medicine, Carr endorsed messages that bolstered the case for opioids and downplayed safety concerns. In 2001, for example, he and other pain experts met ahead of a conference and discussed how “opiophobia” was, in their view, leading to an “overestimation of the risk” of opioids and in turn the “under-treatment of pain,” according to a summary of the group’s meeting, which Carr co-wrote and was published in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.Perhaps some patients could benefit from being treated with opioids earlier instead of first trying other approaches, Carr and a co-author wrote. “Concerns about the risks of addiction and fears about possible abuse have had the most detrimental effect, and this has led in some cases to widespread suffering of patients,” they added.Other members of the panel included an official from Janssen, a drug company that has manufactured opioids, and a researcher from the University of Wisconsin’s Pain & Policy Studies Group, which received $1.6 million in funding from Purdue from 1999 to 2010, according to a 2011 investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The paper does not list any conflict-of-interest disclosures.Also, in a 2002 report from a coalition called Partners for Understanding Pain, Carr is cited as the source of a statement saying “most pain medications, including opioids, do not cause the ‘high’ associated with street drug use and rarely cause addiction.” Special Report‘We owe much to the Sackler family’: How gifts to a top medical school advanced the interests of Purdue Pharma Related: Tufts taps former U.S. attorney to investigate ties to Sackler family, Purdue Pharma [email protected] Andrew Joseph General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. The Sackler family built and controls the privately held Purdue Pharma, the maker of opioid painkillers including OxyContin. A STAT review of court documents, two decades of academic papers, tax forms, and funding disclosures suggests that the family and company money that went to Tufts helped to advance their interests, generating goodwill for members of the family who were praised for their philanthropy and amplifying arguments about opioids that dovetailed with their business aims.Tufts at times opened its doors to Purdue, allowing a high-ranking executive, Dr. David Haddox — who in 2003 said OxyContin was not addictive — to lecture in the pain program, granting him the title of adjunct associate professor of public health and community medicine at a premier medical school.advertisement About the Author Reprints Leave this field empty if you’re human: Ballantyne formerly worked with Carr at Massachusetts General Hospital and called him a friend. Whereas her research going back to 2003 has cast doubt on the efficacy of long-term opioid use for most patients, Carr, she said, “believes that opioids do help some people with chronic pain, and therefore efforts to restrict opioids, he’s going to fight against.” (Ballantyne is a paid consultant for a law firm representing plaintiffs in litigation against Purdue and others in the opioid supply chain.)As for the Sacklers funding Carr’s program at Tufts, Ballantyne said: “The companies — that’s how they operate. They choose a messenger who believes something that will help improve their sales.”A shirt for sale at the Tufts University Health Sciences Bookstore in downtown Boston. Alissa Ambrose/STATThe Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences sits in Tufts’s downtown Boston Health Sciences Campus. Three Sackler brothers who in the 1950s purchased the company that would become the modern Purdue endowed the school in the early 1980s, establishing the cornerstone in a decades-long relationship among the Sacklers, their company, and the university. The Sackler family has also given millions to other medical centers, cultural institutions, and museums, though as scrutiny of the Sacklers’ role in the opioid crisis has increased, some have said they will no longer accept donations.In 2013, Tufts gave an honorary degree to one of the three brothers, Dr. Raymond Sackler. In praising Sackler’s global philanthropy, Monaco, the Tufts president, said then, “It would be impossible to calculate how many lives you have saved,” according to the Tufts website, which includes a biography of Sackler that does not mention Purdue. (Raymond Sackler died in 2017.) Dr. Richard Sackler, a onetime Purdue president and one of Raymond’s sons, served on an advisory board at Tufts University School of Medicine from 1999 to 2017. A Tufts spokesman said the board had no decision-making authority.In 1999, the Sacklers made what the lawsuit calls “a more targeted gift” to establish a new master’s program at Tufts. Richard Sackler attended the Pain Research, Education, and Policy program’s launch event in Boston and “paid Tufts hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the filing says.The program, which is a part of the medical school’s Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, was started by Carr and a medical sociologist to “instruct doctors on how to better understand the pain of their patients,” the Tufts Daily reported on Oct. 26, 1999. It has aimed to train people who work across medicine to consider and treat pain as a specific condition, an individualized experience that needs to be addressed as such.The Massachusetts lawsuit only mentions Carr by name once, in a footnote in which it calls him an “opioid advocate.” But the pain program appears numerous times in the court filing, identified as MSPREP. Purdue, the lawsuit says, cited MSPREP as a model for how to gain sway at other medical schools and hospitals. Privacy Policy Tags addictionBostonlegalopioidspolicystates Related: Michelle Mello, professor at Stanford’s medical and law schoolslast_img read more

Electric Picnic and I: Meet the two men who were first through the gates in 2004

first_img Pinterest TAGSElectric Picnic & IElectric Picnic 2018 Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleCheck out 40 pictures from different events at this years Heritage WeekNext articleMary Lou McDonald set to visit Laois this week Sean HennessyA former Knockbeg student, and is currently a student in the University of Limerick trying to scrape a BA in History and Politics. A marquee player in the goals for Annanough, but well capable of doing a job in full-forward and has the knack to turn his hand to any sport (except running). Only starting out in his journalistic career but already the specialist farming and property reporter. Happiest when Liverpool and Laois are winning! Community WhatsApp By Sean Hennessy – 28th August 2018 Before the Electric Picnic came, did you think Stradbally could be the home for such an event? Well, we knew that Stradbally could host a festival. Back in 1999, we had a Macra festival, nicknamed Woodvale ’99. It was up in the stable yard in the Hall, and we had a band called Joanna & Tequilla Sunrise playing, they were a great band.Sylvester did the food and Dunne’s ran the bar, it was a great weekend, with about 1500 people packed in. We like to think we planted the seed of a festival in Thomas Cosby’s head. We never thought that Stradbally could be the home of the biggest music festival in Ireland.What’s your earliest Electric Picnic memory?The earliest memory would be back in 2004, when the Electric Picnic started out as a one day event. We didn’t really expect much to be honest, we got a morning of farming done and spruced ourselves up and said we would go in early.We wondered down past Sylvester’s shop and turned the corner down the avenue because at the beginning EP goers were allowed enter that way. We got to the gates and they were locked, so we went back out and headed down town and the place was full of people on buses.So, we did a spot of pub hopping, mingling with locals and strangers until we decided to head up again. When we got to the gates they were locked again but there was a security man there and he told us to hang on. We were at the front chatting away with him, like two lads about to go out and look at cattle across the field.We were all gathered at the gates, like the scene from Willy Wonka with our eyes all gazing at what lied in front. Then he opened the gates and we wandered in and the security man walked ahead telling us where to go. That was it, we were two of the first people to enter the Electric Picnic and we haven’t looked back since.What’s your favourite thing about the Picnic?Bobby – Mine would have to be the Body and Soul. In the early years it was a great spot to go and relax, unwind after a day of craziness. DJs playing till five in the morning and a place to lie down, what else could you want. It is a lot bigger and louder now but nonetheless it’s a spot that I always look forward to.Brendan – Just the whole atmosphere of the Picnic can’t be beaten. There is something special about the place. You have all walks of life in the world there, and it doesn’t matter what age, class, race or nationality you are, everyone fits in. It’s just a great festival.What’s the most memorable story you remember from the Picnic?Bobby – One thing springs to mind and that was back in ’07 or ’08, when we were asked to help tow cars out. There was this nice-looking Merc or BMW stuck, and a posh crowd from Dublin had packed away all their stuff, but they had to empty it all out to get at the tow hook. It was in the boot where the spare wheel was, and I was helping unpack the luggage when all of a sudden, a bag of white stuff, and it wasn’t baby powder, fell out of a backpack. They were quick to grab it and hide it, and I helped them out of the muck, definitely a memory that sticks out.Brendan – I think my memory is back from around the same year, and we were driving around pulling cars out of muck. Back then if you had a tractor, a big sticker in the window, it would get you into a lot of places. It was early in the morning, we had just got in and we had driven in. We pulled up at the site gates and they let us in, so we drove around the arena and pulled up alongside the 2FM Roadcaster and we had the radio listening to them. Next thing they said that two men had pulled up in a tractor and were waving in at them, that was hilarious.What one thing would you change about the Picnic if you could?Bobby – The age profile is something that could be changed. Compared to the start, there is a lot younger people at the Electric Picnic now and sometimes they can be a little messy and immature, and some older people tend to think twice before coming because of that. Stricter enforcement of rejecting unaccompanied underage ticket holders would be something that could be changed.Brendan – The arena could be expanded. The size crowd is increasing so they should look at expanding the arena along with it. Maybe they could allow people exit through the Main Gate again, you can understand why people would have to go down the Cork road to enter, but if people are looking to get into the town to get taxis or lifts, and even locals just want to walk home, then they should be allowed leave through the Main Gates.What are you most looking forward to this year?Bobby – One of my favourite things is always the Jerry Fish tent, and my annual pilgrimage to see the Frank and Waters play there. I don’t know why, but that is something that I always look forward to.Brendan – There is a band from the nineties, called Garbage, I’m looking forward to seeing them. The weekend is always great anyway, regardless of who is playing.What’s the best act you’ve ever seen at the Picnic?Bobby – Two stand out the most. Damon Albarn and The Good, The Bad and The Queens was a great spectacle, it was an amazing musical display and I’ll never forget that. The other was The Frames, the first year they performed, they were brilliant. If you just wonder around the arena, you’ll see a lot bands that last in your mind and you might never have heard of them before.Brendan – The Killers were the best I think. That whole set was something else like, I can remember one lad we were with took off his shirt and start swinging it around in the air, that’s how good they were. It’s mad to think that I’m here in a field, five minutes from home, listening to The Killers who are one of the biggest and best bands around. It was the same last year with Duran Duran.Who’s the most famous person you’ve come across?One thing you get that is great about the picnic is that it attracts all sorts, including the famous. We have often stood beside a famous person at the main stage or in a queue at the bar, but in the whole emotion of the festival, you wouldn’t bother talking to them or getting a photo.What does the Electric Picnic mean to the area of Stradbally?It has put the place on the map, everyone knows where Stradbally is and it’s the place everyone wants to be in the first week of September. The effect it has on the local economy is untold, it is just great and so important now for the town. From the rally in the first weekend of August, to the Electric Picnic, the town is jammers and the place is hopping.Perhaps in the future, the people of the town could consider a month long festival and capitalise on the fame of the location even more. We have proven that this little community can host the biggest of events and that’s great.What would you like to try at the Picnic that you have never done before? One thing we wouldn’t do is go swimming in that lake, that’s for sure! Probably camping is the thing that stands out the most. We have done a lot at the picnic but never camped. I suppose living so close to the site means that the luxury of your own bed overpowers the late-night rave in the campsite, but it’s something that we have both considered.What would you tell people that have never attended the festival, would you encourage them to go? We would encourage everyone to attend the Electric Picnic at some point. It is the sort of event that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The atmosphere of the weekend makes the Electric Picnic worth attending alone. It brings serious joy to everyone that attends and once it’s over, you’re already looking forward to the next year’s edition.Once you hit the fields of the Electric Picnic, all your worries and problems can be forgotten about and you are transported to a different world. Like we said before, no matter your age, class, race or nationality, it is a festival for everyone.SEE ALSO – Stage times announced for Electric Picnic Electric Picnic and I: Meet the two men who were first through the gates in 2004 Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest Home Lifestyle Electric Picnic Electric Picnic and I: Meet the two men who were first through… LifestyleElectric Picnic Bobby Miller (left) and Brendan Hennessy (right), with their Electric Memorabilia from down through the years. Brought to you in association with Expert LaoisThe Electric Picnic is entering its 15th year, but two Stradbally men say they were the first through the gates back when it all kicked off in 2004.Steeped in the farming community of Stradbally, Bobby Miller and Brendan Hennessy swapped their farming clothes for festival rigouts that weekend, and little did they know they would be two of the first people to grace the now famous arena of the Picnic.They tell us their stories of the Electric Picnic below.What’s your relationship with the Electric Picnic?I suppose our relationship has varied down through the years. From being one of the first through the gates, to becoming workers in and around the site, to just becoming big fans of the weekend. We never miss a Picnic and that won’t change either. Facebook Community Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Council New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official openinglast_img read more

Frosty reception for calls to grit icy roads near rural schools

first_img GAA WhatsApp Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival By John Whelan – 20th January 2020 TAGSCllr Paddy BrackenCllr Seamus Mc DonaldDerrylamogue NSSlieve Blooms Pinterest WhatsApp Even as temperatures continue to plummet to as much as minus 6 degrees Celsius Laois councillors have been unable to prevail on the local authority to grit roads near rural schools.The issue was raised by Cllr Seamus Mc Donald.He asked officials in the event of freezing conditions to extend the salting and gritting programme to Derrylamogue School. The reply he got was cold comfort.The District Engineer, Mr Edmond Kenny said that the Council as part of its Winter Maintenance Plan prioritises the schedule of routes which are treated. The road at Derrylamogue NS is not included.Cllr Paddy Bracken supported the request and appealed for some leeway for gritting around rural schools. He said temperatures are forecast to dip as much as minus four and it’s important that the country roads around schools are safe for children in the traffic on the dark mornings.But his arguments weren’t cutting any ice.Area Engineer, Mr Kenny reminded the councillors that under the budgets and the agreed plan only about a quarter of all roads in the county are treated with grit during cold snaps.Cllr James Kelly accepted that there is a huge area to be covered and that the workers on the trucks are flat out, but he pleaded a special case around rural schools. Perhaps if some grit was dropped off at schools it could be spread by themselves or the caretaker.Cllr John King outlined that the Council do permit the collection of grit in strategic locations for people to spread themselves during severe weather. This was confirmed by Mr Kenny.Cllr Mc Donald also called on the officials to resolve the flooding at Kilcavan Cross. He said that a number of roads converge there and when it freezes it’s like a skating rink.Slieve Bloom Roads in need of repairIn another motion Cllr Mc Donald had a list of rural roads in and around Clonaslee and the Slieve Blooms which are in urgent need of investment and repair. He referred to roads in Tinnahinch, Boyle, Cash, Clonomore and Graiguefulla, “and that’s only the half of them,” he pointed out.“There has been a major lack of resources put into country roads and the network of roads serving the Slieve Blooms have been badly neglected. I’ll be writing to the new Government once it’s elected for additional funding,” he said.Cllr Paddy Bracken agreed that there is a “fierce need for more funding” for the roads in the Slieve Blooms. He spoke of the case of the road at Scaroon, Clonaslee which he said is in an awful state and requires major works to be carried out.“I noted your hint about a new Government there,” remarked Chairman, Cllr John King, “and you know what, you could be right,” he observed and that was ever before the Sunday Times opinion poll over the weekend.See Also: Pumphouse problem pauses progress in Laois village  Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Facebook Twittercenter_img Previous articleDeaths in Laois – Monday, January 20, 2020Next articleThe Mahers of Ireland’s Fittest Family named as LaoisToday/Property Partners Buggy Sports Star of the Month for December John WhelanJohn Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country’s flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company.He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla – Camper Heaven. Frosty reception for calls to grit icy roads near rural schools Electric Picnic Twitter News 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Pinterest Home News Council Frosty reception for calls to grit icy roads near rural schools NewsCouncillast_img read more

World Recession Can Provide Opportunities for Jamaica – Samuda

first_imgRelatedWorld Recession Can Provide Opportunities for Jamaica – Samuda FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has said that the world economic recession can provide opportunities for Jamaica, and the Government will be moving to more aggressively package and market investment areas.“Now is the time to seize the moment,” Mr. Samuda said, as he addressed the first Jamaica Investment Forum in London, England on February 5. “We believe that in every crisis there is an opportunity waiting to be discovered and that is our driving force,” he added.According to Minister Samuda, the message to the international community is that Jamaica is open for business and has the best infrastructure in the region. He cited the development at the island’s ports, including ongoing expansion of the Port of Kingston to double capacity; agricultural investment with focus on Sea Island cotton; and the planned Caymans Economic Zone, which will transform more than 500 acres of land into a major commercial area.He said the area will be developed in eight phases and, in addition to offering sites for manufacturing and processing, will also offer residential and recreational facilities.Stating that investing in Jamaica is the strategic thing to do at this time. Mr. Samuda said that “when the economic slump is over, there is not better place to meet the new opportunities.”The first Jamaica-United Kingdom Forum was organised by Jamaica Trade and Invest in collaboration with the London-based Developing Markets Associates.The forum also featured presentations by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Ken Baugh and Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Don Wehby. RelatedWorld Recession Can Provide Opportunities for Jamaica – Samuda RelatedWorld Recession Can Provide Opportunities for Jamaica – Samudacenter_img World Recession Can Provide Opportunities for Jamaica – Samuda CommerceFebruary 7, 2009 Advertisementslast_img read more

Correcting misinformation about cut flower imports

first_imgCorrecting misinformation about cut flower imports Department of Agriculture and Water ResourcesFresh cut flowers and foliage have been imported into Australia on a commercial basis for almost 50 years.Imported cut flowers have the potential to carry biosecurity risks, so the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has strict import measures for cut flowers.Australia’s cut flower and foliage import conditions require biosecurity risks to be reduced offshore prior to export. Only permitted species and plant parts can be exported to Australia.Recent media reports have provided misleading information to industry and the public around certain types of flowers being imported into Australia.It has been reported that Eucalyptus flowers, wattle and banksia are imported into Australia which is incorrect.Eucalyptus flowers, wattle and banksia are not permitted to be imported into Australia. However, Australia does allow the import of kangaroo paw subject to import requirements.Only cut flower and foliage species that have undergone a risk assessment are permitted entry into Australia. The native flowers listed above do not fall within this group and cannot be imported into Australia.The cut flower and foliage species that are allowed to be imported into Australia, subject to import requirements can be found in the List of Species of Fresh Cut Flowers and Foliage with Alternative Conditions for Import – Mainland and on the Biosecurity Import Conditions database.For more information on importing cut flowers and foliage. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Agriculture, Australia, biosecurity, environment, Export, Government, import, industry, Kangaroo, Media, risk assessment, species, Waterlast_img read more

243 km/h on the Coquihalla Holler? Slow the hell down

first_img We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Teenage driver caught speeding at 308 km/h outside of Toronto The highway has long been a sore spot with those saying that motorists need to be going slower, not faster. With sudden weather changes always on the menu, many find themselves out of control – or worse, surrounded by others who are over their heads. Stretches of the highway have always been considered among the most dangerous highways in British Columbia, which means all of Canada. The mountains provide conditions unlike any other. Watch this video from a pileup in February; if this doesn’t sober you up – and slow you down – nothing will. Take it to the Track: B.C. police impound four speeding Mustangs“The officer activated his emergency equipment and brought the speeding car to a stop, aborting the driver’s ‘flight plan’,” reads a statement from the B.C. RCMP Traffic Services Media Relations Officer Mike Halskov. advertisement First Look: 2022 Lexus NX The sport-cute’s looks have been softened, but its powertrains and infotainment offerings have been sharpened ‹ Previous Next › Wheeeee! If you’ve driven on the mighty Coquihalla in British Columbia, you know that parts of it are like a fabulous roller coaster. The surrounding views are spectacular; the road is a beaut, Clark, to paraphrase an old movie.It also sports the highest speed limit in the country – it was raised to 120 km/h in some parts in 2014. Even that, however, wasn’t enough for a speed-loving Corvette owner. According to the Merritt Herald, on Saturday, police here pulled over the car doing 243 km/h.RELATED Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Trending in Canada RELATED TAGSChevroletCorvetteFlexNew VehiclesVancouverBritish ColumbiaCoquihallaFlexlocalMerrittstunt drivingVancouver See More Videos PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca last_img read more

Hale Irwin To Give CU-Boulder's Spring Commencement Address May 11

first_imgProfessional golf great Hale Irwin, a 1967 University of Colorado at Boulder graduate, will give the commencement address during CU-Boulder’s spring commencement on Friday, May 11. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Folsom Stadium, where 5,650 degrees will be conferred. Stadium gates open at 7 a.m. and guests are urged to be in their seats at the stadium well before 8:15 a.m. With commencement starting at 8:30 a.m., university officials are urging people to arrive as early as possible to avoid traffic delays. Guests are asked not to bring large purses or bags to the ceremony, and people entering the stadium may be subject to search. The ceremony will be held outdoors in the stadium regardless of the weather. In the event of heavy rain, the ceremony will be held in abbreviated form. During his golf career, Irwin had 20 victories on the PGA tour and has 45 so far on the Champion’s Tour, formerly the Senior PGA Tour, where he tops the all-time money list with earnings of more than $23 million. A three-time winner of the U.S. Open, Irwin also played on five Ryder Cup teams. While at CU-Boulder, Irwin was a two-time All-Big Eight defensive back, as well as Big Eight Conference golf champion in 1966-67 and the individual NCAA Division I men’s golf champion in 1967. He is a member of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame and is one of only 114 golfers to ever be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Each spring the commencement ceremony begins with a procession of faculty and all graduates from Norlin Quadrangle to Folsom Stadium beginning at 8 a.m. Graduating students are invited to attend a pre-commencement breakfast on Norlin Quadrangle at 7 a.m., where breakfast burritos, orange juice and coffee will be served. Degrees to be awarded include 4,540 bachelor’s degrees, 702 master’s degrees, 255 doctoral degrees and 153 law degrees. Members of the CU-Boulder class of 1957 also will attend the ceremony and will be recognized. CU-Boulder will present special honors to two people during the ceremony. Priscilla Ellwood will receive an honorary doctoral degree and William Mooney will be recognized with CU’s Distinguished Service Award. Ellwood is being honored for her contributions to the field of archaeology. She is recognized as an authority on prehistoric ceramics in Colorado, the Southwest and the Great Plains. She has worked, mostly as a volunteer, at the University of Colorado Museum since 1978. Ellwood earned a master’s degree in anthropology and archaeology from CU-Boulder in 1978. Mooney’s award recognizes his career in theater, movies and television. Twice nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on daytime television, Mooney has starred in CU-Boulder’s annual Shakespeare Festival. He also has directed operas and musicals at CU-Boulder’s College of Music. Many departments within CU-Boulder’s schools and colleges will hold events to personally recognize their graduates. Students should check with their individual departments for more information. For a schedule of individual recognition ceremonies visit www.colorado.edu/commencement/spring/other.html. For more information about the commencement ceremony visit the Web site at www.colorado.edu/commencement/. The ceremony also will be broadcast on the Web. To access the webcast visit the commencement Web site and click on the webcast link. Published: April 29, 2007 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Significantly Less Jamaicans Cite Cost as Inhibiting Access to Health Care Since Abolition of User Fees Policy

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer says after three years of the abolition of user fees policy, significant reductions have been seen in the percentage of Jamaicans who are now citing cost as a reason for not seeking health care. “One cannot view the benefit of the policy purely through the lens of the health sector. Despite the fact that data collection for the 2008 survey was done July 2008 to February 2009 – shortly after the introduction of the policy when the gains were not yet fully evident, the Survey of Living Conditions gave some promising indications in terms of the reduction in the cost of health care to Jamaicans,” Minister Spencer said. The Survey indicates that there was a significant decline in the number of persons who cited cost as an inhibiting factor in seeking health care. In 2007, 33.9% of persons who reported illness said they could not afford to seek care, by 2008 the number dropped to 21.9% and a further reduction was recorded in 2009 to 19.4%. In addition, in 2009, 0% of persons in the working class group reported that they could not afford health care compared to 25% in 2008.  For the Kingston metropolitan area, 6.9% of persons said they could not afford care in 2009 compared to 22.4% in 2008.  For other towns, by 2009, 0% reported that they could not afford care, while 9.4% gave that indication in 2008. For the three years prior to the abolition of user fees, hospital visits numbered 3,434,105, health centre visits amounted to 4,527,299, pharmacy items prescribed stood at 5,964,871 and pharmacy items dispensed was  4,664,632. An increase in utilization was seen in all areas for the three years since implementation of the policy on April 1, 2008. Hospital visits amounted to 3,554,740, health centre visits totaled 5,094,385, there were 9,238,435 pharmacy items prescribed and 7,175,352 pharmacy items dispensed. Minister Spencer says this shows that the policy has increased accessed to health services to many Jamaicans who would not have been able to afford it.  It has also leveled the playing field as far as health in the public sector is concerned for the haves and haves not and hastened the repositioning of  Primary Health Care as the foundation of any good and sustainable health system. “These are significant developments which indicate that despite the challenges that we have faced in implementation over the last three years, no one can deny the enormous benefits to the people of Jamaica,” Minister Spencer said. The government has also saved the people of Jamaica disposable income in the region of $5.7 Billion over the period from fees foregone. RelatedSignificantly Less Jamaicans Cite Cost as Inhibiting Access to Health Care Since Abolition of User Fees Policy Issued by: The Ministry of Health RelatedSignificantly Less Jamaicans Cite Cost as Inhibiting Access to Health Care Since Abolition of User Fees Policy Significantly Less Jamaicans Cite Cost as Inhibiting Access to Health Care Since Abolition of User Fees Policy Health & WellnessApril 2, 2011 RelatedSignificantly Less Jamaicans Cite Cost as Inhibiting Access to Health Care Since Abolition of User Fees Policy Advertisementslast_img read more

Amazon ‘3D’ smartphone confirmed by “multiple trusted sources” – report

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 15 APR 2014 Amazon opens up Alexa Speaking to “multiple trusted sources”, BGR said it could confirm that Amazon was working on a smartphone with ‘3D’ functionality as reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Sources added that the new Amazon phone would include a total of six cameras to create the ‘3D’ imaging effect.Other details are a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM, along with a “heavily customised” version of Android (similar to the version that powers Amazon’s tablets).BGR sources added that the display of Amazon’s debut phone would measure 4.7 inches diagonally and offer a pixel density at 720p HD resolution (lower than the 1080p HD resolution on many rival devices).It is believed Amazon is working on at least two handsets (the second featuring lower-end specs than the first, which will be launched later).According to the WSJ report, citing people ‘briefed on the company’s plans’, Amazon was gearing up for a smartphone launch in the second half of 2014.WSJ said the giant online retailer had been demonstrating versions of the handset to developers in recent weeks, which includes a screen capable of displaying seemingly 3D images – using retina-tracking technology – without the need for special glasses.The technology, which can manipulate text and images as the phone is moved by the viewer, is described as ideal for gaming.Amazon has apparently lined up two display makers for the smartphone, although only one is named in the WSJ report – Japan Display.This is not the first time that Amazon has been reported to be working on a smartphone.In October, according to the Financial Times, the online retailer was said to be in partnership with troubled vendor HTC.According to the report, three devices were in development, of which one was at an “advanced stage”. However, it was cautioned that the timeline for launch had changed before and that there may not be a commercial release at all. Ken Wieland Author Previous ArticleLINE aims for 1B users in 2015Next ArticleMicromax cool on Pantech speculation — report Tags Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more center_img Related HomeDevicesNews Amazon ‘3D’ smartphone confirmed by “multiple trusted sources” – report Amazon prepares to step out with Sidewalk Devices Amazon gauges interest in fresh Alexa hardware Amazonlast_img read more

FCC chief urges block on China Mobile licence bid

first_img China operators lose NYSE delisting appeal HomeAsiaNews FCC chief urges block on China Mobile licence bid China Mobile revenue climbs on 5G handset growth AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 18 APR 2019 Related Asia Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more Diana Goovaerts center_img Tags A China Mobile bid to provide telecoms services in the US appeared doomed after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai opposed the operator’s application on national security grounds.In a statement, Pai said reviews by the FCC and other federal agencies determined China Mobile’s request to build interconnection facilities in the country, made in 2011, “raises substantial and serious national security and law enforcement threats”.He urged the other four members of the FCC to vote with him to block the application at a meeting on 9 May. Pai’s recommendation carries weight as members of his political party hold a majority on the Commission.In July 2018, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) advised the FCC to deny the request, also citing national security concerns.Threat assessmentSenior FCC officials said China Mobile submitted a detailed mitigation proposal in an attempt to allay the DoC’s fears. This was considered alongside the DoC’s recommendation in a fresh review by the FCC, which ultimately decided to recommend denial.The FCC’s core worry is the amount of control the Chinese government has over China Mobile, the officials explained. Giving the company greater access to US telecommunications infrastructure and traffic could leave domestic networks vulnerable to foreign surveillance and other nefarious intrusions, they added.Pai’s statement marks the first time the FCC has recommended denial of such an application on national security grounds.The move comes as the FCC weighs an order which would ban operators from buying telecoms equipment from companies deemed national security threats. The agency is still determining which companies would be prohibited, the officials said.There is no appeals process for the pending FCC decision, but China Mobile could challenge a negative outcome in court. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Previous ArticleKT bid to boost K bank stake put on holdNext ArticleOrange pledges industry-focused 5G rollout Author China Mobile mulls mainland listing China MobileFederal Communications Commission (FCC)interconnectionlast_img read more