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Posts tagged as USA

Why Rust Belt real estate development is gearing up

A massive chemical processing plant under construction along the Ohio River is fueling renewed real estate development in the Rust Belt region.The factory is located just 30 miles from Pittsburgh and is slated to eventually create about 600 full-time jobs.

Meanwhile, a peak of about 6,000 construction workers will work on building the factory until its completion in the early 2020s. As a result, housing construction is revving up.One local real estate companys chairman, Charles Betters, called Shells plant the best thing to happen in our region in 40-plus years.”Betters claims his company, C.J. Betters Enterprises, is building 200 residential units and a big hotel project as a consequence of the factory.

The cost of Shells plant is estimated to be up to $10 billion, which reportedly makes the factory among the largest industrial projects ever constructed along the Ohio River. The state gave Shell a $1.6 billion package in reduced taxes for a 25-year period.The project is also drawing other major companies interested in polyethylene production to the area, which is concerning environmentalists.“Industry calls it a game changer. We see it as game over,” said Dustin White of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition to the Times.

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Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ is set to launch a fashion brand from prison

Fashion might have a controversial new addition to its roster after convicted drug lord “El Chapo” announced plans to launch an eponymous brand.

The brand is inspired by El Chapo’s, real name Joaquin Guzman, twin seven year-old daughters with assistance from his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro, according to the New York Daily News, via AP.Clothing bearing the drug lord’s signature could soon be available in the US and Mexico. El Chapo, who was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms possession last month, signed the papers granting use of his signature from his cell in a Manhattan federal prison.

His wife will head up the limited liability company, or LLC. The 61 year-old is still awaiting sentencing and could spend the rest of his life behind bars.The clothing brand, which will start with a line of caps, already has an official website. “This project is an idea Joaquin and I have had for a long time.
Before he was in the USA we talked a lot about this topic,” Emma Coronel Aispuro, 29, told New York Daily News, per Sky News.

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In Pakistan, Life and Society Become Art

Mahbub Jokhio is one of the Mittal Institutes newest Visiting Artist Fellows, bringing with him a wealth of talent that he uses to create issue-oriented art and inquiries into this life and experiences in Pakistan.
His interest in and pursuit of art was shaped by artists before him, whom he has come into contact with throughout his life.I was born into a very literary family full of artists, poets, and writers.The art was in the blood. My uncle, an internationally recognized visual artist, basically channeled my interest into visual arts.Since then, I have been involved in the visual arts, Mahbub said. I went to Lahore in 2010 for my Masters at Beaconhouse National University, where I had the opportunity to meet Rashid Rana, the father of contemporary art in Pakistan.He really shaped my understanding of art. I think most of my generation, and generations before me, have been influenced by his practice over time.Mahbubs mediums range from photography to video to massive concrete structures — and everything in between. All works have a meaning, a true symbolism behind them, while inviting viewers to come up with their own interpretations.
Recently, we sat down with Mahbub to learn more about the meaning behind his art and his hopes for the future.You’ve spoken about your artwork being a departure from popular Western art and influences.How do you think this makes your work stand out?I’ve always believed that an artist is like a radio. So, if you put that radio in Pakistan, it would transmit what’s in the air at certain times and certain places.But at the same time, if you put that radio in the USA or somewhere else, it will only transmit what’s in the air in that given context.My practice keeps on changing with time.I have a variety of subject matters, and I get very excited with new ideas. I want to push myself as an artist with newer subjects, newer media.But my earlier practice has been very referential, which also sometimes happens now. If you see my Graveyard project [the As Time Passes in the City of the Buried series], its actually about something completely different, but when you see it from the Partition perspective, it creates a new narrative, and you could actually see it as a reflection of Partition.
One piece within the series As Time Passes in the City of the Buried, by Mahbub Jokhio.At the same time, that work is also about photography as a medium.
They say photography is the death of reality. I see a photograph, and it becomes a celebration of the death of reality.The whole project revolved around death and life, and how they both exist in the same location. You can photograph something that binds these two realities: the constructed reality and the absolute reality — the whole idea of illusion.My practice keeps on changing with time, and my ideas and my subject matters as well. It has a huge range of concerns.Two pieces within the series As Time Passes in the City of the Buried, by Mahbub Jokhio, currently on display at the Crossings Gallery of the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston.I didn’t originally see the Graveyard project in relation to the Partition.The whole idea was, in Pakistan especially, graveyards are not frequently visited places. They’re very scary and abandoned places; nobody would go there.So that project was a suggestion that the graveyards could be a place where life could happen — you should go see it and pay homage to your loved ones. So, the project was about a public place that should have activity and frequent visits.When I saw it from the Partition perspective, it completely shocked me. It actually made much more sense, that project.And I think that’s the beauty of art: there tends to be so many interpretations that the creator wouldn’t have thought of.One piece within the series As Time Passes in the City of the Buried, by Mahbub Jokhio.
What kind of impressions or legacies has the Partition had on you and your generation in Pakistan?I dont have any relation to Partition — like a direct relationship. But I have this huge influence, you can say, of the Partition as a human being more-so than a victim of that event.As a human being, it really makes me sad to know about the Partition, it dislocated so many people and it was a complete disaster. It was not designed very well and it only led to chaos, and that chaos can still be seen min that region.The older generation who actually witnessed that event, I think it lives with them, and it somehow transferred to a generation like us.A group of people enjoying Mahbubs work on display at the Crossings Gallery of the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston.I was looking at a piece youve done, called They are Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. What does thisworkrepresent to you?It’s an image of a Quran page, the holy book of Islam, but its actually made out of small circular cut-outs from a Sindhi poetry book called Shah Jo Risalo by Shah Latif.So, when you see the work from afar, it creates an image of a Quran page. But when you come closer, the image breaks into abstraction.
The image is no longer there, so youll see an unreadable text. And the Sindhi text in the poetry cutouts, you can’t actually decipher that as well.So, the text works purely as an image.A piece called They Are Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, from a series entitled Words Are Image Makers Too, by Mahbub Jokhio.Full piece on the left, and detailed close-up on the right.That’s also the case in most of the Muslim countries; you could say [a large portion of] the population cant read the Arabic text, but they can tell you that it’s an Arabic holy text.
For them, it only works as an image. And the remaining population can actually can read it, but they can’t make meaning out of it.So, the whole work is about how the Arabic text is working as image. Islam is a very recent thing that happened to us, about 1,400 years back, so the work also comments on this adaptation of newer religion, which brought with it its own culture and collapsed with the ancient culture of Sindh Pakistan.It shows, in a way, how we couldn’t make sense of both cultures — the Islamic one and the local origin. So [in the work], both are in abstraction.
Do you try to create artwork that comments on your world and society, and how they impact you?Definitely. I think art should not be limited by walls, and it should have a meaning, an inquiry, a new thought for the viewer.I always believed that art should be issue-centered. I work with these public places, and how we make meaning of things.There are so many themes and current issues that keep on reflecting in my work in Pakistan.What do you hope to accomplish in this fellowship while you’re here?I have always believed that the city and the people you meet tend to leave their impression on you for a long period of time.It adds to your experience as a person, and, for me, as a maker. Apart from that, Im very much looking forward to learning more about the ongoing project of the Mittal Institute, which deals with oral stories from the Partition.I want to create a project that shows a visual history of the event.Join us on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 for an opening reception highlighting the work of the Mittal Institutes two newest Visiting Artist Fellows, Mahbub Jokhio and Krupa Makhija.

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Air travel safety tips from TSA

TSA got back to the basics with some tips on air travel to make checkpoints quick and easy this afternoon at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.
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They want to remind people who might be traveling with spring break travels around the corner what’s acceptable and what’s not. Just follow the 3-1-1 rule.Liquids, aerosols, and creams must be less than 3.4 ounces, must be in a one quart-sized plastic bag, and one bag is permitted per passenger.Guns have also been a problem for the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, they have found two this year. TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz said, “First and foremost leave your guns at home.People face civil penalties from the TSA from up to $13,000 and possible arrests if you bring your firearm to the checkpoint, but also keep in mind that you cant have anything that could be considered a bludgeoned for instance a giant hammer or a giant tool. You dont want anybody sitting next to you on the plane to have these hazardous items.We also want to put this word out so that your time and stress level will be less at the checkpoint.If you are in doubt about an item, it is better to just put it with your checked baggage.

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Winds up to 68 mph bring down trees, power lines; travel advisory in effect

Poloncarz issued a travel advisory – no unnecessary travel – in Erie County at about 2:15 p.m., with the National Weather Service declaring the storm.
“Reports of downed trees began coming in by early afternoon on Royal Oak Drive in Clarence, on Woodbridge Avenue in Buffalo, and on Seneca Street and on Grover in Aurora.In at least one case, emergency crews responding to a tree striking a building in Buffalo requested the city engineer or building inspector to evaluate the damage.Versailles Plank Road was closed in both directions in the Town of Evans between New Jerusalem Road and Pontiac Road because of a downed tree and utility lines, according to the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition.Seneca was also closed between Knox and Bowen, but later reopened.Poloncarz, citing the Buffalo Fire Department, earlier reported that a neighborhood near Hertel Avenue and Commonwealth Road in Buffalo has lost power, as has an area in the Town of Aurora near Route 20A and Buffalo Road.
There are also power losses along Elmwood Avenue in the city, and in other parts of Western New York.Emergency responders also reported a light pole had fallen at Garfield and Niagara streets, striking a woman, who was reported to be unconscious.No electric wires were exposed. Another woman was injured when a tree branch struck a house on East Delavan Avenue in Buffalo.And there was a report of people temporarily trapped in a Dollar General store on Twin Cities Memorial Highway in North Tonawanda because of downed wires.The Erie County Department of Public Works also tweeted that it has a crew clearing a flood area on Emerling, and “another crew out checking trouble spots.”Traffic lights on Transit Road are also out from Bullis to French roads, and the state Department of Transportation reminded motorists to come to a full stop at any intersection with a traffic light that is out before proceeding according to right-of-way rules.A wind storm update from the 16th floor of the Rath Building: short version is the building is shaking and its getting nasty out there.
Another 1,018 were without power in Genesee County and more in Orleans, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. The rest are elsewhere in the state.New York State Gas Electric, the region’s other major utility provider, said it has crews working to restore power in Niagara, Elma, Holland, Orchard Park, Hamburg, Aurora, Cheektowaga and Depew. About 1,839 people in all were without NYSEG power in Erie County.
crews responding to extensive outages in Erie and Niagara counties. If winds persist, there may be a period of time that we will have to wait to start restoration for safety reasons.Crews will focus on cutting and clearing wires and trees to make conditions safe.February 24, 2019National Grid spokesman David Bertola said the outages so far are not unusual even for a normal day, citing “a couple of outages” two weeks ago on a Monday.National Grid has 1.6 million customers, so fewer than 1 percent are currently without power.
The company positioned more than 3,250 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers in Buffalo, Batavia and Fredonia in preparation for the storm.”I don’t want to downplay the number, because when you’re without power, it stinks and nobody wants to be without power,” Bertola said.But “at this point in the storm, this is a number that we could experience on a blue-sky type of day.”However, he cautioned that the company expected the effects of the current storm to be similar to one from two years ago that left many without power, in some cases for several days.He noted that crews have to first remove fallen trees from the ground before they can make repairs, but “we can’t put people in bucket trucks in 50 mph winds.””It’s going to take time and it’s not going to be a fast process if we get multiple outages like we did two years ago,” Bertola said.

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