TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Peterborough sign Brighton defender Ben Whiteby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePeterborough United have signed defenders Ben White and Daniel Lafferty on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United respectively.Both players have joined the League One side until the end of the campaign.White, 21, spent last term on loan with Newport County and has featured for the Seagulls’ Under-21 side in 2018-19.Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said, “This move is one which allows Ben to play regular first-team football at a good level for his development. At this stage of his career it’s important that he continues to gain as much match experience as possible.“He’s someone who we’ve had around the first-team squad for the first half of the campaign, but with competition for places increased with the return of Dan Burn from Wigan, this gives him the chance to go out and play regular football at a level higher than he experienced last season.”
SAN DIEGO, CA – MARCH 18: Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)TCU nearly landed a massive win in Morgantown against the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers, a game that would have given some legitimacy to TCU’s impressive early season record. Instead, the Horned Frogs will travel back to Fort Worth with a brutal loss. With under a second left in overtime, and his team up 85-84, TCU’s Kyan Anderson fouled West Virginia reserve guard Jevon Carter. Carter hit two clutch free throws to give West Virginia the late go-ahead lead. West Virginia goes to 16-3 with the win. The Mountaineers are definitely a factor in a very tough Big 12 this season.
Panaji: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday asked state chief secretaries to device a mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial in sexual offences like rape against girls under the age of 12 are completed within two months of the crime.Shah was speaking at the 24th meeting of Western Zonal Council which was attended by chief ministers of Gujarat (Vijay Rupani), Maharashtra (Devendra Fadnavis), Goa (Pramod Sawant) and representatives from the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He said a detailed monitoring mechanism should be put in place to ensure investigation and trial in sexual offences/ rape against girls below 12 years of age are completed within two months. The chief secretary of each state must personally monitor adherence to legal provisions of completing investigation and trial in such cases, Shah said. During the meeting, the coverage of villages without any banking facilities within 5km radial distance of a bank/ India Post Payments Service was also discussed. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”The data derived from the GIS (Geographic Information System) platform of NIC (National Informatics Centre) will be further corroborated by the states using road distance on the ground, Shah said. “Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) should also be done through IPPBs (Indian Post Payments Bank) everywhere as these are covered by core banking solution, he said, underlining the need for systemic reforms instead of merely chasing statistics. Enhancement of DBT Portal to include scheme/village- wise details by collecting real-time information from respective portals of beneficiary-oriented schemes, innovative solutions of encrypted QR code on Aadhaar card for verifying antecedents of fishermen were also discussed at the meet. During the meeting, state governments were directed to get the printouts or cards made within a month at government initiative so that everyone has Aadhaar card with latest QR code and foreign nationals dont illegally enter Indian territory through fishing boats. “The sole purpose of the meeting is to pace up the developmental works in the Western states. Upgradation and strengthening law and order in the states will remain our priority. The Department of Prosecution and Anti-Narcotics Bureau will be also reinforced. For better Governance, we all must work with a pro-active approach, welcome constructive opinion and use modern technology, Shah said.
OTTAWA – Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she hadn’t planned to confront a reporter from the Rebel during a news conference last week, but when the right-wing website posed the first question at a news conference in Vancouver, her pent-up frustrations at the outlet’s “climate Barbie” tag just came out.The incident happened at the conclusion of a meeting of provincial and federal environment ministers and McKenna asked the Rebel’s Christopher Wilson if he would commit that neither he nor his outlet would use the sexist label anymore.She concedes it was a little bit “awkward” to raise the issue in that manner but she “just thought it was really important.”“I’m quite pleased I did it and I’m pleased because hopefully it makes … it more possible for other women and girls to step up and do the same,” McKenna said in an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press.The ensuing feedback since the incident has been overwhelmingly positive, said McKenna, adding she wants the Rebel and anyone else to stop using sexist names for all women, not just her.“There’s a group of people who continually attack me because of the colour of my hair or supposedly the tone of my voice or all sorts of reasons,” McKenna said.“But it’s about making sure that women and girls can see a place for them in politics and recognizing that it’s not OK to make fun of women because of how they look.”The “climate Barbie” tag was coined by Rebel media almost as soon as McKenna was named environment minister in November 2015.The term gained more mainstream awareness in September when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was forced to condemn its use by one of his MPs.Gerry Ritz tweeted the slur in the final weeks of his career as an MP but after an online outcry he deleted the post and apologized.McKenna received bipartisan support both then and this past weekend, with Conservative, NDP and Liberal politicians among those publicly supporting of her decision to confront the Rebel.Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who has also been a frequent target of sexist online trolls, took to Twitter on Sunday with some of the more egregious comments she’s received. She said her staff keeps a running daily tally on a white board of the number of sexist calls they receive.Rempel posted a creepy letter from someone who wrote about whether she was wearing underwear and said if she dressed provocatively no men would listen to what she had to say.But Rempel also said it angers her that partisans try to pretend there is a political overtone to sexism, or that one party is worse than another.“Every party has done stupid sexist shit,” Rempel tweeted. “Trying to paint it as an issue to one party or another for gain is part of the problem.”She took on those in her own party at the same time and said every woman has the right to call out sexism when they see it.“Watching people defend the Climate Barbie moniker rather than arguing against the economic model of a carbon tax is revolting,” said Rempel.For her part, McKenna wouldn’t apologize for the fact that the Liberals issued a fundraising letter on the back of the ‘climate Barbie” issue after the Ritz tweet in September.The letter stressed the need for more women in politics and said Liberals understand that need.“I’m not going to apologize for the fact we believe we need to be supporting more women in politics,” she said. “That’s been a priority of ours and that includes providing financial support for them.”
Heirloom Fried Rabbit(Note: Must prepare 24 hours in advance)5 rabbit legs1 quart buttermilk1 tablespoon chopped garlic1 tablespoon chili powder1 tablespoon dried thyme2 quarts all-purpose flour1/2 cup Texas Pete hot sauceSalt and pepperMarinate rabbit legs in buttermilk with the garlic, ½ tablespoon of the chili powder, and thyme for 24 hours.Dredge rabbit in flour that has been seasoned with thyme, remaining ½ tablespoon chili powder, salt, and pepper. Fry rabbit until golden brown and remove from oil.Toss rabbit with Texas Pete and enjoy!Soup from chef Van Nolintha of Bida Manda in RaleighPork Belly SoupSoup Broth:1 cup shallot, finely chopped1 cup garlic, finely chopped1 pound ground pork1 1/2 gallons pork stock or water10 lime leaves, finely chopped3 tablespoons sugarSalt to taste3 eggs1 to 2 cans coconut milk1 cup peanuts, crushed1 small can red curry paste1/2 cup vegetable oil2 limes, in sectionsVegetables:3 cups purple cabbage, julienned1 cup cilantro, chopped1 cup mint leaves1/2 cup green onion, choppedNoodles:2 bags rice noodlesMake soup broth:In a big pot over medium heat, combine oil, red curry paste, shallot, and garlic. Stir a few minutes, until shallot and garlic turn golden at the edges. Add ground pork and stir until pork is fully cooked. Add pork stock, sugar, salt, coconut milk, and lime leaves, and cook until boiled. When the broth is fully boiled, whisk in eggs slowly. Add peanuts.Taste the soup: add more sugar, salt, or coconut milk if needed.Prepare noodles:Soak rice noodles in cold water bath for 2 hours, or in warm water bath for 45 minutes (noodles tend to break easily when soaked in warm water).Assemble the bowl:Boil a big pot of hot water. Cook pre-soaked noodles in boiled water for 4 minutes, only enough for one soup bowl at a time.Drain noodles and place in a large serving bowl. Add broth, cabbage, cilantro, mint, and green onion.Serve with chopsticks and lime sections.Bill Smith’s Tomato SandwichesMakes 10 sandwiches1 loaf of your favorite white sandwich bread (see text)2 or 3 large ripe, red summer tomatoesMayonnaise (see text)SaltThis recipe is not as simple as it seems at first glance. All sorts of things come into play. I am always in favor of newness and innovation, but there are times when well enough should be left alone. This may be one such case. First of all, it’s really better to buy cheap, house-brand, grocery store, sliced white bread. Resist the temptation to upgrade to the artisanal. Then there is the mayonnaise. People fight over mayonnaise brands here, just as they do over barbecue or basketball. Both the users of Hellmann’s and the users of Duke’s regard the other with disbelief. Neither can contain their derision of the users of Miracle Whip. Use what your grandmother used.You should be able to get at least four fairly thick slices from each tomato. Commercial sliced white bread generally has 20 slices per loaf. Spread mayonnaise thickly on two slices of bread. Place a slice of tomato on one of the slices of prepared bread. Sprinkle with salt. Top with the other slice of bread. Slice the sandwich in two, diagonally. Repeat until you have used up all of the bread.These sandwiches are better if they sit awhile before serving. Many people claim that they are best if eaten while you are leaning over the sink, because if they have been made right, they are very messy. Bill Smith, the Crook’s Corner chef famous for bringing Southern cooking to a national audience with his cuisine and his writing, is the author of several acclaimed cookbooks, including Seasoned in the South. He has twice been a finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast, and has helped earn a James Beard America’s Classics award for Crook’s. photographs by Jim McGuireIt was a hot July morning in Raleigh when strategist Nation Hahn, nonprofit executive Alexis Trost, and restaurant owners Van Nolintha, Angela Salamanca, and Matt Kelly packed their cars for a weekend adventure. The friends, united by a love of food and community, were headed to the mountains of Ashe County to cook, eat, and raise money for a cause close to their hearts: the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation.As the group made their way to the blueberry farm where they’d spend three days, they talked about the people they’d meet there: their mutual friend Eliza Olander, who’d put the wheels in motion when she and her friend Jackie Locklear became high bidders for a foodie mountain weekend to support the foundation at a Triangle Wine Experience auction; the revered Crook’s Corner chef Bill Smith; the two Raleighites who own the farm, Johnny Burleson and Walter Clark; and 10 other friends. “Jamie believed in the power of good food and strong cocktails to bring people together to party with a purpose,” says Hahn, whose late wife Jamie inspired the creation of a foundation that nurtures leaders to work on issues like poverty, hunger, and public education. Ashe County Weekend Itinerary FridayThe group arrived and unpacked as chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte chopped tomatoes and chorizo.7 p.m.: Clark pulled out the tapas: clams, oysters, heirloom fried rabbit, and more for people to munch on as Matt Kelly of Mateo Bar de Tapas in Durham made paella over an open fire. Wine from Eliza Olander’s collection rounded out the meal.SaturdayThe group was slow to wake up on Saturday, but accelerated their pace when they smelled the pork belly soup being made in the farmhouse kitchen by Van Nolintha of Bida Manda.12:00 p.m.: Soup was served in the blueberry shed.Afternoon: The group whiled away a lazy afternoon around the farm.5:30 p.m.: Sonny Wong, bartender at Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill, mixed cocktails with bourbon and blueberries in a historic millhouse on the property.8 p.m.: Chefs Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill and Angela Salamanca of Centro in Raleigh made dinner. It began with a stack of Smith’s classic tomato sandwiches. They followed with seafood gazpacho, tamales, and, finally, roasted pork shoulder. For dessert, the duo made bread pudding with bread from the local farmers’ market and blueberries and apples picked from the farm.SundayBrunch: Salamanaca and Nolintha made brunch with the leftovers. Pork went into breakfast casserole; scrambled eggs were put together with peppers and arugula; and freshly picked berries made for flavorful french toast.Angela Salamanca serves up tamalesBill Smith and Angela Salamanca at work in the kitchenJohn Cooper, Angela Salamanca, Bill Smith, Vansana NolinthaPatrick Woodson, Nation HahnEliza Olander, Alexis Trost Seasonal cocktail from bartender Sarah Vickery of Chapel Hill’s Lantern RestaurantWalk Right In10-15 blueberries, muddled1/2 ounce simple syrup1/2 ounce lemon juice2 ounces bourbonCombine all ingredients and stir. Serve over rocks.Small plates from chef Clark Barlowe of Charlotte’s Heirloom restaurantChilled Clams Casino20 clams1 link fresh chorizo, diced2 shallots, minced2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped1 cup Champagne vinegar1 cup blended oil (a combination typically of olive, canola, and other cooking oils)1 teaspoon Dijon mustardSautée chorizo slowly over medium heat until fat is rendered. Soak minced shallots and chopped thyme in Champagne vinegar for 20 minutes. Add Dijon mustard to vinegar mixture and slowly drizzle in blended oil, stirring as you go to emulsify. Add chopped chorizo and its rendered fat to the vinaigrette.Shuck the clams, top with chorizo vinaigrette, and enjoy. The farm that would host them was well-suited to a weekend of purposeful partying. Its 1880 farmhouse has been painstakingly refurbished by Burleson and Clark, who bought the place in 2003 after a memorable day picking berries there a few years earlier. “We felt an instant connection” on that fateful afternoon, Clark says. The two learned the farm was an Ashe County landmark, a spot where folks had come to pick apples and blueberries for generations. “We were stewards,” Clark says, “of a very special place.”In its current, beautifully restored state, it is still that. Old Orchard Creek Farm, as they call it, continues as a working blueberry farm and “a place where visitors find solace,” Clark says. And so it made sense to them to donate the haven to the foundation for the weekend. “What better way to celebrate and support the foundation than with a weekend of fine food and drink prepared by some of North Carolina’s best chefs from local products, including lots of blueberries?”
After 21 years as Dean of the College of Design at N.C. State University, Marvin Malecha retires this month and will become president and chief academic officer at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif. It seemed fitting in this interview with Walter to have the design visionary sketch his responses.What do you look like?A flash of white hairAgainst a black imageDefined by the geometry of eyewearFueled by an open spirit?But what does it matter?Do you have an alter ego?Yes and no. It is a circus.FriendsMentorsRole modelsComposed into an idealized aspiration.My alter ego has wings.Which building in Raleigh do you most admire?A building is a marker of life. It is architecture by its relationship to life. The vanishing tobacco barns are genuine. The Fadum House has a simple reality. The memory of the Catalano House haunts us. Dorton Arena reminds us of our better spirit, and the Hunt Library transforms our understanding.What’s your favorite thing to eat?In my personal quiet spaceA rich Italian red – Brunello and a bold cheeseWith my joyA soft black licorice with my granddaughterSo it depends …What are you afraid of?FEARTo restrict my curiosityTo cup my wingsThe authority of those who would seize my independenceCYNICISMTo drain me of my energyDriving color from my mindWhat’s on your feet?A message, a dialogue of Van Gogh,Heidegger, and Charlie Chaplin …Cole Hahn high tops todayMephisto for comfort yesterdayAsics from my son for exerciseMy identity!What is your favorite season?The season I am alive in! I am moved by the quiet of a snowfall and the crackle of the first steps in it. Who cannot be astounded by the brilliance of the color of a youthful spring? The lustiness of summer speaks for itself. But the beautiful subtlety of fall … the mature spectrum of color … the instigation … the demand for reflection – makes it my favorite.What’s on your mind?The past near and farToday … NOW!The transition to the future.Satisfaction for what has beenImpatience to be betterPossibilitiesColor!
Nicole Wilder/Bravoby Mimi MontgomeryAfter serving as executive chef at The Umstead’s Herons restaurant, Scott Crawford opened Standard Foods last fall with business partner John Holmes. The space is a hybrid restaurant, grocery, and butcher shop, featuring a variety of ingredients and goods from local purveyors and growers. Crawford places an emphasis on clean simplicity when it comes to his menu, incorporating healthy ingredients into Southern-inspired cuisine.Now the three-time James Beard award semifinalist’s creations will reach a much wider audience: Crawford will be a contestant on the new Bravo culinary competition series Recipe for Deception, which premiered last month. The show pits four chefs against one other in three elimination rounds where each is challenged to create a dish showcasing one main ingredient. The catch? The chefs have no idea what that main ingredient is. Each competitor is allowed to ask another three yes-or-no questions to determine the secret addition, but two of the answers will be truthful and one a lie.It’s a culinary twist on the old Two Truths and a Lie game, and Crawford will appear on the February 11 episode. Following the broadcast, he’ll offer the mystery dish he created on the show at Standard Foods throughout the month. Of course, since he’s bringing his creation home to Raleigh, he’ll put his own local spin on it: Ingredients will be sourced from North Carolina and most will be available in the grocery section of his business. No lie.Catch Crawford on Bravo’s Recipe for Deception February 11 at 10 p.m. Visit Standard Foods at 205 E. Franklin St.; standard-foods.com
Emerson, a tiger, came from a roadside zoo in Missouri. It was shut down due to safety concerns after a volunteer went to the hospital with a bite wound supposedly from a dog, but actually from one of the zoo’s tigers.text and photographs by Nick PironioTucked away just off NC-64, between the town of Pittsboro and Jordan Lake, lies Carolina Tiger Rescue. To visit this 55-acre refuge for rescued lions, tigers, and other wildcats is to enter a surreal foreign land. More than 40 neglected or abused wildcats have found safety in this vast sanctuary, just down the road from the farms and churches that dot the otherwise-familiar North Carolina landscape. With their growls and roars, territory-marking scents, and majestic beauty, the place sounds, smells, and looks like a world apart.The entrance to Carolina Tiger Rescue.Carolina Tiger Rescue was founded in the 1970s as a research institute by UNC geneticist Dr. Michael Bleyman. His task was to breed keystone species (those that perform a crucial role in the life of a particular ecosystem) as a way to protect the population of those animals until their home habitats could support them once more. As time went on, the organization decided the need to breed wildcats was less important than the need to rescue abused and neglected wildcats.Roman, a lion, prowls about. He came to North Carolina from a rescue in Ohio that shut down due to lack of funding.How does a lion or tiger wind up in North Carolina and need rescuing to begin with? There’s an online market for these big cats, which are bred (often excessively inbred, resulting in deformities) to be sold for a profit. It’s made worse by the lack of state regulation on the ownership of a non-native species. Some counties in the state including Wake, Durham, Orange, and Chatham counties have made it illegal to possess these animals, but it’s usually only when these animals happen to be found – often in the wake of their owners’ brush with another law – that they are taken into custody.A note that was attached to Elvis, a serval, or medium-sized cat, when his owners left him at the rescue. The note documented his care, which Carolina Tiger Rescue realized was inaccurate based on the animal’s actual health.As I photographed the wildcats, many hobbled around in pain from arthritis caused by years of abuse. Some were declawed by their owners, or locked in small cages for long periods of time. Once-mighty creatures, they now live out their days riddled with aches and pains. Spending time with them – which I did several times over the course of the last few months – was both a humbling and disheartening experience. It’s no wonder the rescue, which employs 17 people, has a list of approximately 160 volunteers to help them care for these beautiful animals.Fenimore, a tiger, gives a big yawn. He was rescued from the same Missouri zoo that Emerson came from.But it’s not all sadness there. Many of the wildcats are still playful and energetic, despite their circumstances. Some even played a game of “hide-and-seek” with me as I tried to photograph them through the mesh of their spacious cages. Once, when I turned my back, a tiger named Madonna playfully pounced on the cage wall behind me.Madonna, a tiger, eyes the photographer from behind a tree.Still, they’re dangerous, and never in direct contact with any humans. And only half of the wildcats at the rescue are on view for what the organization calls “The Show,” which is what visitors see when they take a tour of the refuge. Those with anxiety or aggressive tendencies are kept out of view, and spend their time alone being cared for by the staff.After emerging from her hiding spot, Madonna reclines in her rescue’s habitat.Safety cages are scattered throughout the complex, and are used to protect people in emergency situations or any time a wildcat is moved.Elvis, a serval, in a contemplative pose.Tarzan, a lion, reigned over the first floor of a hotel in Mexico until he was one year old. When he became too large for that task, he was locked in a cage in front of the hotel that was 3-feet tall, 3-feet wide, and 6-feet long. He spent two years there, and now cannot stand up or fully extend his legs.Tarzan curls up for a late-afternoon snooze.Star, a cougar, gazes through a fence. Star came from a roadside zoo in Mississippi that was shut down due to numerous violations of animal welfare and human safety.Aria, a tiger, was a privately-owned pet in South Carolina for 10 years. She became sick, and her owner’s neighbors called authorities, who contacted the rescue. She was found to have a pancreatic deficiency that required a specifc diet. The family eventually gave her to the rescue so she could receive better care.The memorial gardens at the resuce, where each brick bears the name of a wildcat that has died.A well-loved toy.
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper play to a large crowd early afternoon on the City Plaza Stage Friday, October 3, 2014, during IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass. photograph by Juli Leonardby William LewisThe grass is bluer here in the Triangle. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual World of Bluegrass festival returns to Raleigh for the fourth time Sept. 27 – Oct. 1. It’s the who’s-who event in the banjo-pickin’ world, with live concerts, conferences and workshops, plus the IBMA awards show. William Lewis is the executive director of PineCone and the producer of Wide Open Bluegrass, the festival’s music extravaganza that closes out the week in downtown Raleigh. Below, he shares some thoughts on how to best enjoy the music he loves.PineCone works year-round planning Wide Open Bluegrass with IBMA and our Raleigh partners at the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. So, you can imagine our concern last fall when Hurricane Joaquin caused us to scrap those plans and start over – moving the entire festival indoors in a period of a few days. Although we are all very proud of the results, and now know that it can be done, we hope to never have to do it again. Bluegrass festivals are best enjoyed under blue skies.Wide Open Bluegrass holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many in our city. While the event’s attendance and economic impact are impressive, I’m always overwhelmed by the pervasive and profound sense of community pride. For an entire week, the world joins us in celebrating one of North Carolina’s homegrown traditions – bluegrass music. And our folks turn out in droves to support it. Not only are they taking time to enjoy the music, dance, art, and food, but they are also going out of their way to welcome visitors to our city and our state. Raleigh’s hospitality ranks very high for attendees, according to post-event surveys.The Piedmont Regulators play on the steps of the Fayetteville Street Post Office during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday October 4, 2014.After hosting one of the world’s largest indoor bluegrass hurricane parties last year, we are excited to return Wide Open Bluegrass to Fayetteville Street and to the Red Hat Amphitheater in 2016. The amphitheater will feature performances by a wide range of bluegrass all-stars, including Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, the Del McCoury Band, and Steep Canyon Rangers, among others. As always, we are planning lots of unique collaborations and special guests to preserve the event’s “must see” status. I’m particularly excited about the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrating its 50th anniversary in Raleigh, and the rare performance by the Soggy Bottom Boys – famous for the soundtrack of the blockbuster film O Brother, Where Art Thou? And the perennial favorites the Kruger Brothers return to the festival, this time joined by a 14-piece orchestra to perform an original piece written by Jens Kruger.It is a win-win for those purchasing tickets to Red Hat Amphitheater, because they are guaranteed world-class entertainment while also supporting a very important cause. A portion of proceeds from amphitheater ticket sales go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.As for the free StreetFest portion of Wide Open, we are expanding the footprint of the event south of City Plaza toward the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The wildly popular Dance Tent Stage will now be located there, along with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, a food truck rodeo, junior Appalachian musicians’ showcase, arts and food vendors, kids’ games, and other fun activities. This area has lots of trees for shade and open space with grass for picnic blankets.Each year we try to tweak the event to make it a bit better than the last. We hope everyone will join us for what is sure to be another wide open bluegrass experience.For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit ibma.org.
courtesy Paderewski Festivalby Mimi MontgomeryIgnacy Jan Paderewski was a man of many roles – pianist and composer, politician and patriot, spokesman and humanitarian. This month, his life and accomplishments will be celebrated in Raleigh at the third annual Paderewski Festival Nov. 5 – 13.“Few musicians have been accorded such fame and honor,” says Mark Fountain, the festival’s president and treasurer. A renowned classical pianist and the Prime Minister of Poland, Paderewski was an avid supporter of Polish independence post-World War I. His music, charisma, and popularity around the world sparked conversations about diplomacy, the expansion of the arts, and the intersection between the two.His ties extended to Raleigh as well. Paderewski performed in the Triangle on several occasions, including in Raleigh in 1917 and 1923 at the Raleigh Municipal Auditorium (no longer in existence), and at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in 1939. He performed in Durham, too, appearing at Duke University’s Page Auditorium in 1931. In addition, Raleighite Mary Lee McMillan was Paderewski’s wife’s secretary in New York during World War I. When the Paderewskis moved to Poland to organize war-time relief efforts, McMillan moved to Raleigh, where Paderewski sent her an inscribed piano. Today that piano, which Fountain purchased directly from the McMillan family, resides in his Raleigh home.Paderewski’s ties extended all the way to Raleigh. He performed at the Raleigh Municipal Auditorium (no longer in existence) in 1917 and 1923.In 2016, Paderewski returns to the area once more in spirit with the week-long festival honoring his music and his life. “We now enter the third year with four pianists, some young, some mature, all accomplished,” says Fountain.On Nov. 5, St. Mary’s School hosts prizewinning Ukrainian pianist Artem Yasynskyy. French concert pianist Jean Dubé will play at the N.C. Museum of History Nov. 6. The N.C. Museum of Art on Nov. 12 will feature Greek-Venezuelan pianist Alexia Mouza, who participated in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw last year; on Nov. 13, the museum will host Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak, a renowned Chopin interpreter who also appears on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film The Pianist, showing at The Cary Theater Nov. 11.Nov. 5-13; locations and times vary; paderewski-festival.org
Revival Livingby Jesma Reynoldsphotographs by Catherine NguyenWhen Elizabeth Miller learned it was her turn to host Magazine Club last April, the pediatrician and mother of three realized her current living room furnishings – two small loveseats – might not accommodate the 20 ladies who comprise the membership of the venerable 100-year club in Tarboro. So she sent up an emergency flare to Eliza Stoecker and Louise Stowe in Raleigh. The sisters and Tarboro natives were already well acquainted with her gracious Greek Revival home, known as Cotton Valley. They’d long been friends with Miller’s husband Ken, who had grown up in the historic house and recently purchased it from his parents for his young and growing family. Fortuitously, Stoecker, Stowe, and business partner Christina Allen had recently expanded their services as owners of Fleur Boutique, a women’s designer clothing store in North Hills, to include interiors, so they were ready to jump in. For her part, Elizabeth was more than ready and willing to hand over entirely the task of redecorating. What began as work in one room quickly morphed into an entire house redo.After tackling the stately living room, where they added ethereal mint silk curtains strewn with birds, the Fleur trio moved to the family room, where they lacquered the walls in a deep peacock blue, a bold and modern approach. In the dining room, they hung wallpaper by Gracie, adding custom touches of peacock blue birds and birdcages to echo the family room walls. The light-filled kitchen was gutted and bedecked with custom cabinetry and oversized brass hardware. Fabrics throughout the rooms were chosen from Brunschwig & Fils, Schumacher, Zoffany, and Quadrille. Other punches of color – a zebra wallpaper in the powder room and pops of yellow on pillows – added a zing to gracious, important architecture. The overall effect is simultaneously timeless and vibrant. With three children ranging from 6 months to 7 years, that’s a good thing for the active two-doctor family who both practice in Rocky Mount. Elizabeth says her 15-minute commute home to the tranquility of Cotton Valley is transformative. Meanwhile, Ken, an orthodontist and onetime musician, enjoys caring for the extensive grounds, playing his guitar, and riding around in his golf cart with a glass of wine when he returns from work in the late afternoon, taking it all in, proving that you can indeed go home again.
Sarah YarboroughCo-founder and CEO, Raleigh DenimSarah Yarborough is the co-founder and CEO of Raleigh Denim. She and her husband, Victor Lytvinenko, started making jeans together when she was an undergraduate in 2007, working on her collection for N.C. State College of Design’s Art2Wear show. Today, Raleigh Denim sells jeans and other designs at prestigious stores like Barneys New York in 14 states; and Sarah and Victor are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.“Some of the winningest ideas come from not winning,” Yarborough said recently, when asked to reflect on her company’s success. “The struggle or challenge behind the curtain – that is so very different,” she says, from the public’s perception of of what success looks like. It’s in those hidden struggles that breakthroughs emerge.Yarborough grew up in Raleigh and attended Saint Mary’s School before heading to New York City and NYU, where she studied art, English, and philosophy. She returned to Raleigh to continue her studies at N.C. State, where her love of design blossomed.Yarborough remembers well the moment when Barneys New York called to order the jeans she and Lytvinenko had been tinkering with. “I’d been making jeans for Victor to wear around, and for some friends,” she recalls, “and the morning news got wind of it. They did a 60-second segment at 6 a.m.” A Durham shoemaker saw the piece, told a buyer for Barneys about the couple and their work, and the phone rang. The New York store ordered 114 pairs of their jeans, and Raleigh Denim was launched.These days, demand regularly outstrips supply. “We’re beyond capacity,” Yarborough says. “We are about to turn away business. And we’re also looking at supplemental production.”About a year ago, the company’s growth had the couple reconsidering its organization and their individual roles. Now, Yarborough serves officially as CEO, while Lytvinenko focuses more on sales, growth, and brand ambassadorship. “That’s been really wonderful,” Yarborough says. “It makes me feel more invested and really proud of the company that we’re building.”
courtesy Taylor RankinMarbles creates space to promote healthy eating by Catherine CurrinSparking creativity with education is no new task for the team at Marbles Kids Museum downtown. Their latest initiative brings the outdoors inside: Seedlings, the museum’s new garden classroom, is lush and plush – faux squash hangs from a greenhouse ark and vinyl seed packets and crops are all designed and sewn in house. There, kids can plant pretend fruits and vegetables before heading to the adjacent outdoor garden for real fresh kale, collards, and carrots. Seedlings is meant to create an immersive, start-to-finish cooking experience, say the exhibit’s masterminds. Created in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, the museum will add on a new pop-up cooking program this spring. “Research shows that when kids understand where their food comes from, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices,” says Taylor Rankin with Marbles. “We hope Seedlings will help children simulate the process from seed all the way to crop.”
courtesy NCMAN.C. Museum of Art is putting women front and center. The museum’s recently launched Matrons of the Arts initiative celebrates influential female artists worldwide. Permanent exhibits, travelling exhibitions, and special events will honor and present the success of women in art, including abstract expressionist Georgia O’Keeffe and contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. The goal, organizers say, is to challenge the sometimes negative connotations of the term matron, and to instead elevate it to a term of strength and success. This local campaign was inspired by the National Museum of Women in the Art’s name 5 female artists challenge, which seeks to keep notable women artists on the forefront of public conscience. As the movement takes shape, you can follow along at ncartmuseum.org/matrons-of-the-arts. –Catherine Currin
‘Strictly fun and fellowship’ Every Sunday, you’ll find Williams at Hayes Barton Baptist Church. He taught Sunday school for 60 years and is a pillar of the community there. “Wesley is the consummate optimist. He sees the best in everyone. He loves Raleigh and has invested his life here,” says Dr. David Hailey, the church’s pastor. “Wesley has also been our ‘poet laureate’ at HBBC. He has graced us on numerous occasions with his poetry. I would love to have a church full of members like Wesley Williams.” Two decades into retirement, Williams stays busy having fun with the boys. He’s a longtime member of the Old Raleigh Boys, which meets annually in February at Carolina Country Club. “I wrote the original Old Raleigh Boys creed, and I give some remarks and read the creed at each meeting,” he says. Also at the Carolina Country Club, he meets the 50 other members of the Good Ol’ Boys Club monthly, as he has for the past 38 years. And then there’s The Wake County Chitlin Club. Perhaps Williams’ most unconventional membership is as director of the group founded by former North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and then Governor Kerr Scott in 1948. The all-male club meets annually for chitlins (pig innards) at the Toot-N-Tell in Garner. “I’m head of the CIA, which is the Chitlin Intelligence Agency. It’s strictly fun and fellowship,” he says. As the oldest member of the club, Williams was even named most revered member in 2015 by Rufus Edmisten, former North Carolina Secretary of State and Attorney General.With his many accomplishments and almost a century certainly well-lived, one thing is clear – Williams loves Raleigh, and wants everyone he meets to love it too. His best piece of advice for Raleighites, both old and new? “Be very grateful that you’re here.” Pride in PlaceRaleigh’s longtime social orchestrator extraordinaireby Catherine Currinphotographs by Madeline GrayG. Wesley Williams spent much of his life in a house on Hargett Street, just a few blocks east from Moore Square. From that downtown Raleigh post, he has watched the city go up around him and endure many cultural seasons. At 97, his mind remains sharp, and Williams’s historical account is one brimming with firsthand experience. “I was born near Raleigh, and I’ve lived here for 97 years. I’ve seen it grow tremendously, and it’s just a wonderful city that’s going to keep on growing.” Williams has had a hand in Raleigh’s growth through some 70 years of service to the city, both in his career and through volunteer efforts. Nowadays, Williams has moved slightly northwest, off of Glen Eden Drive, and his time is spent in more social clubs than civic, but it’s all still rooted in an effusive passion for hometown. “I love Raleigh, I’m crazy about it. I’ve never been officially given the title, but many people refer to me as ‘Mr. Raleigh.’”Work-life balance Williams was born near the music pavilion at Walnut Creek, an area that back then was vast farmland. Facing financial hardships, the Williams family traded in their farm and settled on the edge – now in the midst – of downtown Raleigh. Williams entered the workforce at age 17: His first venture was founding the Young Business Men’s Club in 1937. He eventually moved on to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, where he was executive director for 50 years. There, Williams says he discovered fulfilling work. “It was not only a job, it was a great pleasure. I had an important part in helping to build Raleigh.” Before his retirement in 1990, Williams made strides in Raleigh’s development, including overseeing planning committees for downtown’s first parking decks and the evolution of Fayetteville Street. Meanwhile, he organized and directed 46 Raleigh Christmas parades, he says, and rode on the firetruck concluding each one. He recalls the busy five decades fondly. “I’m sure that nobody in Raleigh has participated in more groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings than I have.” Not only was he a pioneer for Raleigh’s infrastructure, Williams was instrumental in integrating restaurants during the civil rights movement. He says it’s what he’s most proud of. “One of the greatest things I’ve ever been able to do is to play a major role when we were having all the trouble with segregation.” He worked with the Merchants Association and North Carolina Sen. John Winters to integrate S&W Cafeteria, formerly on the corner of Fayetteville and Davie streets. The S&W decision effectively began a domino effect throughout the city. Ever seeking fulfilling work, Williams is also one of the most decorated members of Civitan International, he says. He served the Raleigh chapter in several capacities, from chaplain to district governor and then president. He was also vice president of the greater International club. His son, John Williams, says he’s received countless awards for his hard work with the group. For instance, with the club, he helped found Hilltop Home, a center near downtown assisting children with developmental and medical disabilities.
“They hang because of their beauty.”–Jim Swanson, inherited clock collector When FBI agent John W. Swanson retired from the agency after 25 years of service, he delved more deeply into his passion for clocks: he ultimately collected 600 of them. Today, half of Swanson’s collection hangs in the Raleigh home of his son, Jim Swanson.John Swanson was born and raised in Southern California. He interrupted his college education to enlist in the Navy during World War II, rising to naval officer rank. After the war, he finished his college degree in California and was recruited by the FBI as a special agent. He moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where he raised his family during his assignment with the Washington field office. Since then, son Jim Swanson and his wife, Lynn, have made their home in Raleigh.Jim Swanson says his grandparents told him that his father was adept at fixing things, at “just being good with his hands,” from the time he was 14. Today, if you stroll through the Swansons’ home, you can see and hear the results of those “good hands.” John Swanson left to each of his two children an astonishing collection of 300 clocks.Jim Swanson remembers the day his father brought home his first clock. “I was in junior high at the time and saw from his enthusiasm how hooked he was on those devices.” John Swanson came by his clocks in many ways. He bought some, he was given others, and some he “rescued” from the junk heap and restored their beauty. Many of his father’s timekeepers are on display in Jim Swanson’s home, but especially rare or delicate ones “are hidden away for safekeeping.”The hidden ones come out sometimes: “Each year, we display on special holidays – Christmas and the Fourth of July – commemorative clocks that add to our celebration.” For Jim and Lynn, every tick-tock, every chime, keeps alive the love of a father. They provide timeless memories. –James Daniels
Building Blocks, Challenges & Triumphs My integration of the Rex Hospital staff in 1977 was not to go unchallenged. The mid 1970s welcomed the arrival of a number of young, energetic African American doctors to Raleigh and Wake County. At that time, Rex was located at the corner of Wade Avenue and Saint Mary’s Street. That medical staff had been devoid of African American physicians.The frequency of my acquisition of patients who had come to my practice after being delivered at Rex Hospital prompted the Wilkerson siblings, Drs. Annie Louise, Louis, and Charles, to encourage me to join the Rex medical staff. I had developed a respectable relationship with the Wilkerson physicians once it was revealed to them that their father, Dr. Charles B. Wilkerson, Sr., delivered my wife, Geraldine at home on South Blount Street located in Southeast Raleigh. I applied for staff privileges, and with the Wilkersons as my sponsors, was granted full staff privileges in the Department of Pediatrics.On the occasion of my responding to a call from Dr. Annie Louise to attend an emergency cesarean section, I was stopped by two security officers as I traversed the usual emergency room route taken by physicians entering the hospital. I had been greeted warmly by several Caucasian physicians as I made my way through the emergency room. The two security men asked me where I was going, and when I replied “up to attend a cesarean section,” they demanded that I show them some identification. A nurse overhearing the conversation interceded and assured them that I was indeed a physician. Prior to her intervention, I had told the officers that several of my colleagues had addressed me by my first name, and further, I did not see them stop anyone else demanding identification. When I showed them my pager, they both responded, “That doesn’t mean a thing to us, everybody has one of those.” Leaving them still questioning my identity, I went on about my business up to the operating room.The next day, as I was busy trying to keep to my scheduled appointments seeing patients, my staff told me that the chief executive officer of Rex Hospital was on the phone. When I answered his call, his question was, “Did you have a problem yesterday with security and if so, would you tell me about it?” I repeated the challenge scenario to him. He stated he would investigate further and get back with me. About two hours later, he called back and apologized for how I had been treated and assured me that Rex would not tolerate that type of behavior from its employees. Further, he told me, those two officers had been fired. I was not aware until he told me that several nurses who had witnessed the exchange between the security officers and me had gone to higher authorities at the hospital on my behalf. I had no further such incidents in reference to my physician’s status. I would have audiences of several nurses and ancillary personnel as I attended my patients, particularly non-African American, in the emergency room, at C-sections, or in the nurseries. They were eager to learn my techniques, both procedural and interpersonal. At staff or departmental meetings, I would be the only physician of color in attendance. The newer African American doctors in town would eventually join the Rex staff in their various specialties, but I was the first doctor of color to have a regular presence there. For me, that accomplishment was another peak that had been climbed and conquered.A year or so after a number of younger African American physicians arrived in Raleigh, I convinced five of the newcomers to enter into a discussion about trying to erect a medical building. All of them embraced the idea, and together we began searching for suitable property in the Southeast Raleigh area. James Colson, DDS, who was already in a building, was invited to join us, and he accepted our invitation. Jerry Wiley, MD, who was finishing his residency in pediatrics, was invited to join the group from the very beginning. Ronald Gaither, MD, and Bertron Haywood MD, both specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and Leroy Burton, MD, internal medicine rounded out the group of six. At long last, my previous attempt under the B.H.M.W. Corporation seemed to become a more realistic entity. Years earlier, I had presented the idea of erecting a building to Charles Holland, an optometrist, Robert McDowell, a family practice specialist, and George Walker, a dentist. My idea was that we could consolidate our practices into one location, preferably in Southeast Raleigh. From those discussions, we formed a corporation that we named B.H.M.W. We were successful in purchasing properties in the vicinity of my office on Person Street. For various and sundry reasons, our efforts to formulate building plans fizzled, and each of the other three moved into freestanding offices. The corporation continued in existence until the deaths of Holland, McDowell, and Walker. Although that peak was not attained, the lessons I learned trying to do so would be invaluable. We were four professionals, and though not able to realize our plan to purchase or build a medical building together, remained dear friends through all the trials and tribulations of trying to realize that goal. We remained close friends throughout various life stages with our families.One afternoon, when five of the six of us—Burroughs, Colson, Wiley, Haywood, and Burton—were busy at our individual offices, we each received an urgent call from the sixth of us, the equally busy Dr. Ronald Gaither. Somehow, Ron had found out about a plot of land in the shadow of Wake Medical Center that was listed as foreclosure. For us to have first access to the land, we needed, as a group, to come up with $10,000 in less than two hours. We extended our confidence to Ron by writing our checks, and he navigated to each of our offices to retrieve them so he could make a deposit to hold the land. Several of us would view the lot later that day, and we were thrilled about its location and potential.We held a formal meeting that evening to form the partnership officially. Thus began the laborious task of jumping through hoops to bring our plans to fruition. One of the first questions that arose was what should we name the facility? I volunteered the name Sunnybrook Multi-Specialty Medical Center. With little discussion, the name was welcomed and accepted by the group.We began having frequent meetings with our chosen law firm to establish articles of incorporation, and later with financial institutions to seek financing of our project. After completing the legal and financial details, we met with several architects before finally selecting one. We would not accept excuses from those of us who claimed we were not able to meet. At times, it became necessary for us to use specific terms to remind the one who claimed he had no time to meet that he needed to get there as soon as possible.We held fast to the notion that, although we were very close friends, we had embarked upon a major project as business partners. Therefore, the business relationship would always be paramount as we moved through the process of erecting the building that would house our medical practices. There were skeptics in the African American community who, when hearing of our plans, said they didn’t think six black guys could stick together to do what we were planning; they would believe it when they saw it. We were bent on making those skeptics believers.We began meeting as a group with the chosen architects once the deed to the land was in our possession. As we forged deeper into the plans, each of us would have individual meetings with them to discuss how we wanted our offices designed to accommodate our individual specialties and the square footage desired. We decided to include a charge per square foot for each office as a percentage of the total mortgage payment. After negotiating with several financial institutions, we finally accepted the offering of one that would handle financing of the building process and subsequent financing once the building was complete. To our chagrin, we were required to make a deposit of ten percent of the total cost of the building and finance the remainder. Our challenge was to produce approximately $60,000, to be paid in equal amounts by each partner, to secure the loan.We met the challenge successfully, and after several months of intricate planning, held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 5, 1977 that was witnessed by many interested community guests. Dr. Prezell Robinson, President of Saint Augustine’s College, was the guest speaker for the occasion.All the parties involved with the building construction were introduced during the ceremony. They were as follows: VIC Realty Company; Thigpen, Blue and Stephens, Attorneys at Law; J. C. Buie, Inc., Architect; Mauney Design Associates; Wachovia Mortgage Company; Davidson and Jones Construction Company; North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company; and the Old North State Medical Society.We moved into the completed structure on October 10, 1977. On that day, I reached the summit of another peak: opening an office in a building I owned along with several other physicians. We had granted ourselves a special level of independence, along with all the responsibilities that such independence entailed. More than 2,000 people attended a formal open house for the community on March 19, 1978. Our achievement would be recognized locally, statewide, and the groundbreaking ceremony was reported in the May 19, 1977 issue of Jet Magazine.Interestingly, at the open house, one of our Caucasian colleagues asked me about our financing arrangements. When I told him that we were required to pay ten percent of our building cost to secure the loan, he confided in me that he and his partners were in the process of constructing a building in another part of the city and had been granted one hundred percent financing. I surmised that our dollars weren’t worth as much as theirs or that another formula was used to compute our loan. In our deliberations with the building contractor, I was adamant that any and all subcontracts would stipulate a very visible presence of active minority contractors. Our efforts to erect the Sunnybrook Multi-Specialty Medical Center were recognized on February 24, 1978 when the Beta Lambda Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. inducted the partnership into its Hall of Fame as new pioneers in the medical domain. We would now become employers of a significant number of persons. My office staff increased from three to as many as six at various times. As their employer, I required the highest standards of courtesy and professionalism, and they all adhered to my requirements.In 2003, after months of deliberations with the Wake County Commissioners, the partnership would successfully sell the Sunnybrook Multi-Specialty Medical Center building to Wake County. That negotiation would signal the end of twenty-six years of dedicated service to the community in that facility by its original builders.From “Sharing My Journey to a Career in Medicine in a Transition South.” Copyright © 2016 by Frederick D. Burroughs, MD. Used by permission of the author; drfredburroughs.com. Photographs courtesy Burroughs family.
courtesy Barry JacobsYou can feast among the foliage this month at Moorefields’ brunch gala. This year’s annual event is June 3, including a buffet from Hillsborough’s Louisiana-style restaurant LaPlace and live jazz music. The historic home, built in 1785 and renovated in 1982, will be open for tours, as well as tours of the grounds, including the organic farm and pesticide-free gardens and greens. All proceeds from the daytime gala support the historic preservation of Moorefields.Moorefields executive director Barry Jacobs says he looks forward to hosting in a style befitting the place. “Moorefields is a great example of why so many Orange County and Triangle residents are committed to allying preservation with growth, nature with history.” —Catherine Currin12 noon – 3 p.m.; $50 per person; moorefields.org
A report published in July 2018 that evaluates public procurement in Northern Ireland, specifically the achieving of value for money (VfM) in public construction projects, calls for “greater leadership and planning by the Government and public sector organisations” in order to “remove pressures that lead to unsustainable tendering and would help maximise VfM for clients”.In their research, report authors Gary McArdle, of Atkins, and Joseph Gerard Gunning, of Queen’s University Belfast, identified a “vicious circle” that they say is damaging the construction industry in Northern Ireland. They see the circle thus:pressure from clients to gain VfM, the attitude of contractors, the lack of work in Northern Ireland and increased competition combine to make clients perceive VfM as the lowest price;subeconomic and abnormally low tendering leads to “potential legal challenges for subjective quality”;an increase in the number of claims during the construction stage, which is “proportionate to increase in subeconomic tenders”;the client’s project manager or performance team begins to implement their contract more stringently;this has an impact on all contractors;contractors’ profit margins lessen; andrelationships between clients and contractor break down.It was also found that that smaller contracts are tabling “lower, unsustainable” tender bids for smaller projects that are “detrimental to larger contractors who cannot compete” and will “focus their resources and expertise elsewhere” as a result.In order to enhance the VfM within public sector construction projects, McArdle and Gunning recommend frameworks, partnering and alliances and that the complexities and objectives of projects be considered when determining the type of contract to be awarded. Here, they say that additional in-depth research may be required in order to “test for significance”.They also call for briefs to be well-defined, for the risk to be allocated to “the party in the best position to deal with it”, for all abnormally low tenders to be assessed and for consideration to be given to current market conditions when determining a procurement strategy. They also suggest “greater consideration to quality and cost combinations at tender stage, with more emphasis on quality for projects of greater complexity”.“Some clients acknowledge that greater emphasis is required on quality,” they write. “Others believe that their approach is most suited to the project. This appears to result in a race to the bottom between contractors in the majority of projects. Further analysis in this area would provide a useful insight into project complexity and quality and cost combinations.“A better forecast of work along with year-end flexibility provided for by public organisations would generate efficiencies and savings for the client and contractor. Further analysis into this topic between public sector organisations may produce significant outcomes.”The researchers also found that, unsurprisingly, Brexit will have a “detrimental impact on public works in Northern Ireland”. It is projected that this will be caused partly by a lack of public investment after Brexit, as well as an expected dip in foreign investment after the UK leaves the EU.Through interviews with figures in the University of Ulster, Transport NI, NI Water, Belfast Health Trust, private contractor Gibson Brothers and private quantity surveyor Faithful+Gould, Gunning and McArdle created six mind maps to understanding the various elements of VfM, focusing on causes, effects and outcomes.In their public sector interviews, they found the main outcomes identified to be: less VfM in Northern Ireland; a desire for more end-of-year flexibility; uncertainty over future funding in the shadow of Brexit; the approach adopted by some private contractors to increase their own profits; suggestions for improvement; creating better VfM; and creating more public value.The keys to creating public value offered in the researchers’ interviews: the maintenance and improvement of road, water and sewer networks; the provision of social and health care; the protection of the environment; the provision of employment; supporting of SMEs and the local economy; the provision of education; the deliverance of support to socially deprived areas; and the allowance of goods and people to travel freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.In terms of Brexit, the researchers’ “analysis of the four public sector interviews provided a clear indication that there is a lot of uncertainty towards Brexit and how Northern Ireland will be affected”, but that it is “accepted that the procurement procedures will not change soon”. However, “other items remain unknown” and “public sector organisations are not aware if their funding will be affected in the future”, while the “health sector was the only sector that reported that it could potentially receive more funding”.For the creation of VfM, McArdle and Gunning found opinions in the public sector to be varied. The traditional model of procurement was found to be preferred for large and complex projects. Procurement of consultants was said to be “more focused on quality than price”, with contractors being procured using the most economically advantageous tender, leading to contractors who meet the requirements being procured on the lowest price possible. This was said to be partly due to a “well-defined contract”, paired with the procurement of the “right consultants who create the design and specification”. For smaller and less complex projects, the procurement of design and build contractors is preferred.In their interviews with the private contractors they spoke with, it was found that the lack of works being undertaken in Northern Ireland is “contributing to larger contractors focusing their resources elsewhere”. Subeconomic and abnormally low tenders were said to be ubiquitous in Northern Ireland now, with the “contractors’ and the clients’ increased focus on gaining VfM” being a “major cause” of this. An “apparent claims culture” in Northern Ireland was also reported, with an increase in the number of claims being proportionate to the increase in subeconomic tenders reported.The authors recommend that “public bodies must realise that in order to enhance VfM, more rational thinking at an early stage into aspects such as their objectives, project complexities, project briefs and budget forecasts will be required”. They also suggest that the “impact of Brexit on public procurement in Northern Ireland and the wider UK could be further examined as the current process is based on the EU directive on public procurement”.They conclude that “it would encourage more cost-effective working practices, greater innovation, better supply chain engagement and improved security to contractors” if the “greater leadership” called for from the Government was shown.
photography by Liz Condo Photography Sally Harris, Betsy Brewer, Michele MurphyLaura Isley, Root EdmonsonSanford ThompsonJohn Bryant, Hope Bryant, Scott Murphy Kate RiversDorothea Bittler, Kim Rogers, Cathy Monaghan, Janet Kelleher Saint Saviour’s Center held its annual fundraiser on October 12, 2018 to raise money for their signature program, The Diaper Train.