Michael Urie & Mercedes Ruehl Get Ready for a Mother of a Relationship in Torch Song

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 6, 2019 What was your reaction reading it?MERCEDES: It’s shockingly honest. I kept thinking about why it’s relevant now. [Harvey Fierstein] foresaw everything. He foresaw gay marriage. He foresaw gay adoption. There is still a problem of prejudice and ignorance that makes this play evergreen in a way. That’s because it goes right to the heart of it unabashedly, unstintingly, bravely, especially when you get to the mother. She’s still hoping against hope that there’s a possibility that he might meet the right girl.When did you first meet?MICHAEL: We actually met at a different photo shoot. But I have been an outrageous fan of hers for a long time. It’s funny, I’ve always thought of her in a maternal way because of Big, where she plays the mom. Also, The Goat, where she also played the mom. And in a way, Lost in Yonkers, even though she’s not the mother.You related to her through her characters?MICHAEL: I did!MERCEDES: I must send you a copy of Married to the Mob—that’ll knock the mother out of you.MICHAEL: I’ve seen that one too, and you’re right. That one’s not quite maternal.MERCEDES: We definitely connect with each other in a delightful way. I saw Michael in The Government Inspector, and I thought, “Wow! This guy bounces off the scenery!” He’s so funny and witty with such range. It was so much fun watching you, kiddo. He just illuminated the stage, and I thought,”Boy, am I lucky!” Star Files Mercedes Ruehl & Michael Urie(Photos: Caitlin McNaney) Mercedes Ruehl “Torch Song” begins on September 26 and opens on October 19 at Second StagePhotos: Caitlin McNaney | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Margina Dennis | Styling: Heather Newberger | Styling Intern: Taylor Freeman The 2017-2018 theater season has officially begun, and a slew of highly anticipated musicals and plays, both brand new and revisited, are set to bow. Broadway.com’s Fall Preview series captures the stars and creators bringing these stories center stage in the new season. View Commentscenter_img Top: Estelle Getty & Harvey Fierstein in “Torch Song Trilogy” on Broadway in 1982; Bottom: Anne Bancroft & Fierstein in the 1988 film Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl are still getting to know each other as they prepare to begin rehearsals for Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, a reboot of his award-winning 1982 play Torch Song Trilogy at Second Stage. Urie is taking on the role of Arnold Beckoff, the main character Fierstein played in the original production and the subsequent film version. Arnold is a Jewish gay drag artist and torch singer in a turbulent relationship with his bisexual closeted lover. Ruehl plays his intolerant mother, and the two clash bitterly and hurtfully. It’s an intense onstage relationship that Urie and Ruehl have not yet explored together (under the direction of Moisés Kaufman), but the two seem excited to dive in.What appealed to you about doing this play?MERCEDES: Big bucks!MICHAEL: Paying off my student loans! [Laughs] I have always loved this play. I was in high school when I first read it. I went to a public school in Texas, and it had a really great theater department and speech and debate program, and the library had all of these amazing plays: Torch Song Trilogy, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Angels in America—all these very adult plays. Torch Song was a gay play that was at once exciting and taboo and also hugely informative to me as a kid in Texas, but also as an actor because it’s so playable. The roles are so rich and the dialogue is accessible. I just devoured it.Mercedes, what was your first exposure to Torch Song?MERCEDES: You’re not going to believe this: I was reading it a couple of months ago. I never saw it, I’m embarrassed to say. So, then it was the question of should I watch Anne Bancroft [in the film version], but then I thought I better not. You start channeling Anne Bancroft, and that’s the end of you. How is this version of Torch Song different? Can you talk about the revisions?MICHAEL: It’s really more about a reformat than a revision.MERCEDES: It’s not a trilogy anymore.MICHAEL: We’re doing it in two acts. There are a few little things. It’s not an overhaul of any kind. Even to the people who know it well, I think it’s going to feel like the same play.Are you at all nervous to play Arnold in front of Harvey Fierstein?MICHAEL: [imitating Fierstein’s unmistakable voice] Why do you ask that? When we did the reading, which was basically my audition, it was a terrifying prospect. You can hear him in every line. I mean he’s in there. And I can’t do him! Nobody wants me to do him, least of all him. The fact that I can hear him in the script I think will ultimately help me because it’s like a road map if I ever get stuck. If I ever don’t know how to do it, I can always ask, “WWHD?” What would Harvey do?These two characters really go toe to toe. How do you tap into that sort of intensity and then let go of it?MERCEDES: When I did The Goat everybody in the play had to figure out what it meant to them because Edward Albee didn’t give you any help. We all agreed the play was not about bestiality—it was about something far more complex and probably dark and so I came up with what the goat meant to me. And in this play to come up with the outrage the mother has with her son’s homosexuality, which is not just something I would ever feel, I have got to come up with something powerful, so I can come up with that outrage. To get there is going to be a bit of a journey.How do you think audiences will respond to this production?MICHAEL: I guess [with the original production] it was a catharsis to see. A lot of people didn’t get to see themselves on stage or see their own conflicts played out like that. I think it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. I think that people will have great compassion. Ultimately, the play is filled with love.MERCEDES: It turns out everyone loves, but everyone is human. They make these big hurtful mistakes. This is the complexity of their relationships. I think the audience is going to see there’s something timelessly universal in this play, and I bet a lot of people will come up and say, “Oh, I saw a lot of things in this play I didn’t see the first time.” That always happens with a revival.MICHAEL: I bet they’ll think certain timeless things in the play were added.MERCEDES: But they weren’t. Related Shows Michael Urie Torch Songlast_img read more

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2012 NEK Chamber Citizen of the Year – Robert Swartz

first_imgThe Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the selection of Robert Swartz as the 2012 Citizen of the Year. Swartz received the honor for his extensive service to area cultural, health and educational organizations, especially his many years dedicated to Catamount Arts and the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center. The awards banquet being held on Friday, May 4, 2012, at the Academic Student Activities Center, Lyndon State College, Lyndon Center, VT (directions). The ticket price is $34 per person. The social gathering will start at 6 pm with buffet dinner to follow at 7 pm. To attend, complete the attached reservation form and mail to NEK Chamber, 2000 Memorial Drive, Ste. 11, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 or fax to 802-748-0731. RSVP by April 27 at 802-748-3678 or nekinfo@nekchamber.com(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

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State: Entergy must set aside $60 million for Vermont Yankee site restoration

first_imgby Anne Galloway vtdigger.org The Shumlin administration has recommended that a quasi-judicial board grant Entergy a license to continue operating Vermont Yankee through the end of 2014, as long as the company meets three conditions. Among the conditions proposed by the Vermont Department of Public Service is the creation a new fund to pay for site restoration.Chris Recchia, commissioner of the department said restoration of the Vermont Yankee site would cost $120 million. ‘We are recommending that a condition be established to require a separate trust fund for site restoration with an initial deposit of $60 million,’ Recchia said in an interview.Under the proposal, Entergy, the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, the deposit of $60 million would be made to the fund within 21 days of receiving an operating license, or certificate of public good from the state.The creation of the fund is one of three requirements the department has asked the Vermont Public Service Board to impose on Entergy should it grant a license to the company.The Louisiana-based company originally sought a 20-year license extension from the Vermont for the aging nuclear facility. On Aug. 27, just 11 days after Entergy argued before the board that it needed two decades to operate the plant and generate sufficient monies for the decommissioning fund, the company announced it would shut down the plant next year because it is no longer financially viable.In light of the imminent shutdown, the Shumlin administration has proposed a 14-month license extension with conditions. The Vermont Department of Public Service says Entergy must create a separate fund for site restoration because the company does not have any money earmarked for the restoration in its decommissioning fund. In addition, the department wants Entergy to halt hot water discharges into the Connecticut River and agree to pay an-as-yet-undetermined amount of money for the economic impact of the plant shutdown on Windham County.The state wants Entergy to use the cooling towers at the plant to maintain temperatures in the reactor instead of discharging hot water into the Connecticut River. For years, scientists and advocates have said the discharges have elevated the temperature of the river and harmed the ecosystem.Chris Recchia, the commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said, ‘We believe Entergy failed to demonstrate throughout the proceeding that there is no adverse affect on the environment.’Recchia said his department is also concerned about the economic impact of the shutdown on the state. Entergy generates $18 million to $20 million in financial benefits for the local economy. He wants the board to require that the state and Entergy to create a mechanism for ‘economic transition support’ six months after the license is granted. Entergy is currently required to pay a generating tax on the amount of electricity it generates from Vermont Yankee. Once the plant closes, that source of state revenue will disappear. Recchia says Entergy should be required to continue to make some kind of payment to the state to make up for the economic impact of the sudden, unplanned shutdown.About half of the department’s legal brief fixates on Entergy’s history of misstatements before the board about the plant’s underground piping system. Less than a year after Entergy officials swore under oath in 2009 that no such pipes existed, there was a leak of radioactive water, tritium, from pipes located under the facility.The department attempts to build a case that Entergy has not been a ‘fair partner.’ In the brief, state officials say the ‘evidence shows that Entergy misled the Board,’ and they urge the board to consider Entergy’s misstatements in the proceeding.The crux of the department’s arguments, however, is the idea that Entergy can’t be counted on to make good on its promise to decommission the plant once the nuclear facility is offline. In previous arguments, the company has said it must run the plant for 20 years in order to grow the decommissioning fund sufficiently.The decommissioning fund is worth about $580 million. In 2012, Entergy completed a decommissioning cost analysis for Vermont Yankee that projects SAFSTOR could cost more than $1 billion.The 46-page brief alleges that Entergy’s estimates for the growth of its decommissioning fund for Vermont Yankee are not based on ‘real-world conditions’ and Entergy has ‘underestimated the future minimum amount needed for the decommissioning fund.’ Entergy’s projections assume that it will recover all spent fuel costs from the Department of Energy; courts have denied millions of dollars in recovery costs, according to the brief.The state also alleges that Entergy is using artificially low cost estimates for disposal of low-level radioactive waste from the plant, apparently ignoring the fact that Vermont must send the waste to a designated facility as part of a compact with Texas.The state has no authority to impose conditions for the decommissioning process. Entergy must submit a plan for decommissioning to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that oversees decommissioning, within two years of the plant shutdown.Vermont Yankee is a temporary storage site for 1,507 fuel rod assemblies submerged in a spent fuel pool that was originally designed to hold about 350 assemblies. Vermont Yankee’s spent fuel pool, located in a metal warehouse structure, has more than five full reactor cores worth of radioactive material.This story was corrected to note that while the restoration will require $120 million, the state is asking for a $60 million deposit.last_img read more

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Petition to keep Ad Astra Pool in Lenexa gains more than 1,000 signatures in two days

first_imgAd Astra Pool. Photo courtesy of city of LenexaAfter recently announcing the impending closure of Ad Astra Pool, the city of Lenexa is facing some backlash from residents who want to see the city keep and renovate it.In less than two days, an online petition started by Lenexa resident Laurel Joyce gained more than 1,000 signatures.Joyce started the petition Wednesday morning — the day after city staff announced the results of a study on the city’s aquatics program. City staff’s recommendation from that study was to close Ad Astra Pool, turn Indian Trails Aquatic Center into a splash park, and build a centralized water park (location not determined).Her hope is that Lenexa keeps and renovates both Ad Astra and Indian Trails pools, but ultimately, she hopes the city listens to residents moving forward.“I feel like a lot of people feel blindsided, like they had no say,” Joyce said, adding that she acknowledges the need for aquatics in the growing parts of Lenexa further west. “What I hope to get out of the petition is that the community leaders take a look at what the community wants. I feel like we didn’t have any say, and now we’re possibly ending up with no pools east of 435, but some little splash parks.”Joyce said she was surprised herself by the response from others interested in signing the petition.“I knew a lot of people were upset, I knew people I was friends with would respond, but a lot of the names that I’m seeing are complete strangers to me,” Joyce said. “So it just kinda has taken off for sure.”Denise Rendina, communications director for Lenexa, said the petition on Change.org doesn’t carry legal status; however, “that much interest shows that our residents are passionate about this. I think it will carry significant weight, and our council will want to hear from them.”Rendina noted that the situation has become confusing for residents, which is not what the city intended. Here is an outdoor aquatics update, including a link to the study, that was recently posted by the city.“I think we could have done a better job of informing the residents about that, but it’s been out there,” Rendina said, noting the signage they had posted at Ad Astra Pool announcing the closure over the summer. “We were kinda surprised that it didn’t catch on more, and for some reason when we posted that we wanted to celebrate the end of the pool, that’s when it really caught their attention.”Funding for Ad Astra Pool is not part of the city’s proposed 2020 budget, which will be discussed by council Aug. 6; however, Indian Trails will remain open “for the foreseeable future,” Rendina added.“This study was like a first step, and while there was a recommendation, really what the council did, they accepted the study as a whole, but they didn’t make any decisions,” Rendina said, adding that no funds have been earmarked for the recommended aquatics plans.Joyce said she’s concerned that many neighborhoods in her area lack pools.“When we purchased our home, it was a bonus that we had a city pool within walking distance,” she said. “It’s a great location nestled within the neighborhoods situated next to walking trails, a new park and the school. The neighborhood kids all walk or bike to the pool without having to worrying about traffic.”Aging aquatics spark need for cost-efficient solutionsLenexa city staff said Ad Astra Pool regularly experiences cracking of the concrete and piping. Photo courtesy of city of LenexaLogan Wagler, deputy director of parks and recreation for Lenexa, said the city has been “battling with” aging aquatics issues for years, which sparked the need to hire Waters Edge Aquatic Design for the study. The goal was to learn about the city’s options for future aquatics opportunities that best fit the size and demographics of Lenexa’s population in a cost-efficient way.“The city does not have any dedicated funding, a large pot of money or anything bonded where we could go out and build a new pool or do something substantial,” Wagler said. “Even major renovation of one of our facilities is out of our reach right now.”Joyce said she thinks Ad Astra Pool has been neglected for years, noting that the high dive and the wading pool for babies was removed.“The pool is missing the modern amenities that attract people,” Joyce added. “Now the neighborhood is told the pool is closing and we are not being told what will be going in that space, which is concerning.”Wagler said the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovating Ad Astra Pool over the past 20 years because it lies on filled land, resulting in costly damages and cracking of the piping every year. The city removed the high dive because it did not meet new depth requirements for certain heights of dive boards, Wagler said. The wading pool was removed after it cracked down the middle.“The biggest challenge we have is balancing all these needs with being financially responsible,” he said. “Right now, we just continue to throw money at Ad Astra. To do something there, it doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons, and mainly because of the site issues.”Future aquatics will be part of discussions in October on the city’s capital improvements program, Wagler said, noting that the city is seeking public engagement on these issues. Wagler added that no location was earmarked in the aquatics study as the site for a centralized water park, but Indian Trails Aquatic Center could be the site for that facility.last_img read more

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Emerging adults: Pay attention to a life stage, not a generation

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kayla Byers Kayla Byers joined brass Media, Inc in Fall 2011 as an Account & Customer Relations Manager, where she helps customers build more solid connections with young adults. She has been … Web: www.brassmedia.com Details “Emerging adulthood [ages 18-29] is the only period of life in which nothing is normative demographically.” Jeffrey Jensen ArnettIt’s true that the Millennial generation has a lot of distinct characteristics (coming of age during the recession and being social media/tech natives), yet many of the attributes of this generation have more to do with their stage of life than the year they were born.In 2000, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett proposed the idea of emerging adulthood, a stage of development between 18-29, when individuals have left adolescence and childhood, but haven’t yet taken on the responsibilities of full-fledged adulthood, like starting a family or owning a home.Arnett believes the social and economic changes in the last half century that led to the formation of an emerging adult stage aren’t going away, so we can expect that as future generations pass through their late teens and twenties, they will experience similar challenges with a similar approach to life.A 2012 Clark University study, led by Arnett, took a deeper look at how this life stage pans out.One notable trend is a shift in traditional markers used for considering yourself an adult:Only 4% of the respondents consider getting married the most important part of becoming an adult.Being financially independent ranked second highest at 30% (behind accepting responsibility for yourself: 36%).Nearly three-fourths (74%) of emerging adults stated that they would rather live on a tight budget than be financially dependent upon their parents.As a credit union, you are in a remarkable spot to help emerging adults make the decisions that they believe push them into adulthood. The Census Bureau just released data noting that the biggest age group in the American population is 22-year-olds (23-year-olds are second, followed by 21-year-olds). Are you targeting your help and content to this group?Don’t miss out on the chance to provide assistance to the largest population segment in the U.S. and who have clearly indicated that they want financial autonomy. Evaluate your current strategy and take stock on whether you have what you need to be a resource to emerging adults, no matter what year they were born in.last_img read more

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The surprising side effect of kissing up at work

first_imgShare on Twitter Share on Facebook Share Email LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Kissing up to your boss doesn’t just impact your relationship with your supervisor, it can influence your co-workers, as well.In a new study in The Journal of Applied Psychology, University of Florida researcher Trevor Foulk and David Long from The College of William & Mary looked at how “kissing up” — also known as ingratiation — affected people who witnessed it. They found that newcomers who saw a co-worker kissing up to the boss were more likely to have a positive perception about the supervisor, while other workers’ perceptions were unaffected.“That kind of information is so much more valuable to a newcomer,” Foulk said. “You’re scanning the environment looking for any cue you can get that can help you understand the workplace.” Foulk suspects that new employees are so eager for positive information about their supervisors that they’ll accept information that other employees discount, causing them to interpret attempts at ingratiation as a sign that the boss must be someone worth getting in good with. We typically don’t like ingratiators: When established workers observe this behavior, they tend to discount it. But newcomers really want to know about their supervisors, so they take the exchange as positive information and ignore its unsavory aspects, Foulk said.“If you could sit down with your supervisor for an hour and talk, that would be the best way to form an impression, but we don’t always have that opportunity,” he said. “If we can’t get good information, we’ll settle for what we can get.”In the study, participants watched a video of an employee using different types of ingratiation — compliments, interest in personal life, praise and favors — on a supervisor. After the researchers controlled for age, work experience and social skill, they found that participants who watched interactions that included ingratiation from a subordinate rated the supervisor’s warmth higher than those who watched interactions without it.The positive perception even held when participants were told that the supervisor was unpleasant and ineffective. However, it only applied when the participants imagined that they were new to the job. When participants were told that they were contractors whose term with the company was ending, the positive bump disappeared. The study also found that when employees directly observed the supervisor behaving in a positive manner, the effect of ingratiation became less important.“This study shows that this behavior can affect our impressions of others. If you’re a newcomer and I want you to like the supervisor, I can manage your impression by ingratiating the supervisor in front of you,” he said. “It’s almost like throwing your voice.”last_img read more

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Home Country: Dinkahuahua

first_imgWe knew without being told what a Labradoodle was, of course. It meant that a good retriever got too close to one of those tippy-toe prancing fluffs and now there are puppies that need good homes. We’d been broken in to this world by cockapoos and peekapoos, so a genuine Labradoodle wasn’t that much of a stretch. “You’d get a dinkahuahua, of course.” “Hope it isn’t catching,” Dud said. “A Scottish terrier and a great Dane would produce some Great Scotts,” Dud said. “If one of them Australian dingos got crossed with those little Mexican dogs,” Dud said. We shrugged. The groaning continued for minutes while we got refills. “Well?” “But what would it unlock?” “A litter with an identity crisis? “You take one of them Japanese Akitas,” said a guy from the truckers’ table, “and cross him with a Boston terrier, you’d get Akitaboston.” “OK,” said our waitress, finally succumbing to the downward spiral of waning intellect, “if you had a part saluki, part terrier and crossed it with a part bull mastiffand part Llasa apso, what would you get?” “At least that would sound fairly good in a classified ad,” Doc added, nodding.center_img We looked at him and waited. “No. You’d get a bunch of ap-saluki-terri-bulls.” “This is getting bad … but now that you mention it, what if a half Yorki-half old English sheepdog got interested in a lonely papillon. You’d find yourself with yoroldpappis.” “You send that same corgi on a blind date with a shar-pei,” Dud said, “and you could end up with a bunch of card sharps.” “Labradoodles? Some lady in the city has Labradoodles,” Doc said, putting down the paper. I think that’s when Doc hit him with the napkin. “You know,” Doc said, “if you were to cross Lassie with a Cardigan Welsh corgi, you could get a colling card.” At least it gave us something to talk about over coffee. At least when it was over, no one had suggested a tryst between a shih-tsu and a bulldog. Home CountryBy SLIM RANDLES The waitress was giving us looks like she needed our seats at the counter to be empty. Especially since the dog-combo disease was spreading.last_img read more

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Local Women Gather At IWF Event In Albuquerque

first_imgMembers of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and their guests gathered this afternoon for their annual Christmas party at the Tanoan Country Club in Albuquerque. Attending the event from left, Los Alamos Enterprise Bank & Trust President Liddie Martinez, CHRISTUS St. Vincent President/CEO Lillian Montoya, incoming IWF President Yolanda King and Bradbury Science Museum Director Linda Deck. Los Alamos members not pictured include Los Alamos Historian Nancy Bartlit and Los Alamos Daily Post Owner/Publisher Carol A. Clark. The IWF was founded in 1989 in Santa Fe. The vision of the founders was to provide opportunities for women leaders in a variety of professions throughout the state to network with peers and counterparts and meet and collaborate with other active female professionals on business, social, cultural and personal issues. Its primary goal is building leadership skills and fostering opportunities to lead and for friendship among members and for future generations of women in the state. Members represent an exciting and wide range of professional  pursuits — directing Fortune 500 companies, composing symphonies, conducting medical research, founding new businesses, managing ranches, leading cities, hosting radio shows, running TV stations and more. Members serve on the highest  judicial courts, preside over universities, promote peace, direct  non-profits, author books and record or make history. The IWF has 64 chapters in 23 nations, on five continents. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.comlast_img read more

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Riverhead Officer Saves Two Lives In One Day

first_imgRiverhead police officer Michael Lombardo with the choking victim May 18. Independent/Riverhead Police DepartmentA 25-year veteran of the Riverhead Police Department is being celebrated for saving two lives in separate incidents Sunday.At 3:15 PM May 17, Lombardo was first on the scene on Industrial Boulevard, responding to a call where a man reportedly had his hand trapped underneath his vehicle. Lombardo found the victim in distress with his hand crushed underneath the brake rotor. Police said it appeared the man had taken off his tire when the jack tipped over, causing the vehicle to drop and the brake rotor, which landed directly onto his hand.The Riverhead Fire Department was going to be contacted to assist in removing the vehicle, police said, but Lombardo acted quickly and utilized the same jack to lift the car high enough so the victim could free his hand. The victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps for his injury. Police said the man was released from the hospital with a broken finger and lacerations to his hand.But that wasn’t all. During the same shift, at 7:21 PM, Riverhead police were called to a report of a man choking inside a home on Hamilton Avenue.Again, police said Lombardo was first on the scene and found the man “actively choking and in distress” on the front porch. The officer ran to the porch and began performing the Heimlich maneuver, and police said the victim started to “become limp from the lack of oxygen.” Police said it took numerous attempts to dislodge what ended up being a piece of chicken.The man was able to eventually breath on his own, and was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps for further evaluation. The man was released later that evening from the hospital and is doing fine.The Riverhead Police Department said it “would like to acknowledge the excellent work done” by officer Lombardo during the two incidents.desiree@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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Microbubbles appear set to provide a new boost to the rapidly growing biofuels production sector

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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