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ODU in the News

Week of 4/8/13

'Genius Grant' Recipient to Speak in Norfolk
(Inside Business, April 5, 2013)

In 2005, Majora Carter got a phone call that literally changed her life.
She had just emerged from a New York City subway station, and saw that she had a message on her cellphone - a message that was very cryptic.
"Please call the president's office," the caller said in a soft, British accent. She left a Chicago-based phone number
"The president of what?" Carter thought.
When she got to her office, she returned the call and was immediately put through to the "president," who asked her if she was alone, if she would close her door and if she would sit down.
He then introduced himself: He was Jonathan Fanton, the then-president of the MacArthur Foundation, which, each year, awards "Genius Grants" to people who have displayed - well, genius - in their respective fields.
Carter, in Fanton's estimation, was a genius in her quest to turn the South Bronx green.
And she would get $500,000 - to spend however she pleased.
Carter was the head of Sustainable South Bronx, which worked to improve the impoverished area through green development. She helped transform a waste dump into Hunt's Point Riverside Park with a $3.2 million grant from the federal government that is now part of the South Bronx Greenway, an 11-mile oasis of parks and biking trails that weave through one of the country's toughest neighborhoods. (More)

Climate change series: adapting to a new reality
(Cognoscenti, April 8, 2013)

Even if we drastically cut carbon emissions, we still have to face the realities of a changing climate. So, while we have to think about reducing greenhouse gasses, now and in the future, we also have to begin implementing strategies to adapt to this new world of increasingly extreme and, to some extent, unknowable weather and climactic conditions. We need to adapt our cities, our farms and our way of life. We also need to understand how climate change will impact the plants and animals our ecosystems depend on.
Brian Helmuth, Larry Atkinson and Pablo Suarez discuss ways human society is already adapting to climate change, and some of the challenges ahead. ...
Larry Atkinson is the Samuel L. and Fay M. Slover Professor of oceanography at Old Dominion University and director of ODU's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative.
We live on the edge of a restless ocean. With the accelerating effects of global climate change, the ocean is warming up, moving around, and absorbing large quantities of melting ice. Yet, because the amount and pace of sea level rise varies around the globe, it is a local issue.
Three separate studies published in a five month period last year all indicate an acceleration of sea level rise in the mid-Atlantic coast. As the Gulf Stream slows down and moves further offshore, our local coastal sea level rises - as much as 3-4 times faster than global average sea level rise.
As Superstorm Sandy dramatically demonstrated last fall, coastal storms are changing. Because of climate change there's more heat in the ocean and more moisture in the atmosphere coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The combination may not affect the frequency of major storms, but it does magnify their size and intensity. (More)

Back-burner business
(Inside Business, April 5, 2013)

For small business owners, sequestration is this year's buzzword - and a potential buzzkill for their operations, particularly if they sell products or services to the federal government.
Jack Plomgren, president of the Ghent Business Association and owner of two local Rapid Refill franchises, says many Hampton Roads entrepreneurs are laying low amid uncertainty over the impact of sequestration, a series of federal spending cuts that began last month. Designed to shave nearly $1.2 trillion from the U.S. budget over the next decade, the cuts automatically kicked in after Congress failed to reach a bipartisan solution to the country's massive budget deficit.
"How it affects small businesses like me is we tend to put plans on hold, we tend to not expand at the rate we were going to expand, we think twice before hiring an additional employee, we don't invest in that additional piece of equipment," said Plomgren, whose Norfolk and Virginia Beach stores provide printer supplies and services. "The stakes have a tendency to be much more severe for a small business than a big business."
And they're even higher for those that do business with the military. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 2013 cuts will include $42.7 billion in defense department spending, the lifeblood for many Hampton Roads contractors.
Indeed, sequestration will be a "major drag" on the region's economy, according to Old Dominion University economics professor Vinod Agarwal. The estimated impact this year in Hampton Roads will be nearly $1.9 billion in DoD-related reductions. That includes the cancellation of maintenance on 11 Navy ships in Norfolk, along with various project deferments or delays, said Agarwal, who spoke March 28 at "Economic Forecast 2013," an educational forum in Virginia Beach.
Hosted by the Retail Alliance, the forum attracted a number of local business owners, including Plomgren and Ben Willis, owner of Willis Furniture. Neither are defense contractors - though Plomgren occasionally receives a shipboard order for inkjet cartridges - but they both expect to be indirectly affected by the government cuts. After all, sequestration will cause the region's consumers - many of them active-duty military or civilian employees - to sequester their own finances and maybe hold off on buying that new sofa or entertainment center. (More)

Toyota Motor Manufacturing president Wil James talks culture and employee engagement
(Rollingout.com, April 8, 2013)

The number one driver of culture is leadership. After a recent tour of Toyota's largest American manufacturing plant located in northern Kentucky, it's clear that Wilbert W. "Wil" James is steering his 8,000-team members in the right direction. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc., aka the Mother Plant, produces 500,000 vehicles per year including the all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon, 100 million service parts per month and procure $10-11 billion per year in sales.
"At Toyota, we think about culture every day. One of the basic tenets of Toyota ... we call it the 'Toyota Way' - everybody working together to produce the highest quality car at the lowest cost. It takes people working together and trusting one other to make it happen," shares James.
In July 2010, James was appointed president of TMMK. His Toyota career spans over two decades with significant progressions. He came to the plant from the Indiana facility in Evansville, where he was senior vice president for Manufacturing and quality since 2008. Prior, he worked in Long Beach, California, where he was President of TABC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. He joined TABC in January 2006 as senior vice president of Operations and was promoted to President in January 2007. ...
A graduate of Old Dominion University, James serves as Toyota's representative on the Board of Affiliates for the National Society of Black Engineers. He also is a member of the Board of Regents for Kentucky State University, Academic UpRise and Toyota's diversity champion for TEMA. He James also currently serves as chair for Lexington's Arena Task force working closely with Mayor Jim Gray. (More)

ODU holds international festival
(WAVY-TV/Fox43, April 7, 2013)

A myriad of countries were on display on the ODU campus for the international festival Sunday.
The annual event was held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
More than 900 ODU students from 57 different organizations participated in the event.
WAVY.com photojournalist Greg Gadberry captured the sights and sounds of the international festival. (More)

Anatomy of a society without rights
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 7, 2013)

In his book "The Plot Against America," Philip Roth rewrites the historical events of 1936 and the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt as the president of the United States.
Charles A. Lindbergh, the aviation hero and a well-known anti-Semitic sympathizer with Germany, defeats Roosevelt to win the election, changing the course of history in the United States as Adolf Hitler gains momentum in Germany.
Roth's narrator wakes up in June 1940 to a different reality for American Jews. "Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear," the narrator says. "I wonder if I would have been a less frightened boy if Lindbergh hadn't been president or if I hadn't been the offspring of Jews."
The novel begins with his recollection of events during which American Jews slowly, methodically, without much notice or fanfare, lose their rights.
Roth's novel may dramatize post-Holocaust paranoia of American Jews. Many believe a systematic attempt to erase Jews cannot happen in America, a democratic country with established rule of law. Yet, it did happen in Germany, a progressive country that respected authority.
An exhibition presented by the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the American Bar Association, "Lawyers Without Rights," will be on display at the Perry Library at Old Dominion University this month. Shown around the world, the exhibit examines the process of disintegration of the judicial system in Germany as Jewish lawyers lost their rights to appear before the German courts.
How could this have happened? Why did non-Jewish lawyers remain silent? (More)

Molinaro column unfair
(Letter, The Virginian-Pilot, April 7, 2013)

Pilot sports columnist Bob Molinaro makes his sentiments regarding Old Dominion University's selection of Jeff Jones as the new men's basketball coach all too clear in his April 4 column ('Hmmm,' Sports).
Molinaro discounts Jones as an under-achieving, substandard selection by ODU Athletic Director Wood Selig and hints at Jones' and Selig's past association with the University of Virginia as proof of cronyism.
All this negativity on Molinaro's part is purely a display of his opinions and prejudices, justified or not, rather than an example of balanced sports journalism. Molinaro loses all credibility as a journalist (or even as an educated observer) when he pulls the race card. His assertion that ODU has limited the coaching jobs at the school to white applicants is absurd. He self-righteously says, 'ODU is justly proud that its enrollment and alumni cover a full range of races and nationalities, but in this one area athletics the school is conspicuously pallid.' This inane observation is inflammatory and without merit.
If Molinaro wants to base his future columns on emotionally charged and unsubstantiated subjective opinion, I suggest he limit his submissions to the op-ed page, where they belong. He would be in good company with fellow editorial prevaricator and instigator Leonard Pitts.
K.N. Koch, Norfolk (More)

Norfolk program centers on middle school behavior
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 7, 2013)

Seventh-grader Jaquan Forrest stood at the front of the Ruffner Academy cafeteria, oblivious to the raucous group of students behind him.
He was too busy concentrating on a small table at the front of the room, filled with key chains, notebooks, pens and cups.
The items, all of which carried the school's distinctive Bulldog logo, were the spoils of a new Norfolk Public Schools program that officials hope will not only improve student behavior but lead to the academic turnaround of the system's weakest schools.
The new program, called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, commonly referred to as PBIS, teaches discipline like math. Teachers form lesson plans and monitor progress. The program is used in more than 16,000 schools, including about 360 in Virginia. ...
Robert A. Gable, an ODU education professor and project director for the state's PBIS initiative, said the approach differs from traditional school discipline in that it promotes early intervention and a reward system.
"In many schools, such things are handled after the fact, in a rather punitive manner," he said.
Norfolk's early data on middle school behavior show the program is working. During the first two quarters of this school year, reported incidents of behavior problems were down 13 percent, from 4,947 in 2011-12 to 4,300. (More)

First Person: Ann Crenshaw
(Inside Business, April 5, 2013)

A charter member of Commercial Real Estate Women Hampton Roads, Crenshaw was recently appointed to the national CREW Network Industry Research Committee, which conducts research on women in commercial real estate. She also has been named president of the Civic Leadership Institute effective July 1. A graduate of William and Mary Law School, Crenshaw has 33 years of experience as an attorney, 10 with Kaufman & Canoles.
On her practice area of law
I'm in what we call the real estate strategies group. My real estate emphasis is on commercial transactions, land use, zoning development and I also try some cases that deal with real estate. I also represent lenders in commercial transactions. In other words, I might be counsel to a bank in closing a loan. ...
On becoming president of the Civic Leadership Institute and its future initiatives
We've entered into a relationship with Old Dominion University and will be coordinating a civic leadership program for college students, which will be launched next year. I'm not sure what the requirements are going to be, but it will be made available for college students throughout the region.
We also undertook a complete strategic planning process. We're about ready to finalize that and we've honed in on what we want to do and how we can get there. I'm optimistic that we've gotten our organization to a place where we can really grow programs and make ourselves available. (More)

ODU's Jeff Jones era begins - despite grumblings
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 5, 2013)

Old Dominion had a longstanding dinner reservation for boosters and school officials tonight in Atlanta, site of the Final Four.
Athletic director Wood Selig was holding a spot for a guest of honor, a new men's basketball coach.
After a whirlwind week, ODU filled that place at the table, introducing Jeff Jones as its new coach Thursday.
It was Jones' second trip to Norfolk in six days, but his first time at the Constant Center, he said. Last Friday's interview here was held at an "undisclosed location," he joked.
It was, in basketball terms, a buzzer-beater of a hire, coming in just before the Monarchs' deadline. If it wasn't the splashiest - Jones, 52, is nearly 20 years removed from his greatest success as a coach and has spent the last 13 years at low-profile American University - it was one praised Thursday as the right one at the right time.
"When we compared Jeff with our other finalists... he was overwhelming in his interview," Selig said. "Jeff was able to sell us on his desire to be at Old Dominion. He truly wanted to be a member of Old Dominion and the Hampton Roads community."
Selig lauded Jones for his experience, his work ethic, his connections, his knowledge of the game and his success both in the game's highest levels - in the ACC as a player and head coach at Virginia - and in its less-privileged - in the Patriot League at American.
"As one coach told me about Jeff: 'All he does is win,' " Selig said. (More)

Jeff Jones energized by opportunity at Old Dominion
(The Baltimore Sun/Daily Press, April 5, 2013)

Each year at the Final Four, Jeff Jones hosts a large dinner. The guest list tops 30 and includes coaches and administrators with whom he has worked. They reunite, lie about their handicaps and chow on Jones' dime.
Thursday night's gathering in Atlanta, at Morton's, almost certainly was like none prior.
Late Thursday morning, Old Dominion introduced Jones as its new coach, and even at 52, after 21 seasons wearing the big whistle and myriad experiences, the opportunity clearly energizes him.
True to his nature, Jones didn't try to "win the press conference" with scripted one-liners or evangelical preaching. Rather, he vowed to recruit, nurture and coach as he did for the last 13 years at American University and for eight at his alma mater, the University of Virginia.
"Coaching is not something that I do," said Jones, a native of basketball-mad Kentucky and the son of a coach. "Coaching is who I am. Coaching is in my blood."
At Virginia, Jones enjoyed considerable resources. At American, he did not. Yet he thrived at both schools, guiding the Cavaliers to five NCAA tournaments, the Eagles to the only two in their history.
That requires consistency of approach, attention to detail and, at those institutions, devotion to academics.
"I can assure you that I am doing more than paying lip service to that ideal," Jones said of supporting players not only in the classroom but also following graduation. "That's a legacy of the utmost importance to all of us."
Case in point, Brian Gilmore. A graduate of Chesapeake's Great Bridge High, he was a key player on American's 2008 and '09 NCAA teams, and he attended Thursday's news conference to support his former coach.
Moreover, Gilmore's mother, Dee, a member of Old Dominion's Board of Visitors, endorsed Jones to university president John Broderick. When a mom speaks highly of how a coach treated and taught her child, we are wise to listen. (More)

The Gods of the Copybook Headings are in Cyprus
(Opinion, American Thinker, April 5, 2013)

By Howard Richman, Raymond Richman, and Jesse Richman
In his 1919 poem, The Gods of the Copybook Headings, Rudyard Kipling compares the truths of the real world ("the Gods of the Copybook Headings") with the promises of social progressives ("the Gods of the Market Place"), and he concludes that nations which follow the false promises of the social progressives eventually rediscover reality, often when it is too late. (Click here to watch talk-show host Glenn Beck read the poem.)
In his April 2 column (Today, Cyprus, Tomorrow...) former Reagan speech writer and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan sees the Gods of the Copybook Headings at work in Cyprus today. He argues that those investors who loaned their money to Cypriot banks were ignoring reality, writing:
From Asia to Europe, people concerned about the safety of their money are looking at Cyprus, with many surely saying, "There, but for the grace of God, go I!" And they likely hear in the anguished cries of Russian, British and Cypriot depositors, who got no warning and failed to get out in time, a fire bell in the night for themselves....
If Kipling's Gods of the Copybook Headings, who arrived on Cyprus in March with their terrible swift sword, are back in charge, is this not better than having Western taxpayers forever securing the deposits and investments of the rich and feckless?
Buchanan is correct, but the "terrible swift sword" of the Gods of the Copybook Headings is a two-edged sword. It is not only slashing the savings of investors, it is also slashing away at Cypriot employment:
The authors maintain a blog at www.idealtaxes.com and co-authored the 2008 book, Trading Away Our Future. Dr. Howard Richman teaches economics online. Dr. Jesse Richman is Associate Professor of Political Science at Old Dominion University. Dr. Raymond Richman is a professor emeritus at the U. of Pittsburgh and received his economics doctorate from the U. of Chicago
(More)

A long journey to front Journey
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 5, 2013)

Production for the indie film "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" puttered along until Dave Paterson and his brother John, owners of Arcady Bay Entertainment, dipped into their pockets to help its completion.
The documentary, which opens tonight at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk, chronicles the story of Arnel Pineda, the new lead singer for rock supergroup Journey.
"It's just a great story about a homeless drug addict from the Philippines who's the lead singer for one of the most famous bands in the world," said Dave Paterson, calling from New York City. "And everyone loves an underdog story. I thought this was right up that alley."
With its crisp and splashy cinematography, "Everyman's Journey" is a Cinderella-like tale of a despondent Pineda, who was discovered via a last-minute click on YouTube. The film, a favorite at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, details the singer's transition from living on the streets of Manila to living on the road with one of rock's biggest classic rock acts. ...
During his teen years in Norfolk, Dave Paterson nurtured his interest in acting and production, appearing in plays at the Riverview Playhouse, Old Dominion University and the Virginia Stage Company. Paterson eventually became a screenwriter. His adaptation of "Bridge to Terabithia," the award-winning book written by his mother, Katherine, into the 2007 Disney film brought him some recognition. Two decades after acting in small productions around Norfolk, Paterson combined his screenwriting background with his brother's media and marketing expertise and formed Arcady Bay Entertainment. (More)

ODU hires Jeff Jones as next men's basketball coach
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 4, 2013)

A national search for the next Old Dominion University men's basketball coach lasted nearly two months and began with more than 150 applicants but ended with a familiar name, best known from more than a decade ago and living a few hours up the road.
Jeff Jones, a seasoned basketball hand who became the University of Virginia's coach at 29 but has spent the past 13 years in the relative obscurity of the Patriot League, will be introduced as the Monarchs' coach today.
He replaces Blaine Taylor, who was fired in February after 12 seasons.
Jones, 52, has 21 years of experience as a head coach - most recently at American University in Washington - and 29 overall. That experience was among the factors that made him ODU's choice, Athletic Director Wood Selig said.
"Anybody in the business that you speak to about Jeff, if you know basketball, they rave about him," said Selig, who was at U.Va. for part of the time Jones was there. "His knowledge of the game, his ability to teach, his work ethic, his recruiting contacts. (More)

Jeff Jones brings impeccable credentials to ODU
(The Daily Press, April 4, 2013)

Jeff Jones has won at college basketball's penthouse level. His Virginia teams beat Kansas in the NCAA tournament, Duke at Cameron and No. 2 North Carolina at home.
Jones has won at the sport's bargain-basement level. His American University teams finished first in the Patriot League four times and earned the Eagles' only two Division I NCAA tournament bids.
Now Jones heads to Old Dominion - the school will introduce him at a Thursday news conference - a program with above-average resources, a fertile recruiting base and lofty aims of joining George Mason, VCU, Butler and Wichita State as Final Four intruders.
I'm not sage enough to forecast whether Jones can take the Monarchs where he's been as player, assistant coach and head coach - the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four - but I do know his coaching chops are impeccable, and anyone who dismisses his selection as cronyism doesn't know ODU president John Broderick.
Yes, Jones and Monarchs athletic director Wood Selig are long-time friends. And yes, they worked together at Virginia, Selig a fledgling administrator, Jones a young head coach.
But Broderick has no such connection to Jones and had no predisposition to consider him a viable candidate. Like Selig, Broderick is supremely ambitious, and Jones had to convince them that he has the experience, skill and vision to match their goals.
That he must have done during an interview last week on the Norfolk campus.

Decision to hire Jones at ODU is dumbfounding
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, April 4, 2013)

Old Dominion wanted a new men's basketball coach who would fire up the fan base. *
It appears they've got one. *
If Internet banter is any barometer, Jeff Jones is a lightning rod for discontent and anger. A chorus of disgruntled boosters is forming around the belief that nothing but disappointment can come from his hiring.
No, the mob is not always right. But in this case, their torches are illuminating a lack of inspiration among the ODU leadership.
Jones is a letdown, but the vitriol shouldn't be aimed at the coach. After all, he only applied for and accepted a job. The crowd's wrath is better directed at Wood Selig. The athletic director's decision is dumbfounding.
When the result of a national search turns up a 52-year-old coach who has worked 13 seasons at American University in the obscure and lackluster Patriot League, it makes you wonder if ODU basketball has as much to sell as it thinks it does.
In so many words, critics of the hire are asking, "Is that the best ODU can do?"
(More)

20 seconds for love at first sight for real estate: study shows
(Real Estate News Exchange Canada, April 1, 2013)

20 seconds for love at first sight for real estate: study shows
Obtain a copy of the study

First impressions seem to matter most when it comes to dating, job interviews...and real-estate listings. Researchers tracking the eye movements of subjects who looked at online home listings found that more than 95% of users viewed the first photo-the one that shows the exterior of the home-for a total of 20 seconds. (More)

ODU performance will benefit community concerts
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 3, 2013)

Portsmouth Community Concerts has brought national and international arts performances to our city for 74 seasons. Homegrown talent is on tap this Friday with a concert from Old Dominion University's music department.
The college's concert, brass and jazz choirs, wind and percussion ensembles and symphony orchestra will perform a fundraiser to benefit the Portsmouth association's upcoming season.
The jazz choir will be under the direction of John Toomey, who has performed around the world and has written soundtracks for the History and Discovery channels. Nancy Klein has led the choral department in concerts at the National Cathedral, Carnegie Hall and in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The wind ensemble will be led by longtime professor Dennis Zeisler, who also leads an ensemble of music instructors. ODU's madrigal singers will perform as well. Portsmouth Community Concerts president Ken Woolard says getting the entire music department together was quite a coup.
"It's going to be an exciting evening," he said. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Buy them at Ticket-master or at the Willett Hall box office. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. (More)

Spouses, vets warn Kaine of potential military exodus
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 1, 2013)

Service members can deal with lengthy overseas deployments. Uprooting their families every couple of years, that's part of the job. Many are even willing to risk their lives in combat.
But if Congress can't come up with a more consistent and predictable process for funding the military, more and more service members are going to start heading for the exits.
That was the message to U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine on Monday when the first-term Democrat met with two dozen military spouses and veterans at Old Dominion University.
The spouses sat at a large conference table and sounded off on myriad issues, including Veterans Affairs backlogs and ineffective military-to-civilian transition programs.
Kaine grew emotional near the end of the discussion when a former Marine and his wife shared their story about the difficulty he's had getting treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. (More)

Va. police planner spends, with an eye on public safety
(Police One/The Virginian-Pilot, April 1, 2013)

In a way, it's a shopping list. Not, though, for the everyday items of our lives or for the toys kids hope Santa brings on Christmas. What Paul Leccese has been seeking is what a police department needs to meet the changing challenges of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Leccese is the planner of Chesapeake's police department. The heart of his job is writing grant requests for federal and/or state money that pays for upgrades on a broad front of what it takes to keep a city safe and its police force ready.
He's done this for the Chesapeake department since 1993, When I talked to him the other day, he had prepared a list totaling the grants the department has won since 1995. The amount is $14.1 million. Unless you think like a congressman, that's real money.
A Virginia Beach native, Leccese is a civilian with a master's degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. He grins and says he wears a lot of hats. In addition to grant writing, he recruits volunteers for departmental office assistance. He teaches a criminal justice class at Old Dominion University, and some of those class members become interns with the department. He proudly says that about a dozen of them have become police officers.
He grins again as he says he also handles the corner of the department that sells police memorabilia. (More)

Grapes may soon grow at Windsor park in Smithfield
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 2, 2013)

Smithfield's Wine & Brew Fest is set for April 13 at Windsor Castle Park, but if all goes as planned, next year's tasting party may include the ambience of a working vineyard on the 18th-century manor property.
Town Council has leased five acres of land at the site to Smithfield Winery LLC to establish a vineyard for a small-production winery. Owners Michelle and Denton Weiss of Portsmouth plan to produce 2,000 cases of wine a year from their harvest. ...
They plan to grow muscadine grapes, a variety native to the warmer Southeastern Virginia climate, said Natasha Huff, a daughter of the Weisses who will manage the operation. They'll specialize in sparkling wines but will offer some still wines, too.
While acquiring equipment for the business, Huff is seeking husbandry certification for development of different grape varieties and cultivating techniques from the University of California, Davis. She and husband, Matthew, a graduate chemistry student at ODU, plan to eventually move to Smithfield from Norfolk.
Thomas Jefferson failed at growing Vitis vinifera, the European wine-making variety, at Monticello due to unstable climate and pests. But local growers and wine-making experts say harvesting and pest control have come a long way since Jefferson's time. (More)

Cong. Elijah Cummings to Present National Press Club Newsmaker 'Reality Check On Congressional Gun Legislation'
(TMCNet, April 2, 2013)

Robert Weiner Associates announced that Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) will present a National Press Club Newsmaker, "A Reality Check on Congressional Gun Legislation," at 10AM Tuesday, April 2, in the Zenger Room.
The National Press Club is located at 14th and F Streets NW, and the Zenger Room is on the 13th Floor.
According to a release, Cummings is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He is urging bipartisan legislation, now with more than 100 cosponsors, on gun trafficking legislation, of which he is a prime author. Cummings takes the gun safety issue personally and points to his nephew, 20, who was found murdered by gunshot in a random act near Old Dominion University, where he was a student.
Despite projections of prompt congressional action after the December 14, 2012 Newtown, CT massacre of 26 people including 20 first graders 7 years old and under, neither chamber has moved to final passage. President Obama insisted in his State of the Union Address February 12 that the victims of mass gun violence including those in Newtown CT, Aurora CO, and elsewhere, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), "deserve a vote." (More)