Subway takes the lead on healthy eating pledge

first_imgCoffee shop chains are to follow Subway’s lead by announcing Food Standards Agency (FSA)-agreed healthy eating commit- ments next year,Subway unveiled a raft of healthy eating pledges on 20 November, which were developed with, and will be monitored by, the FSA. These included reducing salt in sandwiches by 15% by June 2009 and for more than 75% of sandwiches to meet FSA salt targets by 2010.The firm will also look at ways of cutting fat and promoting the fact that the option of salad in sandwiches comes at no extra cost to the consumer.The FSA is now working with UK coffee shop chains on similar commitments, which will be announced in March.Starbucks and Costa both told British Baker that they were working with the FSA on redu-cing fat and salt content in their food.last_img read more

Thundercat Announces 6-Night, 16-Show Residency At Blue Note Jazz Club

first_imgJazz bassist and singer Thundercat will return to New York City early next year for a mid-winter marathon of performances at the Blue Note Jazz Club. The Greenwich Village jazz venue announced on Monday that Thundercat will deliver 16 total performances as part of a six-night residency beginning on Tuesday, February 12th, and running until Sunday, February 17th. The upcoming residency is the latest by a popular jam or jazz-focused artist to take place at the famous venue, following multi-night runs from both Lettuce and Robert Glasper earlier this year.The residency will see Thundercat (real name, Stephen Bruner) playing two sets per evening starting at 8 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m. over the first three nights (2/12-2/14). The Friday (2/15) and Saturday (2/16) shows will allow the talented bassist to stretch the evening into three performances with an additional set beginning at 12:30 a.m. on both days. The final night on Sunday (2/17) will return to the two-set format at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.Thundercat has gained popularity amongst mainstream audiences over the last few years thanks to his involvement with notable Los Angeles-based musicians including Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, and Kendrick Lamar. He’s also spent time working with emerging artists like Louis Cole, in addition to sitting in with John Mayer during one of the early episodes of the Dead & Company guitarist’s ridiculous new Instagram show, Current Mood. Thundercat also notably appeared on Mac Miller‘s latest and final studio album with bass/vocal contributions to the song “What’s the Use?” from on the late rapper‘s 2018 Swimming LP. With all these famous friends of his, it will be interesting to see who Thundercat brings out to play with him during the Blue Note run, as the residency announcement also included the billing of “Special Guests To Be Announced”.Thundercat released his own new studio album back in February 2017 with Drunk, which included guests ranging from Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins to pop hitmaker Pharrell Williams. The bassist did not announce whether he’ll be releasing any new music to go with his residency come February, but considering Thundercat is always working on some project, fans should be optimistic for something coming down the pipe in the coming year.Tickets for the upcoming run of New York shows are on sale now and can be purchased at the Blue Note website.Thundercat Blue Note Jazz Club February 2019 ResidencyFeb. 12 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 12 – Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)Feb. 13 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 13 -Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)Feb. 14 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 14 -Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)Feb. 15 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 15 -Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)Feb. 15 -Blue Note Jazz Club (12:30 a.m.)Feb. 16 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 16 -Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)Feb. 16 -Blue Note Jazz Club (12:30 a.m.)Feb. 17 – Blue Note Jazz Club (8 p.m.)Feb. 17 -Blue Note Jazz Club (10:30 p.m.)View All Residency Dateslast_img read more

Taming Australia

first_imgRecent reforms enabling market-based selling of water rights in Australia have dramatically increased the efficiency of the country’s water supply system, allowing surface water usage to decline 70 percent in recent dry years with just a 1 percent drop in agricultural production on irrigated lands.A pair of Australian water experts described the reforms Friday (Feb. 18) in the Geological Museum at an event sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Harvard Water Program.Australia’s boom-and-bust water landscape has been amply demonstrated in recent months, with several years of drought giving way to torrential rains and the most damaging floods in the nation’s history, punctuated by a monstrous early February cyclone that slammed the country with yet more rain, high winds, and flooding tides.Will Fargher, general manager of the Australian National Water Commission’s Water Markets and Efficiency Group, and Chris Arnott, managing director of Alluvium Consulting, which advises governments on water issues, described the drought and historic floods as extreme expressions of the natural variability of Australia’s water scene.Until tamed in recent decades by water engineers, the country’s streams and rivers were far more variable than those in the United States, and it was natural for them to overflow their banks in wet times and run dry in the summer months.The nation’s key water system is that of the Murray River, which provides water for as much as 60 percent of the nation’s irrigated agriculture in Australia’s southeast. The river has been tamed through a system of dams, weirs, and locks that keeps it navigable.In the past, farmers were given set allocations that were theirs to use. Though the government was able to reduce allocations in dry times, before the drought began in 2000, they were used to getting 100 percent of their allocated water, Fargher said.During the drought, water allocations were reduced, putting farmers in a bind.Reforms enacted in the mid-2000s allowed water prices to rise and fall in a market-based system and let farmers begin trading their water allocations. That gives them the flexibility to better manage their farms in dry years when water prices are high. They can still make money, for example, by not planting and selling their water allocation instead, or by selling part of their allocation and switching to more drought-tolerant crops, or even by buying a neighbor’s allocation to augment their own and going ahead with planting.The result was a 70 percent reduction in surface water used in agriculture from 2001 to 2008, Fargher said. Startlingly, however, agricultural production didn’t decline much, just 1 percent over the same period, showing both the inefficiency of the prior system and the ability of farmers to manage their business when given flexibility.“They were stuck in a rigid system where they were unable to reallocate resources,” Fargher said.The government has also moved to reclaim some water for environmental purposes in an effort to reverse the degradation of water-dependent ecosystems.John Briscoe, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, professor of the practice of environmental health in the Harvard School of Public Health, and director of the Harvard Water Security Initiative, hosted the event and praised Australia’s reforms. Over the last 20 years, he said, Australia has been one of the most interesting parts of the world with respect to water policy embedded in a larger economic policy.Australia’s boom-and-bust water landscape has been amply demonstrated in recent months, with several years of drought giving way to torrential rains and the most damaging floods in the nation’s history, punctuated by a monstrous early February cyclone that slammed the country with yet more rain, high winds, and flooding tides.last_img read more

Once Tony Nominee Cristin Milioti Joins NBC Rom-Com Pilot A to Z

first_img View Comments In addition to her starring role as Girl in the Tony-winning musical Once, Milioti also appeared on Broadway in The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Coram Boy. Her off-Broadway credits include Some Americans Abroad, Crooked, The Little Foxes, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Devil’s Disciple. On screen she has been seen in The Wolf of Wall Street, Sleepwalk With Me, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and Year of the Carnivore. Cristin Milioti Star Filescenter_img Once alum and current How I Met Your Mother star Cristin Milioti isn’t going to disappear from our TV sets anytime soon! According to, the Tony nominee has been cast as the co-lead in the comedy pilot A to Z, from actors/writers/exec producers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. NBC picked up the pilot, which navigates the complicated world of modern dating, last month. Written by Ben Queen (Cars 2), A to Z is a single-cam comedy set in the world of an online dating company that details the “A to Zs” of a relationship. The series follows a relationship between a young couple, Andrew and Zelda, from meeting to breakup, over the course of a season. Milioti will star as Zelda, “a lawyer who loves being a grown-up and doesn’t understand why anyone over 20 would go see an animated movie or eat ice cream sundaes.” The role of Andrew has not yet been cast.last_img read more

Catherine Walker Tapped to Star in A Gentleman’s Guide on B’way

first_img Written by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder follows Monty Navarro (Pinkham), a long-lost member of a noble family who stands to become the next Earl of Highhurst—if he can eliminate the eight other relatives (all played by Mays) who precede him in line for the title. The tuner received four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Walker has also appeared on Broadway in Mary Poppins and Ragtime. Other stage credits include The Sound of Music, Anything Goes, Phantom, Carousel, Show Boat and Brigadoon. DeNise comes to A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder directly from the original Great White Way cast of Kinky Boots. Related Shows A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder View Commentscenter_img The company currently additionally includes Jefferson Mays, Bryce Pinkham and Lisa O’Hare. As previously reported, Carole Shelley will also join the cast on October 28, taking over the role of Miss Shingle from Jane Carr. Catherine Walker will take over from Lauren Worsham as Phoebe D’Ysquith in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, beginning performances on October 28. Walker is part of the original cast of the production, playing Miss Barley, as well as understudying the role she is about to assume. Sandra DeNise will join the Great White Way company to take over Walker’s current role. Worsham will play her final performance on October 26 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 17, 2016last_img read more

Kate Baldwin Will Star in John & Jen Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Tony nominee Kate Baldwin will star in the Keen Company’s previously announced revival of John & Jen. The musical features music by Andrew Lippa, lyrics by Tom Greenwald and a book by both. The Jonathan Silverstein-helmed production will begin performances on February 10, 2015 and run through March 22. Opening night is set for February 26 at off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row.Baldwin most recently appeared on Broadway in Lippa’s Big Fish. She received a Tony nomination for her performance in Finian’s Rainbow and has also appeared on the Great White Way in Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Earlier this year, she starred in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Can-Can.John & Jen explores familial connections and commitments. It tells the story of Jen and her relationship with two Johns in her life: her younger brother and her son. The musical originally premiered off-Broadway in 1995. The Keen Company production will feature a new song titled “Trouble with Men.” Additional casting and creative team will be announced later. John & Jen View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on April 4, 2015 Star Files Kate Baldwinlast_img read more

Trail Mix – Zaq Suarez

first_imgZS – Si Amigo y no le digas a mama pero … ¡la marihuana es legal aquí! BRO – What do you miss most about Asheville? ZS – Absolutely. I’d say 99% of the songs I’ve released solo or with The Hermit Kings, I wrote in the mountains of western North Carolina. Specifically Asheville. There’s a rhythm to those mountains and a soothing energy that shaped my songwriting in a way that really allowed me to play off of silence. They say that a writer’s medium is the page but a musician’s blank page is silence, and that really resonated with me back home. Here, there’s a natural rhythm as well, but it’s different. It’s livelier and older somehow. Some of the songs I brought with me felt unfamiliar when I first played them here. The songs I’m writing now, and there’s been about fifteen in the first three months, have a new soul to them. It’s pure and exposed and a little breathier than my earlier writing. I hope this new feeling is present in the EP I plan to release this summer. BRO – La próxima vez que esté en Barcelona, ¿puedo comprarte una cerveza? ZS – People kept asking me, “What are your plans when you get to Spain. I generally replied with a shrug and, “Sometimes planes fall out of the sky.” It wasn’t until I was in line at the Newark airport that I found a place to stay here. A fan of my music that I’d only met once before offered me a room in his flat in Garcia (kind of like the Brooklyn of Barcelona) and we’ve become great friends since. For the kind of soul-searching I needed to do, I felt that I need to let fate sort of take the wheel. I guess when I stepped off the plane, the first thing I thought was, “I hope the jamon – a Spanish ham – is as good as they say it is.” And it totally is. If you happen to find yourself in Barcelona next week, Zaq will be playing a set at Big Bang Bar. If you’re like me, you’ll be hoping he ends up stateside in the not so distant future, particularly in the Western North Carolina region, and you can catch his songwriting wit here. I fell in love with the former Asheville based songwriter’s last band, The Hermit Kings, just before they disbanded. Since then, I managed to catch him live just once, though it was a terrific songwriter showcase that so aptly put on display Suarez’s songwriting acumen. I recently caught up with Zaq to chat about his move to Spain, his collaborations, and to drop my first ever Spanish Trail Mix question on him. ZS – Well, this latest EP is a collaborative effort between myself and four of my best friends, two girls and two boys. We all had some time this summer and decided to make a record. We called ourselves “In Between Jobs” for the fun of it. “Desperate Man” was a fun tune to write. It’s meant to be from two perspectives. The first is a man pleading with a woman and offering to be anything for her. He’s desperate for her, but his desperation gets him nowhere. The second is the woman’s perspective. She hardly knows this guy and sees him as a stalker. His intentions are good, but he’s not putting the effort in that’s needed to start a friendship or relationship, so she threatens him out of self-preservation. The brige is meant to be the fear of an undefined threat. It’s just a desperate man in the story, and there’s no real bad guy, just a misunderstanding and a lesson to be confident in yourself and communicate clearly. Regrettably, I hopped on the Zaq Suarez train a bit late.center_img “At some point, I could feel that the sponge of my soul was clogged thick with gunk and muck. I moved to a place where I only knew one person and didn’t speak the language, hoping to find an opportunity to wring out that puppy and get back to a pure version of myself.” BRO – Tell me about that moment you stepped off the plane in Spain? What was going through your head? BRO – We are featuring “Desperate Man” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song? BRO – Has the move supercharged your songwriting? Since I last saw him, Suarez his up and moved to Barcelona, Spain. According to Suarez, he just needed a change. Having been in Barcelona for a few months now, Suarez is experiencing a surge in creativity. He just released an EP with a project called Zaq Squares & In Between Jobs, which was recorded in Asheville last summer and features a cohort of musician friends. One of them, Raina Aguar, now lives in Spain and the two regularly collaborate still. And Suarez has yet another project in the works, Of The Stars, that is set to release an EP this summer. ZS – Damn. You trying to make me homesick? I really miss the mountains and my dear friends and, of course, that sweet lager bier, but what I maybe miss the most is the accent. I’ve made so many friends here from Belgium, Ukraine, France, Poland, England, Scotland, Uzbekistan, Canada, and Spain. They all tell me sooner or later that they couldn’t understand what I was saying until the second or third time we hung out. You don’t realize how many colloquialisms you use until you’re around people who can’t fathom them. My favorite thing that people don’t understand is the phrase “get outta here.” People get either really offended that you’re asking them to leave or they seem to get genuinely concerned that they have to leave where they are currently. It’s amazing and, after explained, always ends in a good laugh. In the meantime time, be sure to check out “Desperate Man” on this month’s Trail Mix. Take a listen to new cuts from Steve Poltz, The Moth & The Flame, Uncle Walt’s Band, and Over The Rhine while you are surfing through.last_img read more

Costa Rican Mayors Play Key Role in Fight Against Organized Crime: Police Chief

first_imgPolice have extended these initiatives to other neighborhoods in the southern region of Costa Rica, and the police response has helped improve public safety, Andrade said. By Dialogo July 15, 2015 I find this to be very unfair I’m Chilean, I wonder if other countries use their armies to fight crime because they don’t here. What is the reason against it? The origin of so many problems that affect Latin America is drug trafficking. Drugs seem to be the scourge that is putting an end to our societies. Money, sex and corruption come together like a death cocktail… “This group goes in for full containment of these criminal gangs and these red zones, these hot zones. The entire regional GAO is deployed for containment in the area, with support from the Police Intervention Unit (UPI) establishing police cordons on zones with high homicide impact, and we have started to work on illegal possession of weapons.” Local governments and their mayors can play a key role in the fight against organized crime, including drug trafficking and gang violence, according to Costa Rican Commissioner Juan José Andrade, director of the Public Police Force. Andrade added that it’s more than a Public Force issue. “It’s a challenge for the whole country,” he said. To maximize the effective use of law enforcement and social service resources against gangs, drug trafficking, and violence, mayors can “harmoniously bring all sectors together.” Addressing gang violence in southern Costa Rica “We’re realizing that since the citizen security issue is usually regarded as a multi-factor problem, the violence we’ve seen in the capital’s south justifies that type of response,” Andrade said. “And this, I believe, is the major challenge we face: that the citizen security issue, the human security issue must be dealt with by taking into account multiple factors. The whole response capability of all actors – social, economic, community – has to be combined in a single action plan, according to the reality of each municipality.” That challenge intensified in early 2014 after law enforcement authorities arrested two local alleged drug gang leaders in Desamparados. The suspects, known as “The Indian” (“El Indio”) and “The Chicken” (“El Pollo”), controlled drug dealing in that region. Since their capture, deputies of the two organizations and the leaders of other groups have fought for control of drug dealing territory in Desamparados, which has about 230,000 residents. That battle sparked a series of homicides: in 2014, Desamparados had a homicide rate of 17 killings per 100,000 people, compared to the national homicide rate of 6 per 100,000 residents. center_img As examples, Andrade referred to the densely populated, southern San José sectors of Desamparados, where the territorial gang war began in early 2014, and Alajuelita, one of the areas where the violence has since spread. Costa Rican mayors will be key participants in a series of public forums scheduled by security authorities in September to discuss the best ways to maintain public safety, Andrade told Diálogo. The goals of the events, which will also involve international security analysts, includes stopping the spread of urban violence and drug dealing. The leadership of local officials is instrumental in coordinating a cooperative effort against organized crime, the police director told Diálogo. Costa Rica abolished its Armed Forces in 1948, and depends on civilian law enforcement officers to ensure public safety. Today, the Costa Rican police are working diligently to stop violence in the southern region of the country that is a consequence of an ongoing battle for control of drug sales between rival gangs. Working with local mayors, police have responded promptly to the increase in violence, deploying special law enforcement units, including the elite Operational Support Group (GAO). The GAO focuses on neighborhoods where drug gangs are active. “This, I believe, is a challenge we all must face regarding the country’s future, because what’s happening in Desamparados and what’s happening in Alajuelita can happen at any moment in other cities. The only thing needed in this business is to have a market.” Both mayors and security officials in Costa Rica are paying particular attention to gang violence and drug dealing in urban areas. last_img read more

Latin Roots Help Promote US Army South, Latin American Synergy

first_imgBy Specialist Miguel Ruiz, U.S. Army South June 24, 2019 “Juntos Podemos,” shouted Brigadier General Irene Zoppi, director for the Army Reserve engagement cell & deputy commanding general – Army Reserve for U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH), into a flock of microphones aimed at her during the closing ceremony of Hmanitarian Allied Forces 2019 (FAHUM). Members of the media, military and nongovernmental personnel in attendance erupted into applause in an audible display of solidarity. Those words “Juntos Podemos”, which in English translate to Together We Can, are ARSOUTH’s slogan and represent the mission behind the multinational disaster-relief exercise, FAHUM 19, held in the Dominican Republic. Brig. Gen. Zoppi, who is a native of Puerto Rico and learned English as a second language, spoke passionately about the importance of Latin American relations with the United States. “The challenge that natural disasters represent for our social structures calls for us to maintain the forged relationship between all who have participated in this exercise,” said Brig. Gen. Zoppi. “Strengthening our trust and cooperation between us will allow us to assure a response to the disasters of the hemisphere.” Over 100 national disaster-relief experts from 13 Latin American countries participated in the exercise, rehearsed and refined disaster-relief protocols in large-scale simulations. “We try to put into practice civil and military responses to emergencies that could affect our country,” said Brigadier General Juan Manuel Méndez García, director of the Emergency Operations Center for the Dominican Republic, in a press conference where he called on Dominican Republic citizens to participate in the exercise. “For us to be better prepared, we want to simulate an earthquake across the country,” said Brig. Gen. Méndez. Brig. Gen. Zoppi, senior ARSOUTH representative for FAHUM 19, expressed the importance of such large-scale preparedness at the closing ceremony of the exercise. In Spanish, Brig. Gen. Zoppi said “a natural disaster of great magnitude does not have borders as it can impact not only one country but also a complete region.” “This without any doubt will generate the need to provide an effective response for the entire region and will only be efficient if we plan and train ahead of any natural disaster to come,” she added. Brig. Gen. Zoppi, who speaks four languages, noted that being culturally diverse and culturally aware, helps to enhance the relations and efficiency of exercises like FAHUM 19. “We must continue to work together in partnership by broadening our perspective and learning from each other,” said Brig. Gen. Zoppi. ARSOUTH and its Latin American partner nations have collaborated for 20 years at similar disaster-relief exercises and exercise FAHUM 2020 is currently set to occur in Costa Rica. “The meaning of cooperation, collaboration and solidarity is all about harnessing the power of one. Juntos Podemos. Together We Can!”last_img read more

Court gives ‘silenced’ children the right to be heard

first_img April 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Court gives ‘silenced’ children the right to be heard Associate EditorFoster children have a right to a lawyer and meaningful opportunity to be heard at a hearing before they can be sent to a residential mental health treatment facility against their will, the Florida Supreme Court ruled.The 5-2 opinion (case number SC00-2044, Amendment to Rules of Juvenile Procedure, 8.350, March 6) written by Justice Barbara Pariente, was hailed as a groundbreaking decision recognizing that foster children have rights, too.The opinion carried out a recommendation of The Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children that concluded its three-year study last year.“As a lawyer who has represented many of these ‘throwaway’ children over the years, this is a groundbreaking victory for several hundred foster children committed each year by DCF to residential treatment centers throughout Florida, where they are warehoused, forgotten, and sometimes even abused by their caretakers,” said Bernard Perlmutter, a member of the Bar’s commission and director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Children and Youth Law Clinic.But two justices — Major Harding and Charles Wells — questioned the court’s authority to mandate a right to counsel by rule. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Wells questioned the necessity of adding yet another lawyer in a courtroom already crowded with counsel in what is supposed to be a nonadversarial proceeding.The case that first brought the issue to the high court was M.W. v Davis and DCF, 756 So. 2d 90 (Fla. 2000). In 1998, the 15-year-old child, M.W., had asked a Miami-Dade County circuit judge to hold a hearing before committing him to a locked psychiatric center under the Baker Act. But that judge responded, “I don’t have time to have a hearing just so he can exercise his constitutional rights.”Perlmutter, one of M.W.’s lawyers, applauded the majority opinion for “paving new ground” for this class of foster children that he called “the most invisible and silenced children in our legal system.”“The decision acknowledges the therapeutic benefits of providing due process for these children, in that it recognizes the importance of the child who is facing residential placement believing that he or she has a voice and that his or her views matter.”The decision also benefits “the system,” Perlmutter said, because it allows the court to consider whether costly residential placement is the best treatment and least restrictive alternative available.“Our decision to adopt a rule that requires the appointment of counsel when the child objects to placement is consistent with the recommendations made in the final report of The Florida Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, which studied issues relating to the representation of children over a three-year period,” Justice Pariente wrote.“In its report, issued in June 2002, the commission recommended that counsel be mandatory for children in cases where the state seeks commitment of dependent children to residential mental health treatment facilities.”“I am pleased that the work and recommendations of the members of The Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children are being considered,” responded Sandy Karlan, 11th circuit judge and chair of the commission.“The members worked very hard, along with the youth members, to propose recommendations that would allow all of the children’s needs in the legal system to be met, including their right to be heard.”The Department of Children & Families was opposed to giving such mentally ill children lawyers and a pre-commitment hearing, arguing there would not be enough attorneys available to handle the cases, and they feared children in crisis would suffer while judges search for attorneys willing to take the cases.“We conclude that this fear is unfounded,” the majority opinion stated. “The children the department seeks to commit to a residential facility constitute a small percentage of the total of dependent children.”During 1999-2000, 392 dependent children were placed in residential treatment facilities, and there were 518 the following year, according to DCF figures supplied to the court. Some of those children had court-appointed attorneys.“There are a multitude of sources of experienced attorneys that can be tapped by judges to represent children in Rule 8.350 proceedings,” Justice Pariente continued, listing legal services programs, five law schools with clinical programs specializing in children’s advocacy, and experienced attorneys willing to take cases as part of their pro bono service.The Bar’s commission reported to the court demonstrating that there are attorneys with dependency training and experience in each of the department’s districts.As for funding additional attorneys, Justice Pariente noted that last year the Florida Legislature appropriated $7.5 million to the guardian ad litem programs for representing children in Chapter 39 proceedings, and that chapter governs proceedings related to the placement of dependent children into residential treatment facilities.“Thus, it is possible that a portion of the funding appropriated by the legislature and approved by Gov. Bush could be used as a source to pay those attorneys who are appointed to represent dependent children in Rule 8.350 proceedings as mandated by this rule,” the opinion suggests.Though the majority of the justices agreed there are ample attorneys to fill this new role, the rule has a mechanism to allow a judge to place the child in a treatment facility immediately “if the child’s condition is so severe that he or she will be harmed by waiting for a placement hearing.”Another part of the rule allows a judge to hold the pre-commitment hearing without a lawyer for the child if the judge determines “the child will be harmed if the hearing is postponed.”However, the court said the child must be present at the hearing and be afforded an opportunity to be heard.“Affording the child the opportunity to speak in the absence of counsel will serve the aforementioned goals of providing the court with the maximum information possible and the child with the assurance that he or she is being listened to and that his or her opinion counts,” the majority opinion states.If counsel is not available at the time of the hearing, the attorney for the child should be appointed as soon as possible, with a provision for an additional hearing.The new Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.350 becomes effective immediately, and the justices said “we express no opinion as to its constitutionality.”That the majority did not set forth a constitutional or statutory basis for requiring attorneys be appointed to such children concerned both Justices Harding and Wells.Senior Justice Harding concurred in part and dissented in part.“Absent reliance upon such a basis, I do not think this court has the authority, by rule, to require trial judges to appoint counsel for dependent children facing commitment to treatment facilities,” Justice Harding wrote.“In addition, there are no statutory provisions for compensation of counsel appointed pursuant to the rule adopted by the majority.”He disagreed that the pre-commitment hearing required by this rule is a “dependency proceeding” pursuant to Chapter 39.As Harding stated in his earlier concurring opinion when the matter first came before the court, dependent children who are involuntarily placed in treatment facilities under F.S. §39.407(5) (2002) are given less protection than children who are civilly committed under the Baker Act, which requires that a public defender be appointed.Justice Harding urged the legislature to rectify that disparity in the statutes.“Until such time, I simply do not believe this court can, by rule, require the appointment of counsel in these cases.”In his dissenting opinion, Justice Wells noted the Juvenile Court Rules Committee had rejected the “material part” of the rule by a vote of 18 to seven.“I know of no authority for this court to mandate the appointment of counsel by rule when there is no constitutional requirement for counsel,” Wells wrote.Questioning whether there are enough lawyers to take these cases, Justice Wells wrote, “Clearly, money appropriated by the legislature for the guardian ad litem program cannot be properly redirected from that program without legislative approval.“I am concerned that this rule will be an overwhelming and frustrating burden for the dependency court judges, who will have an ongoing responsibility to search for attorneys in order to comply with this rule,” said Wells.He likened it to the burden on the court in the early ’80s when it recruited a group of pro bono lawyers to handle death penalty appeals.“I believe the lesson from that experience was that the only effective way that counsel can be made available is through the cooperation of the legislative and executive branches of state government for these types of situations,” Justice Wells concluded. “To date, neither of the other branches have been convinced of the need for such counsel.”And, Wells acknowledged, neither does he.“.. . I have a continuing real question as to the need for this additional lawyer. There will now be a mandated court procedure in which the child has a lawyer, the guardian ad litem has a lawyer, the parents have a lawyer (often each parent has a lawyer), and the Department of Children and Families has a lawyer — in a situation which is intended to be nonadversarial. That does not seem to me the way this should work.” Court gives ‘silenced’ children the right to be heardlast_img read more

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