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O.C. Ecumenical Council Gives Thanks

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first_imgDottie Cianci, coordinator of the Ecumenical Council’s Food Cupboard, and Dave Carter, former president of the Ocean City Board of Realtors, inspect donated items during a food drive. By MADDY VITALEThere is a room tucked inside St. Peter’s United Methodist Church that is often filled with food donated by the public.The room is used by the Ocean City Ecumenical Council, an association of local churches that helps families in need.Each year, the Ecumenical Council provides food and clothing to people in the community, with the help of local groups, organizations, residents and volunteers.In 2019, the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard distributed food to 1,725 clients, including home delivery to the homebound. The Clothes Closet helped 2,924 clients with 25,000 articles of clothing, shoes and linens, according to statistics from the Ecumenical Council.More than 2,300 Acme supermarket gift cards were distributed throughout the year and 12,000 pounds of food was collected as a result of the Ecumenical Council’s partnership with two Ocean City Post Office food drives.Regina Ralston, who is in charge of public relations for the Ecumenical Council, explained that all of this is possible in part because of three people who continue to be instrumental in the Ecumenical Council’s success.They are Carol Piechoski, president of the Council, Rissa Trofa, coordinator of the Clothes Closet, and Dottie Cianci, coordinator of the Food Cupboard.“These three women have been involved with this for many years and work tirelessly to make things happen,” Ralston said.The Clothes Closet distributes 25,000 articles of clothing, linens and shoes to those in need each year. (Photo Ecumenical Council Facebook page)Cianci began her journey at the Ecumenical Council about 17 years ago. As a member of Holy Trinity Church, her fellow parishioners and friends started the program.“They encouraged me to get involved and I did. I enjoy it. I think every little bit helps. We want people to know that,” she said.While the Ecumenical Council members and volunteers work hard to help those less fortunate, they are always looking for more people to give a hand, Cianci noted.She said this year, the Council wants to reach more people to let them know what it does and how they could give assistance.“We encourage people to help,” Cianci said. “Anyone can join in. We are really trying to get more people involved and tell more people what we do.”Specifically, she said, the Council is looking for more businesses to partner with for the food and clothing drives.The Council already works well in several partnerships, including with real estate offices in town, civic groups and organizations.The partnerships have been monumental in the Council’s mission to help as many people in need as possible, Cianci explained.Each year, the Ocean City Board of Realtors teams up with the Ecumenical Council for clothing and food drives that have been very successful.American Legion Post 524 in Ocean City also works with the Ecumenical Council. The Ocean City High School Student Council also helps out during the food drives, Cianci said.Making sure everyone has food and clothing are the goals, not just during the clothing and food drives several times a year, but all year, she pointed out.“We have quite a few people to help with the food drives. We are always happy when the kids come. We get the Boy Scouts, Key Club and Student Council. We need the help,” Cianci said.Hoping to recruit more volunteers, Cianci stressed that more men are needed to assist the Council during food deliveries. The Council delivers food and other necessities to housing complexes in town and also to residents who are homebound.In a thank you note sent to all of the participating churches to be published in their bulletins, the Council wrote, “Because of the generosity of your contributions, time and talent, the Ocean City Ecumenical Council has helped so many in our community this past year.”The Ecumenical Council food drive gets some help from volunteers in December 2019. (Photo courtesy Ecumenical Council Facebook Page)last_img read more

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Financial gain trumps espionage as top motivator in cyber attacks: Report

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first_imgThe report found that 86 percent of breaches were for money, not for purposes of spying. Credential theft, phishing and compromising business emails caused 67 percent of the cyber attacks. As more businesses moved to web-based solutions, so did hackers. According to the report, breaches on web and cloud applications rose to 43 percent, double the previous year. Companies like Facebook Inc and Salesforce have extended working remotely to at least the rest of the year, with more businesses expected to follow suit. Verizon Business Group CEO Tami Erwin said the “digital transformation” to the work-from-home model during the coronavirus pandemic has presented a number of security red flags. “A lot of people ended up sending workers to work from home without really thinking through what were some of the security elements in the future,” Erwin told Reuters. “I think employees working from home are probably more vulnerable to attacks.” Erwin said businesses can protect themselves from cyber attacks by keeping employees educated on phishing and other fraudulent tactics to access sensitive information.Topics : Money trumped spying as the top motivator for data breaches last year, according to Verizon’s annual report on cyber crimes published on Tuesday. About nine out of 10 breaches were financially motivated, based on an examination of more than 32,000 incidents and nearly 4,000 confirmed break-ins in 81 countries, the report said. Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that confirmed data breaches doubled from the prior year. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people indoors, cyber attacks on businesses are expected to climb. last_img read more

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Los Angeles choreographers create open-air dance performances

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first_imgProfessors Alison D’Amato and Patrick Corbin from the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and Timothy Stanton from USC Libraries, have been organizing this event since early 2019. Their goal was to host an outdoor exhibition that shows students what they can create using the video and visual materials from the recently debuted USC Dance Heritage Video Archive and similar library materials.  Pedestrians in the McCarthy Quad, Alumni Park and E.F. Hutton Park will find their regular routes obstructed Thursday at noon by crowds who come to watch the work of Los Angeles-based artists in the Visions and Voices program “Dancing the Archives: Emerging Choreographers and Living History.” L.A.-based artists Chris Emile, Jinglin Liao and Marina Magalhães, who were selected from an application process, were encouraged to use the DHVA, the USC ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the California Historical Society Collection and the Los Angeles City Archives to inspire their new work specific to their presentation locations at the University Park Campus. ‘Dancing the Archives’ panel and related performances use the art form and other interactive experiences to inspire students to use library research and materials in their academic endeavors. (Photo courtesy of Visions and Voices) “This is just sort of an access point to research in general and using archive material for research whether it’s [for] research to do a performative piece or a paper or an article, whatever you’re doing … in any area of study,” Corbin said. “Our entry point is dance, so we thought that that would be … a fun way to get people in to start engaging with archives in general.”  Liao takes a different approach to choreographing her work. The artist said she draws inspiration from animals’ sensitivity, robotic movements and rapid decisions between action and inaction.  “It’s not like going to a theater and seeing a dance that would look the same in this theater as it would across town, as it would in another state,” D’Amato said. “These are works that are responding to the location.” Location is an especially important concept for Magalhães, who used DHVA artist Tonio Guerra’s piece “Snip, Rip, Rumble” in combination with topographical maps and materials that show the relationships between Native Americans and early settlers in California. Magalhães said her work draws upon her relationship with her birthplace in Brazil and discussions about privilege, and she was especially interested in creating a piece that drew upon similar themes of ancestry and diaspora for Thursday’s upcoming performance. “We’re dancing under a big open sky, there’s trees, the elements are super present,” Magalhães said. “Something that I work with a lot is being able to pull from my own African and indigenous ancestry, as a Latin American person, to inform the dance practice and understanding that a lot of these ancestral spiritual traditions are connected to the earth, and understanding that these elements are sacred and we are extensions of these elements, and therefore our bodies are also sacred.” Inspired by Latsky and Goldhuber’s piece “I Hate Modern Dance” in the DHVA, Liao introduces playfulness and audience participation in her work. Her piece aims to engage the audience as it moves viewers around McCarthy Quad, and dancers may draw clueless passersby into the evolving performance as Liao and another dancer act and react to the busy campus around them. Liao said she will use this freedom to pull passersby from the high-traffic crossroads of McCarthy Quad and transport the audience to the center of her piece during the middle of her performance. Magalhães said she will use her dancing outdoors as a way to connect to tradition and spawn memory to land that once belonged to other people. center_img Liao said she was inspired by the emphasis on action and reaction in the archival materials she used and that her performance will employ similar gestures that act upon passersby and respond to their unpredictable reactions. Because it is impossible to choreograph strangers’ movements, the duet must improvise its performance as it navigates McCarthy Quad and its paths and daily traffic that ceases for no one. “Bebe is really well-known for doing projects that engage with questions around not only the documentation of choreographic work but how that can take new life,” D’Amato said. “So it’s not just about having a dance that gets documented and preserved and kind of locked away, but it’s really about engaging with the practice of archival and engaging with questions about memory and its relationship to the body.” Through her piece “Circular” or “Circling Home,” Magalhães said she hopes to create a performance that prompts viewers to question their individual journeys, purpose and relationship with the ground under them. Her work asks audiences to rethink their assumptions, their motives and the extent to which they connect with their ancestral lineage. “I follow the muscle and sometimes, I need to stop and I need jump out of this and then [into] something new,” Liao said. “There’s always … an outside eye who is watching. And for me, when I’m dancing, sometimes I’m completely inside it and sometimes I’m jumping out of myself and watching myself dancing.”  In addition to engaging with the archives, artists will interact with their chosen sites to create original performances catered to their surroundings. Interaction with audience members and surrounding elements will look different depending on each artist’s creative vision.  “I believe there is no such thing as apolitical art,” Magalhães said. “I think all art is political. Even the very decision to call yourself an apolitical artist is already a political stance, so I think it’s inevitable that all performance, all art, is evoking a certain kind of politics.” Following the open-air performances, a panel featuring the artists and moderated by choreographer Bebe Miller will discuss the ways students and community members can embark on their own projects using tools in the DHVA. Jinglin Liao (pictured) pulls inspiration from the alert instincts of animals in her performance and choreograpahy. (Photo courtesy of Monique Corrales) Corbin and D’Amato hope that this visual display will inspire students to conduct their own research and create similar original pieces within their own disciplines.last_img read more

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