Monday, September 26, 2011
The Daily Tar Heel
Fiction writer Al Young toreceive Thomas Wolfe Prize
Writer Al Young will presenta free lecture Oct. 4 as the 2011Thomas Wolfe Prize recipient. Young — who has publishedfive novels — will speak at theHistoric Playmakers Theatre at7:30 p.m.The prize is sponsored by theUNC English and comparativeliterature department and theMorgan Writer-in-ResidenceProgram. Young has also publishedpoetry, fiction, nonfiction,criticism, personal essays andscreenplays.Ben Jones of Hendersonville,a 1950 UNC graduate, endowedthe prize money for the award.
Model wellness curriculumsuccessful, research shows
UNC researchers tested theinstallment and effects of amodel system in psychosocialrehabilitation clubhouses thatpromotes healthiness and urgestobacco users to quit.Study results showed reducedtobacco use for clubhouse mem- bers. The program also helpedadvance policy changes forsmoke-free living.The model curriculum,“Learning About Healthy Living,”uses support groups to promote wellness and motivation in club-house tobacco users.Clubhouse staff said the cur-riculum spurred other healthy changes: the implementationof walking groups, tobacco-freeareas and more.Information was gatheredfrom staff interviews and surveysof 271 clubhouse clients fromnine different clubhouses inNorth Carolina.The North Carolina Healthand Wellness Trust Fund provid-ed seed funding for the program.Results are published in theSeptember issue of BMC PublicHealth.
Roll-cart pilot program tobegin enforcing on Monday
The town will begin issuingcitations to residents who leavetrash containers on the side of the road after 7 p.m. on the day of collection.The pilot program looksto identify violators in theNorthside and Pine Knolls neigh- borhoods. Violators will get a $25citation that must be paid orappealed within 30 days. If thefine is not paid, an additional$25 will be applied for every day it remains outstanding.The program is meant toimprove the look and feel of theneighborhoods and the flow of traffic.
Hillsborough will conduct adowntown traffic study
The Town of Hillsboroughhired Kimley-Horn Associatesto conduct a traffic study of thedowntown area during the last week of September.The complete study is expect-ed to last six months. With theresearch, the town hopes to iden-tify a variety of small projectsto ease congestion at ChurtonStreet.The recommended projects will be taken as alternatives tothe Elizabeth Brady Road exten-sion plan.The study will be carried out by field workers and electronicmonitors, which pick up onanonymous Bluetooth signals.The signals will come from thedrivers’ electronics but will notprovide any personal informa-tion.The data collected will provideinformation on traffic flow at dif-ferent hours, at key points andthe time taken to travel.
Battle Branch pedestrianbridge to close in October
The Chapel Hill Parks andRecreation Department will begin a project to replace thepedestrian bridge on the BattleBranch Trail.The project will completely replace the bridge built in the1980s with a new bridge and boardwalk that will have less of an impact on the trail.The town said the new struc-tures will be built from superiormaterials.The contractor expects to begin work on Tuesday and theexisting bridge will likely beremoved by Oct. 3, consequently closing the trail at this point.The town advises residentsnot to attempt to cross the bridgeduring construction.
- From staff and wire reports
By Madeline Will
CHARLOTTE — Student leadersgathered Saturday in Charlotte to dis-cuss funding allocations and lobbyingtactics for the academic year.Members of the UNC Associationof Student Governments discussedawarding a grant to Appalachian StateUniversity to help the campus in aninternational competition.The association, made up of studentdelegates from all 17 UNC-systemschools, meets monthly at a differentcampus throughout the state. Travelcosts and officer stipends are paid for with an annual $1 student fee from allsystem students.Members proposed using ASG’spool of money meant for cam-pus innovation grants — a total of $10,000 — to a particular schoolinstead of multiple ones.In past years, selected campuseshave received up to $1,000 each fromthe grant.But Atul Bhula, the association’spresident, said he could raise thatlimit if needed.This year, ASG might allot theentire fund to ASU for a projectits students entered in the U.S.Department of Energy’s SolarDecathlon competition.“It’s a huge competition,” saidLauren Estes, ASU’s student body pres-ident. “It’s the equivalent of winning anational football championship.”The contest includes a mix of inter-national collegiate teams competing todesign and build energy-efficient solar-powered houses. ASU is the only uni- versity from North Carolina competing.“This is not just an Appalachianthing,” said Bhula, who is an MBA stu-dent at ASU. “This is our state.”Estes said once the competition isover, ASU’s team will travel across thestate showcasing the house. But thehouse is currently in Washington, D.C., waiting to be judged, and Estes said theteam lacks the money to move it back toNorth Carolina when the competitionends this week.“At this point, we’re scraping the bot-tom of the barrel with funding,” she said.Members also debated the associa-tion’s lobbying efforts.Kevin Kimball, a delegate fromUNC-CH, sponsored the Keep It Local Act — a bill that would prevent ASGfrom lobbying at the federal level tosave money. ASG’s last advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., in January 2009cost the association $26,000, withcosts from participants bringing thetotal to more than $50,000. And some members said they want tofocus on being effective at the state level.“We haven’t perfected what ASGdoes in North Carolinian politics,” saidMary Cooper, UNC-CH’s student body president.But Bhula is planning to take about20 students to Washington this springto lobby for higher education.The legislative and public affairscommittee tabled Kimball’s bill untilnext month.
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By Brian Fanney
A Chapel Hill program to encourage energy efficiency is set to provide less funding — but wider availability — than during its first stageafter tonight’s Town Council meeting.Chapel Hill launched the WorthwhileInvestments Save Energy (WISE) program, which helps subsidize homeowners’ energy effi-ciency improvements, in March 2011 using a$455,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.So far, nearly 100 homes in Chapel Hill havereceived energy assessments and 51 of thosehomes have committed to subsidized improve-ments using the program. After the large response, the town could mod-ify the program to allow more homes to benefit.The council might approve a resolution that would set the subsidy homeowners can receivefor improvements 5 to 10 percentage pointslower than in the program’s first phase.The measure would also reduce the maximumamount the town will pay out to homeownersfrom $5,000 in the first stage to $1,500 in thesecond.
Program benefits for efficiency
To participate in the WISE program, a hom-eowner must have an energy audit to find how to best improve efficiency. If those improvements will decrease the home’s electricity bill by 15percent, the homeowner can receive subsidies topursue them on a first-come basis.Phase one of the program offers a 50 per-cent subsidy for duct systems and insulationimprovements and a 25 percent subsidy forimprovements to heating, air conditioning,appliances, lighting and hot water heaters.Those numbers could decrease to 40 and 20percent for phase two.“Our list consists of those measures thatgive the best bang for the buck,” said JohnRichardson, sustainability officer for the town of Chapel Hill.Rainer Dammers, a Southern Village hom-eowner, installed a $23,670 solar energy systemand will pay only $6,214 after incentives fromfederal, state and local governments.Dammers was also able to regain 50 percentof the cost for fixing leaky ducts and insulationgaps through WISE program rebates.“A 50 percent subsidy is quite significant. You can do more than otherwise you wouldhave wanted to do all by yourself and get betterresults,” Dammers said.
Not the only decreasing rebate
Before the introduction of the WISE program,Dammers made efficiency upgrades, includinglighting and window improvements, with helpfrom federal and state rebates.But Tom Simchak, senior research associate at Washington, D.C. based Alliance to Save Energy,said federal tax credits for items like energy-sav-ing insulation, doors and windows might expireat the end of the year.“Right now Congress is thinking about otherthings,” he said. “There’s a whole lot more actiongoing on at the state and local level.”Dammers said he would have waited forsolar systems to be more cost effective, but was worried that government rebates might disap-pear.“What made my decision was concern withthe political shift and the financial struggles onthe federal and state levels.”
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By Katherine Proctor
Assistant Arts Editor
Heads up — this one’s ascreamer. An assortment of moans,groans and yelps — male andfemale, electrically and manu-ally induced — is the chorus forPlayMakers Repertory Company’sproduction of “In the Next Room(or the vibrator play).”The play, written by SarahRuhl, blends a Victorian set-ting and modern comedy in itsstory about the vibrator’s early use to “release excess fluid in the womb,” a cure for hysteria.In capitalizing on the play’srampant sexual humor, the pro-duction is successful.But it leans a little too hard onthe shock value, and the script’sdeeper issues — like racial ten-sions, suppressed homosexuality and a mother’s failure to connect with her baby — take a back seat.The play’s action never leavesthe home of the vibrator’s keeper,Dr. Givings, whose operating the-ater and living room share a wall.The show starts sluggishly.
courtesy of sarah ruhl
Kelsey Didion stars as Mrs. Givings and Matt Garner stars as Leo Irvingin PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “In the Next Room”.
Visit theCanvas blog at dailytar-heel.com for more onwhat’s in the next room.
see the play
Tues. through Sat. at7:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. at 2p.m. until Oct. 9
Paul Green Theatre
By Chelsea Bailey
UNC Hospitals officials celebrated the first day of thefall season by warning against a different kind of fall.Falls Prevention Awareness Day, held Friday, aimed tohighlight the risk factors for falling amongst the elderly.Richard Wall, 67, showcased his renewed sense of balance at the Falls Awareness Fair, joking while stand-ing on one foot that he wouldn’t fall. After falling in his apartment last April, Wall under- went several sessions of physical and occupationaltherapy at the UNC’s Geriatric Specialty Clinic.“All those commercials with, ‘Help, I’ve fallen and Ican’t get up,’ — trust me, they are true,” he said.“I crashed down on the floor. Very fortunately, I hadmy cellphone with me, and I could call the ambulanceand a friend,” he said.Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead, director of the UNCCenter for Aging and Health, said people aged 65 andolder living alone are 30 to 40 percent more likely tofall. That likelihood increases to 50 percent when theelderly move to long-term care facilities.Busby-Whitehead said there are multiple risk fac-tors that lead to falls, including memory loss, cognitiveimpairment, vision loss and medical conditions likediabetes that can result in a loss of feeling in the legs andfeet.But the most common and most treatable cause of falling, she said, is medication.“There are a number of different types of drugs thataffect the central nervous system, and they are the onesmost commonly associated with falls,” Busby-Whiteheadsaid.“The greatest prevention tool is being seen by a physi-cian.”Tiffany Shubert, an adjunct assistant professor in thedivision of physical therapy, said studies show a stronglink between exercise and cognition in reducing the riskof falling.“If you focus on anything from walking and talkingto just walking around, you improve balance,” Shubertsaid.She said exercises like balancing on one foot or walk-ing around a room with the aid of a walker can improvemuscle strength and coordination. Wall said since his fall, he has realized how easy it isto take walking for granted.“There are days when I’d rather sit here,” he said.“It would be easy to give up and just let people dostuff for you, but that’s not a lot of fun.”Busby-Whitehead said she hopes increasing aware-ness about fall causes will reduce the number of patientstreated for injuries.“It’s a major problem that threatens the indepen-dence of older people,” she said.“Aging alone doesn’t cause this. There are multiplecauses, and there are things we can do to prevent andtreat falls.”
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Richard Wall walks with physical therapist Tiffany Shubertat the Fall Safety event at the Neuroscience Hospital.
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“In the Next Room (or thevibrator play)”PlayMakers Repertory CompanySept. 24, 7 p.m.
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Its first act contains tediousmoments where virtually noth-ing is happening on stage besides a woman removing lay-ers of clothing.Characters shuffle in and outof the house, between the livingroom and the “next room,” intoand out of their clothes, fromfrustration to ecstasy. Watchingthe action feels like watchingan assembly line in an orgasmfactory.In the second act, the show begins to accelerate toward itsclimax, which features full nudi-ty and snowstorm coitus.Despite trouble projectingher lines, Kelsey Didion embod-ies the flighty Mrs. Givings, a woman who can’t connect withher husband, can’t nurse her baby and can’t get off.Her desperation becomesevident in her interactions withKatie Paxton’s Mrs. Daldry, achildlike waif who becomesaddicted to her treatments andrelentlessly finds excuses toreturn to the Givings’ house foranother hit.Didion and Paxton are acharming pair, giggling glee-fully as they sneak into the “nextroom” and use the machine to doeach other favors.It is truly heartwarming to watch Paxton brandish the vibrator and thrust it betweenher friend’s legs — out of thegoodness of her heart.Didion anchors the produc-tion without commanding it.Though she is not always thecenter of the action, she is alwaysin it — even if she has to picklocks to get there.But the standout of the pro-duction is Annie, played by UNCdrama professor Julie Fishell. As Dr. Givings’ nurse, Fishelldisplays impressive range. Herperformance determinedly pleasuring Mrs. Daldry is asdelightful as her weeps for lostlove are touching.Matthew Greer is both ador-able and pitiable in his role asDr. Givings.His earnest attempts todivorce physicality from emo-tions provide an ideological corefor the production. He is trappedin a pattern of packaging andclassifying pieces of his life,afraid to let them mix.It is not until his sex-starved wife leads him into the gardenand proceeds to mount him thathe begins to break free from thismindset.Though choppy at times, “Inthe Next Room” is well-executed.It is a play about liberation — notonly in the female sense, but alsofrom societal compartments.The characters learn to gettheir hands dirty, and that aspectof the production, if anything, will keep people coming.
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