A generous Jilly’s customer spurred an extra spirit of giving by the Boardwalk shop owners this summer. (Photos courtesy JASM Consulting) By Maddy VitaleJilly’s Ice Cream Factory on the Ocean City Boardwalk has a lot of faithful customers.But there is one patron who not only appreciates the chilled treats but is making sure others can have a taste of their own.And it is all on him.On July 16 the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Jilly’s employees that he would randomly buy people ice cream throughout the day.That he did, helping 56 people to frozen treats to the tune of $582.He told the employee not to tell anyone who he was or what he was doing because he was just looking to pay it forward, said Jody Levchuk, whose family owns the Jilly’s business empire on the Boardwalk.“The most important thing is, I can tell you 1,000 percent that this happened. The person wants to be nameless,” Levchuk said Tuesday. “It is very important because he plans on doing this often. All the kids know who he is, but it is important.”When Levchuk heard about the generous act, he was inspired to do some pay it forward activities at Jilly’s businesses.He assembled his team and together they came up with some ideas of how to create excitement and please Jilly’s customers this summer. Some contests were done successfully last year but improved this year, he explained.“We have a good team of people who think outside the box,” Levchuk noted.There was the “Free Ice Cream For The Rest of The Summer” contest in which three lucky customers won free ice cream from Jilly’s Ice Cream Factory for the rest of the summer.“All we wanted to know were two things. We asked them to join our mailing list and write down and submit their favorite ice cream. Three random people were selected,” Levchuk said.JASM Consulting did the contest and awarded vouchers to the winners.Then there are some whimsical contests that incorporate, for example, the mascot of Jilly’s French Fry Factory, “Fry Guy.”The scavenger hunt-style game coincided with National French Fry Day July 13. Jilly’s gave out free fries for the day and held a weeklong contest.Clues gave people an idea where “Fry Guy” might be hidden in Ocean City. The grand prizes were Jilly’s gift cards ranging from $20 to $100 and they went to five people.And Levchuk said the team is bringing it back for another similar game involving the mascot sometime before Labor Day.“Everyone loves “Fry Guy. Our next contest we might do virtual. People out of town sent us messages saying it wasn’t fair that they couldn’t do the contest,” he said.Clues led winners to the Ocean City Municipal Airport, where Fry Guy was propped up with a gift card.“It was fun. People were into it,” Levchuk said.The Jilly’s Arcade Fun Cards is running a special in which anyone who puts $100 on the game card, gets an additional $25 to play added to the card.It’s a great way for parents to give their kids money to play games and not have to worry about it being lost.All the parent, guardian or child has to do is take a photo of the Fun Card capturing its serial number and if it gets lost, they would just have to report it to Jilly’s and supply the number. Jilly’s Arcade will supply a new card with the balance on the card.The Fun Cards were new this season and Levchuk said families are taking advantage of them because of the benefits.Families make their candy apples at Jilly’s Candy Factory during Family Night in 2018.Ocean City’s Family Night on Thursdays through the summer is a favorite of the Levchuk family because they can showcase their family friendly atmosphere at all of their Boardwalk businesses.Jilly’s Candy Factory is hosting free candy apple decorating every Thursday in August from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for all ages.Levchuk said he likes Family Night because there are a host of activities and entertainment that bring families to the Boardwalk.“We think it ties in nicely with Family Night. This is the second year we are having it,” Levchuk said of the candy apple decorating event. “It went over really well last year.”The first 100 people get to pick an apple and chocolate and they get to choose from a variety of candies and treats.“People could take the candy apples home or eat them there,” Levchuk said. “We play good music and it’s just a nice thing for families to do.”For more information about Jilly’s businesses visit www.jillysocnj.com“Fry Guy” is spotted at the Ocean City Municipal Airport.
The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that the annual Spring Block Party scheduled for May 2 has been canceled due to social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control to help stop the spread of COVID-19.“This is not something that we wanted to do, but felt it was best for the safety of our community and merchants,” the Chamber stated in an email message about the cancellation. “We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy!”The Spring Block Party traditionally attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Ocean City’s downtown shopping district and helps to kick off the tourism season. Asbury Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic for the day, turning the downtown area into a giant pedestrian mall to accommodate the festival-like celebration. Big crowds turn out every year for the Spring Block Party.
Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has just published research on the salt levels in shop-bought sandwiches, following a survey of 140 sandwiches from popular retailers, and found that 41% of the sample contained 2g or more of salt per serving – a third of the adult daily limit.The saltiest sandwich surveyed was Asda’s Extra Special Yorkshire Ham and Hawes Wensleydale, containing 3.9g of salt, over 60% of the recommended daily amount, followed by Pret A Manger’s All Day Breakfast sandwich with 3.54g of salt.The sandwiches found to contain the least amount of salt were Tesco’s Healthy Living Chicken Salad and Co-op Healthy Living Tuna and Cucumber.
Roberts Bakery staff have completed the Bakery Excellence Programme in partnership with Tameside College.Six bakers from the Cheshire-based business took part in practical and classroom-based elements to develop bread, dough and flour skills, using the college’s facilities. The bakers were also taught techniques such as Chorleywood bread processing.Following completion of the programme, each baker was presented with a certificate by Neil Burgess, principal of Tameside College and a bakery consultant for Roberts Bakery.“Roberts Bakery is a growing business, and for our staff to take part in a specialist course like this is fantastic. We are very pleased with the result,” said Burgess.Meanwhile, Tameside College bakery teacher Steven Lee believes the bakers can go on to become leaders in their fields with a wider knowledge of bakery and its technicalities.“They have been treated to a great event and rightly so, with all the hard work they have put in to finish the course,” said Lee.Roberts Bakery said it hoped to put six more of its bakers through the course next year.
The beginning of autumn brings not just the start of another school year, but also the prospect of another flu season. Last spring, Chinese authorities announced the discovery of a strain of flu, H7N9, that passed from birds to humans, and that has limited transmission among humans.Even as that announcement conjured up memories of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, public health officials were keeping an eye on a second ailment, a respiratory virus that emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012, which itself was reminding people of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, rapidly spread from Hong Kong to 37 countries. The new virus, discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012, is called Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.Both ailments can be dangerous. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H7N9 has killed 45 of 135 people known to have contracted it, while MERS has killed 58 of the 130 known cases. But those numbers may not show the true nature of either infection, according to Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Staff writer Alvin Powell of the Harvard Gazette sat down with him recently to find out why.GAZETTE: What’s the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic flu?LIPSITCH: Pandemic flu is something that has happened four times in the last 100 years. It is the appearance and spread of a strain of flu that is novel to our immune systems, whose surface proteins are different from those that are already circulating.Not every novel strain of influenza A causes a pandemic, because most strains of flu A are not easily transmissible human-to-human. For example, H5N1 [the subject of controversy in 2012 after scientists created an strain easily transmissible in lab animals] is called bird flu because it does transmit very well between birds but does not currently transmit very well between people.At the moment there are three seasonal flu strains circulating. There is influenza A/ H1N1, which is the descendant of the  pandemic strain. There is influenza A/ H3N2, which is the descendant of the 1968 pandemic. And there is influenza B, which doesn’t really cause pandemics, but which evolves slowly and is a little bit different every year.Flu season begins at various times in different years but typically between October and January, and continues for a couple of months or so. And the late fall/winter seasonality has been a topic of great interest for some time, but there are so many things that are different in the winter that it’s hard to untangle.Some work that I did with Jeff Shaman at Columbia and other collaborators showed that one of the very important contributors to seasonality is absolute humidity, which is the quantity of water vapor in the air. We don’t really know what the biophysical mechanism is for why increased absolute humidity reduces virus survival and transmission, but it does.Clearly another contributor is school. There’ve been several studies suggesting that there’s about 20 percent more opportunities for transmission of flu during school terms than out of school terms. We’ve just submitted a paper trying to estimate the same quantity when schools opened in the 2009 pandemic and we get a similar answer.GAZETTE: What’s the status of the latest strain to emerge, H7N9?LIPSITCH: There were a few human cases as late as the early summer, and many epidemiologists are concerned that it may resurge later this year. Because it doesn’t cause severe symptoms in birds, it is hard to be sure how many birds are infected. Another thing we don’t really know is how many human cases we’re missing with H7N9.Work is under way to figure out if there are people contracting infection with this virus but not getting sick enough for us to notice.GAZETTE: How important is that piece of the puzzle in deciding how big a threat a flu virus is?LIPSITCH: It’s probably the biggest piece of the puzzle.Epidemiologists typically think of it as a pyramid or an iceberg. We see the severe cases because they are likely to show up at hospitals and some of them die. So we can piece together the top of the pyramid pretty quickly: how many need intensive care and how many die.But what’s harder to tell is how big the base of the pyramid is, how many people are getting infected and not getting sick or just getting treated by their doctor for symptoms and not coming to the hospital.In 1918, about 2 percent of people who got [Spanish flu] died. In 2009, the estimate [of those who died from H1N1] is somewhere between one in 2,000 to one in 14,000. That’s a huge range.The center that I direct has a close collaboration with a group in Hong Kong University that is doing a lot of the work to try to figure out exactly that question: how many undetected cases are there?GAZETTE: The numbers I saw — 45 deaths out of 135 cases — seemed to indicate it was pretty serious.LIPSITCH: But that’s with this piece missing. If the numbers we know now represented all the cases, it would be much worse than anything that’s ever been widespread in humans. But it’s unlikely that it’s that bad.GAZETTE: How is MERS different from the flu?LIPSITCH: It’s a coronavirus, related to the virus that causes SARS. It so far seems to show more signs of human-to-human transmission than H7N9 flu. Fortunately, it’s not so transmissible as to be out of control in any population we know about.There is the same uncertainty as to how many people have it that we don’t know about and what role those people play in transmission. It’s very much like SARS in the early days. MERS seems to be a little bit less transmissible so it’s harder to figure out because the more transmission you get, the more data you get.GAZETTE: The numbers from the CDC say MERS has caused 58 deaths out of 130 cases and that it has been found in several countries, including France.LIPSITCH: It has been in France, but there is no evidence of ongoing transmission in France.SARS also had a very high case fatality ratio among the sickest people and among elderly people, about 10 percent overall. It was almost zero in people under 50 and much higher in people over 50.A lot of the people who’ve gotten MERS have been older and already in hospitals for other reasons: There was a big outbreak in a dialysis unit, for example. What the average case fatality ratio is in a healthy population, we don’t know. And how many people have been infected and missed [by public health officials] we also don’t know.It would be very helpful to have genetic sequences from all the cases. It would also be helpful to identify what their common exposure is and, if there is a common exposure, what their animal reservoir is so we could be able to compare the virus and tell if it’s being introduced over and over again.One of the exciting things about the ability to sequence viruses and bacteria quickly — which is one thing we focus on here — is that you can chart rates of transmission from person to person or across geography or across species based on the sequence similarity.GAZETTE: So it’s possible that the cases have been introduced over and over from an animal reservoir rather than animal to human and then spreading through the human population?LIPSITCH: Yes, it is some combination of the two, but we don’t know in exactly what proportion because we think we are missing cases.GAZETTE: Do we need to watch for MERS during flu season as well as H7N9?LIPSITCH: With SARS, a lot of the cases were in the spring, so maybe [it’s seasonal]. But for SARS and so far MERS, a lot of the transmission has been in hospitals, which is somewhat less prone to seasonality.It seems both [MERS and H7N9] are at this stage not sufficiently transmissible between people to cause generalized infection in many parts of the world. But both viruses have relatives that we know can do that, so our concern is they become like those relatives through genetic change.GAZETTE: Do they mutate rapidly?LIPSITCH: Certainly influenza can mutate rapidly and can exchange genetic information with other strains by infecting the same cell: That’s how several of the previous pandemic viruses have emerged as a threat — reassortment of genetic information between two or more strains, some of which are good at infecting humans.There’s been lots of concern that the Hajj [in mid-October] will be an opportunity to disperse [MERS] infected people around the world in large numbers from Saudi Arabia.GAZETTE: What kinds of precautionary actions are normally taken at this stage?LIPSITCH: Public health officials are doing what they can to characterize the epidemiology of both viruses. But if they become transmissible between humans, the epidemiology will change. Vaccine development is underway for H7N9.In parts of China, they have tried closing poultry markets, but that was a temporary measure.An immediate concern for MERS is to try to improve infection control in hospitals where transmission is a possibility.GAZETTE: Given the ease of travel and the advent of modern medical technology, is there more or less danger of a pandemic today than in the past?LIPSITCH: The ability to get a virus from one side of the world to another in a matter of hours is not just a possibility, but really happened with SARS and it will happen with a new pandemic flu strain.The [medical] technology makes a huge difference to those who can access its benefits. Novartis just published a paper showing that they can, in less than a week, manufacture a flu vaccine from a sequence. That doesn’t mean they can create enough for everybody, it means they can create a small quantity of it. The question is how fast that can be scaled up.In [the H1N1 pandemic in] 2009, even countries like ours that can pay a lot for a flu vaccine still couldn’t get it fast enough. The ability to make enough vaccine against any of these agents for global use is not there yet. There’s not the manufacturing capacity. We can spread it to everyone but we can’t protect everyone.In terms of treatment, we have one or two effective drugs against flu. There’s nothing particularly effective against MERS that I’m aware of. So that’s an area where technology hasn’t advanced a lot in the last few years.What was amazing about SARS is that even though there was no drug and no vaccine that worked, it was controlled and essentially driven extinct by old-fashioned public health measures, coordinated with 21st-century technology. The SARS experience shows that it is possible to control some respiratory viruses, if they’re the kind that give you sufficient warning, which is to say they tell you who you have to isolate and whose contacts you have to quarantine. That was really the critical thing with SARS. The only people who were infectious were the people who were sick.But any flu that gets a foothold and starts transmitting human to human will be almost impossible to control in that way.
The Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University announced its first class for the Mark Claster Mamolen Dissertation Workshop on Afro-Latin American Studies.Selected from a pool of 52 applicants from universities and research institutions in Europe (Spain, France, United Kingdom), Canada, the United States, and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico), the 14 members of the first class of the Mamolen Dissertation Workshop work in a variety of topics and time periods. Their work reflects the richness of Afro-Latin American studies, with contributions from anthropology (3), art history (1), history (5), literature (1), political science (1), political philosophy (1), and sociology (2).A yearly event hosted by the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, the Mark Claster Mamolen Dissertation Workshop is supported by a bequest from Mark Claster Mamolen (1946-2013) and by the Ford Foundation, and is conducted in partnership with the International Academic Program of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (IAP UAM).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers are taking aim at Twitter, Facebook and other tech giants over free speech and censorship. Gov. Ron DeSantis accused the companies Tuesday of targeting conservatives as they crack down on social media posts he says might be contrary to the political sensibilities of Silicon Valley. Proposals before the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature would seek to limit Big Tech’s ability to disable or suspend a person’s account. One bill was introduced after Twitter suspended the account of President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A new proposal expected to be filed Tuesday would allow consumers and the state attorney general to sue the companies.
Arts and Letters majors worrying about getting a job after graduation can can calm their nerves at the Letters Career Opportunities Week, a series of events co-sponsored by the Career Center and the College of Arts and Letters. Rose Kopec, the associate director of the Career Center, said this is the fourth year of the event, formerly titled “What’s Next Week.” “The name was changed this year … to the Arts and Letters Career Opportunities Week to hopefully more accurately reflect the week’s activities,” she said. “Arts and Letters students have many career paths available to them and we wanted to dedicate an entire week to exploring some of these options.” This year, the tagline for the event is, “Start now to plan your future,” Kopec said. Monday night’s panel was titled “Thinking about Graduate and Professional School?” The panel discussed how to make graduate school applications great, as well as what to expect from graduate school, Kopec said. There will be a workshop on how to find and fund a student internship Tuesday night in the Geddes Auditorium. “[Students can] learn about exploring careers through Notre Dame’s job shadow, externship and Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp programs,” she said. “[They can] gain the tools to find the perfect internship [and] educate [themselves] about the various funding programs on campus.” Wednesday night will be the Employer Networking Fair in the Monogram Club at the Joyce Center with Notre Dame alumna Nancy Ruscheinski, chief innovation officer and global vice chair for Edelman as the keynote speaker. This event will have representatives from many companies including Abercrombie and Fitch, Red Frog, Morningstar and Capital One, Kopec said. Throughout all the events, students need to keep in mind when the industry they want to enter into hires, she said. “Our keynote speaker for Wednesday night, Nancy Ruscheinski … will address this,” she said. “Edelman, a public relations firm, won’t begin the full-time hiring process until the spring semester.” This type of hiring is called “just-in-time hiring” and is very common, Kopec said. “This does not mean that students should wait until then to begin making connections with alumni and learning more about the industry,” she said. “That should happen immediately following the time when a specific direction is discerned.” No matter what industry students want to go into, the Career Center can help, especially in the current economic climate, Kopec said. “Our job is to provide the best services possible to students coupled with an aggressive employer recruiting strategy,” she said. “There have been other tough economic times since I have been at the Career Center and these goals have not changed. We continually strive to offer both relevant and creative programming and services to help make Notre Dame students successful upon graduation.” Kopec said Arts and Letters students do not need to worry about not finding a job post-graduation. “It is not more difficult for Arts and Letters students to get a job post-graduation,” she said. “For example if you look at our ‘future plans’ data in 2011, only two percent of Arts and Letters students are still seeking full-time employment within six months [of graduation] which is in line with all of the other colleges.” Contact Anna Boarini at [email protected]
Known for connecting Saint Mary’s students and local Title I schools, the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT) program is changing lives and expanding locations this semester.“This semester, we are starting our tutoring program at a new school, Harrison Primary, for fourth graders,” CAT student director Christin Kloski said. “… We have tutoring programs at Harrison and Navarre and teacher’s assistants at Harrison, Coquillard and Edison.”She said the College will continue its pen pal program with Coquillard and added Harrison Primary students to the list of letter recipients.Cat was formed in 2006 to provide support for “students in under-resourced schools in the South Bend area,” Kloski said. The program provides academic support, including teacher’s assistants, pen pals and after-school resources.Kloski said she spearheaded the relationship between CAT and Harrison Primary this year by visiting the school.“My first experience with the school was their back-to-school carnival-themed night,” she said. “I volunteered at the school to experience the new school’s environment.”Kloski said her exploration yielded positive findings about the school’s environment.“As the students and parents poured into the cafeteria, I was pleased to see how well the students, parents, staff and teachers communicated with one another,” Kloski said. “There was such a great feeling of community at the school.”Kloski said student participants in CAT were able to experience that sense of inclusiveness first hand.“Later on in the semester, we ended our pen pal program with a literacy night at the school,” she said. “The pen pals from Saint Mary’s and Harrison met one another and were able to get to know one another during the event. The literacy night was a great way for Saint Mary’s students to experience a local community setting.“Harrison Primary was a place where Saint Mary’s students could see how well the South Bend community and the school community were able to work together.”Sophomore and CAT scholar Jade Johnson said meeting her pen pal for the first time at the end of the semester dinner was her favorite part of the program.“You get to know all about [your pen pal] throughout the semester,” Johnson said. “Without ever seeing their face, they become a part of your life. Putting a face to their name was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”The pen pal program is important because it helps enhance the reading and writing skills of the third and fourth grade students while giving them a consistent and positive role model, Johnson said.“I encourage people to give it a try,” Johnson said. “Volunteering through the CAT program is a rewarding and exciting experience.”Kloski said all students are welcome to join the CAT program — regardless of major.Tags: CAT program, Coquillard, Harrison Primary, Pen Pal Program
Deputy Title IX coordinator Heather Ryan presented updates about the University’s Title IX policy to the student senate on Wednesday.The updated process expands the options students have when reporting sexual assault or harassment to the University. Both the victim, or “complainant,” and the perpetrator, or “respondent,” have more autonomy in the new process.Ryan showed the senate the resources available on the Notre Dame Title IX website, including information on how to confidentially and non-confidentially report sexual violence, documents explaining the student reporting process and past Student Climate Surveys showing the prevalence of sexual violence at Notre Dame.“[Title IX] is about making sure that students, faculty and staff have space on campus and can pursue academic inquiry, can pursue co-curricular activities and have a full experience at the institution,” Ryan said.The updated process, implemented in August of this year, gives complainants the choice to pursue administrative or alternative resolutions to cases. Administrative resolutions will move more quickly than under the previous process. Ryan said she hopes that resolutions will be given within 60 days of when the investigation begins in order to handle the issue efficiently and compassionately.“Even if someone might be dismissed from the University, we have a responsibility to care for them through this process,” Ryan said. “But we also have a commitment to the safety and security of our campus, too.”Ryan also announced that she will be changing positions after fall break. Starting then, she will be the director of the Office of Community Standards.Following Ryan’s presentation, student body president Rebecca Blais, student body vice president Sibonay Shewit and student government chief of staff Prathm Juneja discussed the report they will present to the Board of Trustees regarding on-campus alcohol culture.Although the report is unfinished, Blais, Shewit and Juneja talked through the research, findings and recommendations. The research is largely based on a 400-page report by the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell) detailing student drug and alcohol use.The report from McWell is partially based on student surveys and indicates that students at Notre Dame, on average, engage in more alcohol use than students at comparable universities. The national reference statistics are according to information from AlcoholEdu.“At Notre Dame, only 19.8 percent of students said that they hadn’t consumed alcohol in the past 30 days,” Blais said. “That’s compared to the national reference group of 36.4 [percent]. By extrapolation, that would say that we have a non-drinking population of about 20 percent.”Blais said that much of the alcohol consumption culture surrounds residential life on-campus.“Notre Dame actually has higher percentages of alcohol consumption both in binge-drinking and alcoholism than any of our peers, both academically and athletically,” Blais said. “It is part of our culture … and it is something we should address.”The students’ report will also contain information on drug use and sexual assault related to alcohol and drug use. Their recommendations to the Board include eliminating parietals and enhancing consistency of policy enforcement between residence halls, among other suggestions.Blais, Shewit and Juneja also support the Callisto program, currently in use at 15 other institutions, which will facilitate anonymous recording and reporting of sexual violence on campus.“Callisto is a system created by survivors, for survivors,” Blais said. “It gains a lot of autonomy.”The Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention is testing Callisto’s viability on campus. Pending a vote to move forward with Callisto on Oct. 27, Blais hopes to gain support for the program from the Board of Trustees.Tags: Senate, Title IX