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A reader of my blog who wishes to remain anonymous has shared with me this update on the Macular Degeneration Association, about which I’ve written previously, and asked me to share it on his behalf. Below is what he sent me, in full and without modification.
In response to your blog, I wanted to offer the most recent updates on the Macular Degeneration Association. Please know that I do not work for the Macular Degeneration Association, Parkinsons Research Foundation, Larry Hoffheimer or any other organizaiton he might be personally or professionally invovled with. I have no personal motive for providing this information. My knowledge of the Macular Degeneration Association and Larry Hoffheimer comes mostly from external sources. I am offering this update in good faith to those following the Macular Degeneration Association.
Let’s start by reiterating the leadership of the Macular Degeneration Association
Readers should know the Macular Degeneration Association is controlled independently by Larry Hoffheimer. To date, Mr. Hoffheimer refuses to create a Board of Directors. This has already been mentioned in your blog. Next, the financial management of the Macular Degeneratoin Association is completely outsourced. This means that no single employee has access to view, manage or manipulate the financial portfolio of the Macular Degeneration Association. This lock and key strategy is aligned perfectly with Larry Hoffheimer’s refusal to establish a control board. Larry wants absolute control over all financial, operational, administrative, marketing and management directives within the organization. It is important for the viewing community to know that underlying employees are mostly powerless to make any decision regarding these matters.
Although there have been some questions raised about the integrity of certain employees within the organization, let it be known that most of the employees working for the Macular Degeneration Association are actually kind hearted people who truly believed in bringing a positive cause to the community. It’s unfortunate they were blinded into working for a less than honorable Chairman. Viewers should avoid using job titles to index the legitimacy of this organization because they are absolutely meaningless. Larry Hoffheimer delegates the most impressive job titles to every single role within the organization because doing so is part of his big name big image publicity package.
Now here’s a relationship hardship the organization has recently absorbed
Regeneron is a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company and seems to be the largest sponsor of the Macular Degeneration Association. Regeneron administers a grant program that considers requests from qualifying organizations. As with most grant programs, applications can be submitted annually during the application period. Qualifying organizations can submit and resubmit for consideration during each period.
It appears at some point within the last three to five years, Larry Hoffheimer established a positive working relationship with Regeneron. For reasons unknown, Regeneron became favorable to sponsoring the Macular Degeneration Association. This sponsorship mostly allowed MDA to fund educational programs throughout the country.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . MDA requested more than $100,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] was likely to fund educational programs in different cities throughout the United States. Regeneron [AWARDED] the requested funding which totaled more than $100,000 in grant assistance.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . MDA requested more than $300,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] remained unchanged from the previous year but with many more programs planned. Regeneron [AWARDED] the requested funding which totaled more than $300,000 in grant assistance.
It appears earlier this year , Regeneron levied some kind of accountability audit against the MDA. While the actual results of this action remain unclear, sources suggest the audit raised questions and failed to completely satisfy Regeneron.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . In a bold move, Larry Hoffheimer requested more than $900,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] and stated reasoning for such a large increase are not known. In a reverse decision, Regneron just recently [DENIED] all requested funding to the MDA .
It seems Hoffheimer was advised to reconsider the amount he requested before applying. He evidently dismissed that advice and ordered the application forward. Sources indicate that following Regeneron’s rejection, Larry panicked causing even more damage to his relationship with the company. In the most unprofessional manner, Hoffheimer expressed his disappointment by directing a fury of insulting and destructive remarks at Regeneron Executives. These antics probably sealed the fate of his relationship with Regeneron.
MDA is now in serious financial jeopardy and the future of the organization is bleak. The latest information indicates that Hoffheimer plans to convert the Macular Degeneration Association into a newsletter and website only effort. At present, MDA employees have been notified their jobs are being eliminated in the upcoming weeks. It is believed that PRF will continue to operate.
Earlier this year MDA changed its web presence from maculardegenerationassociation.org to macularhope.org
Although the actual reason behind the name change is not entirely known, it makes more sense to have a memorable web address. I guess they call that Modern Business 101.
[Hard Lesson Learned]
Greed is bad.
Attention: Please post comments on this article here rather than on LiveJournal. Thanks!
[I had actually had this idea come into my head a few days before Butler died, so that wasn't the cause, but it certainly added impetus to actually writing it. I wrote it last night at Write Here Write Now,
and I figured it would resonate, but yeah, rather a lot, I gather.
I know you fight back tears every time you hear the happy Christmas carols: Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Joy to the World; O Come Emmanuel.
And I know you are stabbed with shame as your eyes sting, because it's Christmas, for God's sake. Everyone's supposed to be happy, with lights and presents and candies and eggnog, and eager children with shining eyes, and everyone
is a kid this time of year, aren't they, flitting from gifts they want to gifts they want to give, and rush and bustle, and you: are just tired. You're so tired, and you can't tell anyone because you don't want to bring them down, not this time of year of all times. So you let them read what they want to read into the glisten in your own eyes. Well, hide the tears if you want to, but please, please don't feel ashamed. You are no more tired than I was, and I cried every day.
The trip took forever. Even with our one blanket as padding, the donkey's spine pressed against my own tailbone, each hoofstep ricocheting the two bones off one another until I had to ask Joseph to stop and let me walk, but of course walking was agony after ten minutes, with my pelvis splayed in anticipation of delivery, and back I'd go on the donkey. I stopped trying to hold in my urine after the first day, because it didn't do any good; it wasn't like anyone was around to smell me, anyway, except Joseph, and we were both rank with sweat, anyway.
And then we arrived, to a town I didn't recognize, overflowing with people, surly and tired and often drunk. I cried constantly, in front of every innkeeper in town, some more than once, and of course you know, reading this now, that it didn't do any good. If I hadn't already been in labor, I don't know if we would have been offered even the stable. I wept harder when we closed the door behind us, but it was almost joy: so quiet after the rush and bustle of the streets, the scent of the ruminants' dung sharper and cleaner that the human waste that was everywhere outside.
The night of labor I don't even remember clearly, except that each of my screams was always echoed by one animal or another, an urgent bleat or bray or cow moan, and even in the agony that every grown woman I knew had warned me about and none had truly prepared me for, some part of my mind saw how funny it was, and in those moments, I felt God watching, saw him in Joseph's eyes, loving and rueful and sorry, and for just an instant I felt unalone.
And then there he was, my son, not Godly or holy, but squalling and blood-smeared and just like any other baby, and I wept, but not for joy. I grieved. I knew as he nursed that I would live to see him die, that his father conceived him within me for that, because somehow this all-powerful creator of the earth and the waters and the plants and animals hadn't seen fit to make a world that didn't require blood to atone for its wrongs. And not just a ram or a dove anymore, but a human lamb, not one to be simply shorn for its wool but to be butchered. God had stayed Abraham's hand as he prepared to sacrifice Isaac. There was no one to stay the hand of God.
For unto us
a child is born? No! Unto me
baby, from my
body, now suckling my
breast. To be taken from me now, given to the world that doesn't deserve him, so that the world can deserve him? Maybe I don't deserve him either, because if it had been my choice, I would have fled, not just from Herod but from God, from man, from Joseph if I had to. There were caves, everyone knew about the people who lived there, odd people, but they would have welcomed us, and my son would have been the one to lay me
to rest, as it should be. As God intended.
So cry now if you feel like it. Hide in your bed all month. Sleep through the grey days. The world has enough shepherds and wise men out there to make merry and rejoice at the gifts they've been given and give gifts that no one really wants. You are welcome to stay here with me, nestled against the donkey's freshly rinsed belly, working up the strength for the long journey ahead.
Originally posted at http://violetcheetah.dreamwidth.org/73245.html. Feel free to comment there comments
On Yom Kippur the kohein gadol (high priest) takes two goats and casts
lots over them, with one becoming an offering on the altar and the other
designated "for Azazel". (Azazel is a place in the wilderness where the
other goat is sent.) The previous mishna described exactly how the lots
were to be cast (drawn from a container, one in each hand). A mishna
on today's daf explains that after this, he would bind a thread of
crimson wool on the head of the one that is to be sent away and placed
it at the gate, and also "the goat that was to be slaughtered at the
place of slaughtering". This leads to a discussion in the g'mara:
is this saying that he places the second goat at the place
of slaughtering, or is it saying that the second goat also gets a strap
that is placed around its neck -- the place where the slaughtering cut
is made? The g'mara here concludes that it's the latter -- two goats,
two straps that aren't the same in appearance. Why would that be?
Because not only do we need to distinguish these two special goats from
each other (for which marking one would be sufficient), but we must also
distinguish them from any other goats that might be around as intended
This reasoning demonstrates an important point: offerings require specific
intent, so it's not enough to say "they're all going to the same place
anyway". When offering each animal you need to know who or
what, specifically, that animal is being brought for.
Fascinating. According to this article
(tweeted by R' Gil Student), Neshama Carlebach, daughter of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and a singer of whom I'm fond, went to the URJ biennial last week and decided (on the spot?) to join the Reform movement. Given her Orthodox background that's a bit of a surprise, though I always did wonder how she reconciled Orthodoxy's prohibitions on women singing in front of men with her career.
Perhaps ironically, while she feels drawn in by the Reform movement, I've been feeling pushed away from it in recent years. I could imagine the possibility of ending up Orthodox someday. I know of two factors at play right now, one in each direction, that prevent my serious consideration of the idea. And neither of them is theology.
What keeps me in
the Reform movement and, specifically, my congregation, is my absolutely wonderful rabbi (and by the way our Shabbat morning minyan, which he leads, but not just that). Despite all the other problems that sometimes come up -- "entitlement" services that are more about performance than about worship, the disregard by many congregants for those of us who actually are observant, lowest-common-denominator practice, and others -- I, have a spiritual and learning home there, at least so long as my rabbi is leading things.
And what keeps me out
of the Orthodox movements (there's more than one) is not
theology but the limitations I would experience as a woman. Being told that I can never represent the community, never lead prayers nor read from the torah, never fully engage spiritually except in women-only groups -- I can't go there. So the article about Neshama Carlebach and the challenges she faced in that community struck rather close to home for me.
It just occurred to me that there are probably people in the world who have never actually BEEN in the woods with fresh-fallen snow, or even more, fresh-FALLING-snow around, and may not have experienced the peacefulness of snowy woods.
Some of those people may have read poems like Robert Frost's, or descriptions, of the quiet and peacefulness of snowy woods, or even the quiet of snowy city streets. And may have thought of it as a metaphor.
It's not, actually. Fresh-fallen snow is probably among the best forms of naturally-occurring acoustic baffling. And when it's ACTIVELY snowing as WELL as thick on the ground, you've got airborne baffling as well as baffling covering every potentially sound-reflecting surface. Everything actually, physically IS quieter.
And it's amazingly peaceful and relaxing.
Memorization of texts is simultaneously the most useless thing I learned in school, and the one that I most frequently call upon in my adult life. What do I gain by knowing that "The quality of mercy is not strained/It droppeth like the gentle rain in heaven unto the place beneath -- it is twice blessed; it blesseth him that gives and him that receives. It befits the sceptred monarch better than his crown...."
Nothing -- yet I still recite it whenever it's appropriate. Not ALL my teachers assigned things for memorization, but a few of them did -- and I still have at least bits of most of those things.
Whose woods these are, I think I know.
His house is in the village, though.
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near.
Something something something that rhymes with "shake"
This darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
Something goes here that rhymes with "deep"
Something about wind, maybe, and then "downy flake".
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Wow, this is PotD 359!, and I've never done a puzzle on random walks?! We gotta fix that.
Derek is drunkenly wandering the number line. With each step, he either goes up one (with probability 1/2) or down one (with probability 1/2). Assume he starts at 0.
a. (Warm-up; mixed). Let P(n) be the probability that, on his nth step, Derek is returning to 0 for the first time. Find a formula for P(n); note that P(n) is zero if n is odd.
Big Hint (in white): You might want to look at part d.i. of PotD 358!, which can be found here.
b. (Medium, and not strictly necessary for part c; feel free to skip it). Let g(x) be the probability generating function for P(n); in other words, g(x) = P(0) + P(1) x + P(2) x^2 + P(3) x^3 + . . .. Find a closed form for g(x); that is, write it as a normal-looking function without dot dot dots.
Hint (in white): Part d.iv. of PotD 358!, which can be found here, is useful.
Hint (in white): Look at (g(x))^2. In particular, write out its first few terms as a series. You'll find yourself appreciating the recurrence mentioned in the previous hint.
c. (The puzzle; mixed). What's the expected number of steps before Derek first returns to 0? Are you surprised?
Hint (in white): If you did part b, this is just g'(1). But there are other ways to get the answer.
Senator Ted Cruz, in a remarkable display of fortitude, walked out of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service to protest a speech by Cuba’s Raoul Castro. Cruz also signaled his disapproval by placing gum on the Cuban leader’s chair, and drawing a mustache and glasses on his picture.
The Senate, anxious to begin recess so the members can shop for their wives, lovers and other partners on their lists, is moving forward on a compromise budget amid arguments over who is most unhappy with it. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner, in a remarkable display of fortitude, vowed not to cave to the same extreme groups he has always caved to in the past.
Facing congressional investigation, the NSA has said in its defense: “Hey! We’re not snooping on everyone. We didn’t know what Snowden was up to!”
Americans can rest assured that the beleaguered Obamacare Web site is now safely in the hands of the former head of Microsoft Office. Users can expect the same reliability and user-friendliness that has characterized that product.
Dear LazyWeb, please guide me gently into the 21st century.
As part of another blog project, I need to be able to host a handful of images (for use in <img> tags in posts) in a way that's not clearly tied to my identity
. (This blog is separate.) I'm doing the blog on Dreamwidth, which doesn't offer image hosting. I don't really trust LJ's long-term reliability, so setting up another account here just to use the scrapbook doesn't seem ideal. G+ is tied to my name, as is my personal web space. I don't do Facebook.
What I don't
want is "photo albums" and "browse all our hosted images" and stuff like that. It looks like Flickr really wants to be a browsable photo album. I just want a place to stick a few images in an otherwise-ignored corner of the internet, for deep-linking in some blog posts. They're not secret or anything; they're just uninteresting to most people.
Where do I do that these days?
Work is a little crazy right now and I have no mental energy left for writing. Also, my physical energy just went into kneading bread, which is currently on the first rising. So here are a few quick travel tidbits, in lieu of a real entry.
1) I booked my first business trip of 2014 today. It took me surprisingly little manipulation to get the flights I wanted.
2) I also have 3 personal trips booked in the next few months which will involve spas at some point. I don't really think of myself as a spa person, so this is notable.
3) I am still searching for a reason to go to Saskatchewan.
For the version of this post with the pictures, please see the PDFMy grandfather’s eldest brother was Simon Elliot Greene, born in 1888 in Boston MA. I was having trouble tracking his wife and child – until yesterday, when I finally figured out where I was going wrong.I knew that Simon had married Lillian Gladys Cohen in 1907 – in fact, there are two marriage certificates with conflicting data:
[image]But in the 1910 census he’s living with his parents. I can’t be sure I have the right record for her yet, so I’m not including that here, but I think she’s also living with her parents.
[image]Simon seems to have done a bit of overseas travel in the 1910s and 1920s.In the 1925 census, Simon and Lillian are living in the Bronx. His occupation is given as “Broker”:
[image]Now here’s where I made my mistake. In the 1930 census, here “they” are with “their” son Irving. Lillian appears to be going by a new nickname, Birdie. [Spoiler: She isn’t.]
[image]And here’s Simon’s death certificate in 1934, with his wife listed as “Birdie”:
[image]And here’s Birdie and Irving in the 1940 census:
[image]Based on the death certificate, I found Simon’s grave at Mount Neboh cemetery. He has a six-grave plot:
[image]But it looks like only two of the graves are in use: the middle of the back row and the right side of the front. The stones are sunken into the ground, but with a little persistence, you can see that the one closest to the large “GREENE” stone is Simon’s:
[image]And the other stone is for a Max Epstein:
[image]This was as far as I’d gotten. My questions were:· Why couldn’t I find any record of Irving’s birth? He wasn’t in any of the indexes, and he’s not in any the census record of 1925. (I’m missing the 1915 and 1920 census records for Simon and Lillian, anyway.)· What ever happened to Birdie and Irving after 1940? · Who is Max Epstein and why is he buried in Simon’s plot?After months of getting nowhere, I started to focus on the Max Epstein side of the problem. I have his dates, so I was able to start building a tree in Ancestry.Then I noticed that Ancestry was nagging me about a “hint” for Birdie. I’d been ignoring it for a while, because I had no reason to believe that the Birdie Greene in El Paso, TX had anything to do with us (there have been several Birdie Greenes in various states), but then I noticed that it was giving her name as “Birdie Greene [Birdie Epstein].” So I pulled up the record:
[image]And the penny dropped. Father’s name: Epstein. I looked at Max’s tree, and sure enough, he had a sister listed as “Bertie,” “Birdie”, or “Bertha”. And very soon I had found a collection of records that filled in the rest of the story:
[image]The 1910 census shows the Epstein family, including Max (line 54) and Bertha (line 60) married to Joseph Irle(?) having been married for about a year.
[image]The Steve Morse / IGG site helps narrow that down:
[image]And in the 1915 census, the family is still at 337 E 8 St, although the census taker broke them up into multiple households, and marked Bertha Eill as Max Epstein’s wife instead of as his sister:
[image]In 1920 Irving was living with his father, boarding with another family:
[image]In 1925 Irving and Birdie they were living with the Pulitzers (her sister):
[image]And now we can re-evaluate the 1930 census:
[image]Note that the 1930 census does not ask what number the current marriage is, nor how long it has been, nor does it ask the age at which the couple got married – it asks for the age when each member of the couple was first married, and so this looks like a continuation of Simon’s marriage to Lillian.So I conclude that:· I couldn’t find Irving Greene’s birth because he was born Irving Eill. (Unfortunately, there’s not an online index to the 1911 NYC births, so I can’t yet pull the certificate.) And I couldn’t find him in the census prior to 1930 for the same reason.· Sometime between 1925 and 1930, Simon was either widowed or divorced from Lillian, and Birdie was either widowed or divorced from Jack. Simon and Birdie married each other and Simon adopted (not necessarily formally) Irving. (I have not yet found documentation for any of these suppositions.) Here’s Simon’s paid death notice in the New York Times:
[image]It says “devoted father of Irving Greene,” so I hope this means that they had a meaningful five or so years together. The FindAGrave website has a photo of Birdie’s grave:
[image]Of course, this raises some new questions:· Why is Birdie buried in New Mexico? Will that help me learn what happened to Irving?· Who is “Michael I Greene” listed on her death certificate? Is that Irving or his son?· What happened to Lillian Gladys Cohen? · What happened to Jack Eill?I hope to find answers to those questions as I continue my research. Update: I have confirmed that Michael Irving Greene was Birdie’s son. He died 6 Aug 1990 in El Paso. And that gives me his date of birth: 28 Jun 1912