NewsLimerick Chamber calls for businesses to enter prestigious awardsBy Guest Writer – July 1, 2013 696 TAGSLIMERICK ChamberLimerick Chamber Regional Business AwardsMaria Kelly RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email Advertisement Chamber calls for O’Connell Street revitalisation programme to commence as matter of urgency The closing date for entries is 4 October 2013. Companies interested in entering the awards should visit www.limerickchamber.ie. Finalists for each award category will be announced at the Limerick Chamber President’s Dinner on 15 November 2013. The judging panel is drawn from the senior management teams of our sponsors along with consultants from The Discovery Partnership. The awards are open to businesses in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, North Cork and North Kerry – both members and non-members of Limerick Chamber can enter. WhatsApp Linkedin Best Start-up / Emerging Business AwardBest SME Business AwardBest Large Indigenous Business AwardBest FDI Business AwardBest Exporter AwardBest Retail & Hospitality Business AwardBest Sport, Art & Culture Award No cabinet position means Mid West will need special attention Twitter Facebook Aer Lingus announcement for Shannon base – Limerick Chamber statement LIMERICK Chamber has launched the 2013 Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards to honour excellence and innovation in business.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up In association with award sponsors LIT and launch sponsors Lyons of Limerick, the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards aim to celebrate the achievements of companies in the region and to recognise their contribution to the economy.Speaking at the launch, Maria Kelly, Limerick Chamber CEO, said: “Businesses are looking for innovative and cost effective ways to promote their business and the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards are one such opportunity. Companies that are interested in progressing their business, telling their story to a wider audience and recognising the achievements of their team, are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Awards.”Dr Maria Hinfelaar, President, LIT, overall sponsors of the Awards, said: “LIT is delighted to partner with Limerick Chamber in recognising the success and achievements of businesses in our region. As sponsors of these awards for the third year running, we honour companies who are thriving and succeeding in a difficult economic climate.” In total, there are seven categories in the 2013 Awards: Limerick Chamber appoint new President Previous articleJFK’s sister marks Shannon visitNext articleParade to mark National Sports Festival Guest Writerhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Planned housing and medical campus further indication of positivity for Limerick – Chamber CEO states Chamber calls for meeting with Minister Eamon Ryan on Aer Lingus and national aviation policy Print
‘I want to see all you kids again’: South Bend student bars adapt to the changing social scene during pandemic
The first Saturday home game of the Notre Dame football season normally brings a swell of students clad in green and gold to the bars in South Bend. With this year’s home opener also comes a source of hope for establishments that have historically served students from the tri-campus community, as state orders and University health and safety guidelines regarding the pandemic have kept students mostly out of the local night scene. Mia Marroquin | The Observer The interior of Finnies Next Door, also known as Newfs, on a Saturday night. Newfs is known for their mini replica of Notre Dame’s iconic golden dome.Most bars have seen a drastic drop in student patrons, and for those whose clientele is mostly Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, this decline has been especially damaging to business.The changing demographic was noticeably apparent over the two-week period that Notre Dame returned students to online learning, and all three institutions in the tri-campus implemented tighter restrictions on nonessential travel off campus and threatened disciplinary action towards those who violated COVID-19 safety policies.Notre Dame senior Jack Zinsky said he hasn’t been to the bars this semester in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. He worries that behaving otherwise will result in another spike in positive cases.“I haven’t been going, not because I’m afraid of getting the virus, but because I don’t want to get it and unwittingly spread it to other students, which could send us home,” he said in an Instagram direct message.Saint Mary’s senior Anna Sartori is student teaching this semester, and said she has been staying away from the local bars to keep her students safe.“I need to be extra careful because I am bridging between the Saint Mary’s community and my elementary school, so I am limiting leaving my apartment for any reason, and especially gathering in large crowds,” she said in an Instagram direct message.Sartori is also struggling to trust other students with the responsibility of doing their part in the fight against COVID-19.“I feel that people aren’t following social distancing or keeping to only their family circle,” she said. “I really want to go out, but I don’t think it’s safe and I want to stay in-person as long as possible, so I’m doing everything in my power to help that situation.”Mary Grace Noteman, also a senior at Saint Mary’s, is a Type 1 diabetic. Her roommate is immunocompromised, and both have decided not to visit the bars.“If we get sick, things could get really bad for us,” Noteman said. “We’re also both in different field placements for our majors, so we want to protect others around us outside of the Saint Mary’s community.”The Linebacker Lounge, popularly known as the Backer, has been following Indiana state guidelines regarding mask wearing and socially distanced seating, as well as sanitization. Without the same student patronage this semester, however, manager Paula Walsh said business has slightly declined.“It’s down a little bit, but everybody’s business is down,” she said. “It’s a crazy world, and I know every bar in town is doing what they can to make it a safe environment. We are constantly spraying, disinfecting and wiping. We’re doing everything that we can to make them feel comfortable.”Regular customers at the Linebacker Lounge have been keeping business afloat, Walsh said, but in the end, the Backer will always open its doors to the tri-campus community in South Bend.“You always depend on your regulars, and our regulars have been coming in, staying and helping the business,” she said. “Of course, the students have a lot to do with this bar because it’s a student bar.”And students are slowly starting to return, Walsh added, saying that a “handful” of students made an appearance this past weekend. This number may grow as Notre Dame football returns.Until then, the Linebacker Lounge will continue to take every precaution, Walsh said.“I want to see all you kids again,” she said.Nick Hensley, the owner of The Blarney Stone — also called Original Finni’s, Old Finni’s or Olf’s — said his bar has been closed for 98% of the pandemic. On March 16, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb ordered all bars and restaurants to pause in-person services. Establishments offering food began focusing their efforts on delivery and takeout options, but local bars such as the Blarney Stone could only close their doors and settle into a waiting game.“We closed down in March when the students went on spring break last semester, and pretty much stayed closed until the first week that students came back,” Hensley said. “We opened that weekend, and we deep-cleaned the bar, sanitized, put all the regulations in place. And we had maybe 20 students all weekend, so we decided to shut down.”Though locals do visit the Blarney Stone, Hensley said the bar primarily considers itself a student establishment. Over the past five years, students have contributed around 90% of the bar’s business, he added.“We’re pretty much a student bar, we don’t go out of our way to find other avenues for business anymore,” he said. “I’ve learned after watching many other bars that it’s a balancing act. It’s hard to have students and locals. So our focus has always been on keeping students safe and focusing on that clientele.”With students taking a step back from the normal night scene in South Bend, the Blarney Stone has lost a majority of its business. They’ve had to scale back and cut costs on everything, Hensley said, especially after remaining closed for almost six months.Most of the staff at the Blarney Stone are considered part-time, and hold other jobs outside of the work they do in the bar. Hensley said they’ve been able to mostly maintain the same staff numbers despite the closure, but he hasn’t ruled out losing some workers along the way.“We’ve been able to weather the storm, but everybody’s getting restless,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of the staff members for many years and they’re anxious to get back out there.”Hensley plans to reopen the Blarney Stone for the upcoming weekend, hoping that game day will reinvigorate the night scene. The bar will continue to follow state and county rules regulating capacity and enforcing heightened sanitization.If the bar staff can keep the bills flowing and break even by the end of the night, the weekend will have been a success, Hensley said.“We’re just looking to try to open back up … and just make it to next year,” he said. “I have a feeling if we can make it to next semester, things are going be looking a lot different. We want to be here for the students. I think we’ve been known as the senior bar for as long as we’ve been around. We’re just hoping that people in small groups can come in, socialize a little bit and still stay safe.”Rick Ruszkowski is the managing partner of Finnies Next Door, considered the younger sibling to the Blarney Stone, and known to student patrons as New Finnies or Newf’s. Famous for the miniature replica of the Golden Dome in the center of the main bar, as well as the extensive upstairs addition and smoke-filled dance floor, Finnies Next Door was originally a First Horizon Bank before Ruszkowski and his wife Chrissy purchased the property and started renovations.Since its opening in 2015, Finnies Next Door has successfully served both the local and student communities in South Bend. The establishment closed alongside others in South Bend following the governor’s order in March, and stayed closed for about four months, opening briefly during the summer. Ruszkowski said he has never seen things look quite as desperate as this year.“Couldn’t even imagine this,” he said.Finnies Next Door has implemented the state mandated safety precautions of limiting capacity and requiring masks upon entering. The four-step cleaning process that the bar has always used — including multiple uses of soap and bleach — has proven sufficient in maintaining a level of sanitization, during the pandemic and otherwise. They’ve also changed the layout to adhere to and encourage proper social distancing.“Tables, chairs, barstools — we’ve taken everything away,” Ruszkowski said. “So it’s completely open. We’ve also currently eliminated use of the second floor, unless it’s for reservation or a private party.”Finnies Next Door is now open only on Fridays and Saturdays to limit exposure, but Ruszkowski said few students have been present this semester. However, the bar has seen an influx of out-of-state patrons from Michigan, as well as more local residents.The health department has limited local establishments to 50% of their normal capacity, up to 250 people. Though Ruszkowski said Finnies Next Door has hosted that many people in a few nights over the previous weeks, he noted that none were students.As a businessman, Ruszkowski said he would love to have students back in full force; but as a member of the community and a father to his college-aged children, he said he encourages students to stay safe and healthy by following the guidelines established within the tri-campus.“From our perspective, the students are following the guidelines that Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Holy Cross and even IUSB set out for them,” Ruszkowski said. “We’d love to see the students for a full year, and if I have to sacrifice a few weeks for the students to follow the rules and try to distance, stay at home or do what they need to do so that we can have a normal school year, I mean, absolutely. The students are more of a family to us now.”Even before the pandemic, from its original opening in 2015, the first priority at Finnies Next Door is student safety, Ruszkowski said. He recalled how at the end of a normal night, he would often stand outside the door — in rain, sleet and snow — to make sure students got into their Ubers safely.The absence of students is hurting business, Ruszkowski said, but in the long-term, it’s a pain he’s willing the bear.“We’ll be better for it,” he said. “And I appreciate everything that students are doing to try to curb the spread of [the virus]. We’re going to be here for them. If everybody does their share for a couple weeks … we’re going to be okay. And there’s been a lot of rumors that we were going to close down and we weren’t going to be able to reopen, but I promise you that we are going to be there as a student bar when the students are able to come back out and support us.”Tags: COVID-19, Eric Holcomb, finnies next door, Notre Dame football, pandemic, South Bend, student bars, The Blarney Stone, The linebacker lounge
Leslie Odom Jr. Star Files from $149.00 Velvet smoke has struck again. Hamilton Tony winner and Broadway.com vlogger Leslie Odom Jr.’s voice is straight up swoon-worthy, and his music video for “Autumn Leaves” from his self-titled solo album exudes both swanky jazz club cool and fairytale love gone wrong. Adorably enough, his wife (and fellow performer) Nicolette Robinson makes a stunning appearance in the vid as his lady love; the two have a spat on the steps of Lincoln Center. (We’ve decided we only ever want to have verbal duels at this romantic New York hot spot in ball gowns and sleek suits—it looks so cool!) Before you get sad about watching these first rate actors spar, know that love rules out in the end. Watch Leslie Odom Jr. croon in the full vid below! Related Shows View Comments Hamilton Leslie Odom Jr.
Viktorya Vilk (above), manager of special projects and free expression for PEN America, speaks about dealing with online harassment. (Krystal Gallegos | Daily Trojan)Online harassment is prevalent among journalists, according to Natalie Green, PEN America’s manager of Los Angeles programs. Green and other members of PEN America spoke to students and journalists at Wallis Annenberg Hall Monday about various strategies and resources to prevent such harassment. The event was the first of three sessions on campus meant to promote open conversation about online abuse. PEN America, a nonprofit organization that aims to defend and celebrate the rights of literature and the press, began the discussion with an emotional video displaying harassment female sports journalists receive on the internet. Green said online harassment can range from hateful speech and online threats to trolling and doxing. The organization conducted a study about harassment in November 2017 surveying over 200 journalists targeted by online commenters. Two-thirds reported a severe reaction to harassment, including refraining from publishing work, deleting social media accounts and fearing safety. “We thought that we would be going into newsrooms trying to convince people that this was a problem; [instead] we would go into newsrooms and everybody raises their hands,” said Viktorya Vilk, manager of special projects and free expression for PEN America. The survey also investigated harassment regarding ethnicity, gender and sexuality. “It probably won’t surprise you that women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals are much more likely to experience more severe forms of harassment,” Vilk said. Using survey data, PEN America created an online harassment field guide which includes a manual with tactics and resources for writers, journalists and their employers. “We acknowledge that the online harassment field manual, as wonderful as it is, is really a stepping stone,” Green said. The organization emphasizes preparation for harassment to minimize repercussion. This includes heightened cybersecurity, such as covering laptop cameras and turning off geolocation. The conversation also centered on documenting harassment through screenshots and learning to report or block harassers on social media.“People will tell you there is a right way and a wrong way,” Vilk said. “There isn’t actually. There is no right way or wrong way. There is what works for you.”The conclusion of the discussion focused on the relationship between online harassment and mental health. “I thought the [presentation] was really informative on how to respond and steps you need to take if [harassment] ever occurs to you,” said Nicholas Echevarria, a sophomore majoring in sociology.