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ODU in the News

Week of 6/30/14

Researcher: How will we adapt to coastline changes?
(Inside Business, June 27, 2014)

Humans have put a heavy load on the planet.
If you compare us to other mammals, Hans-Peter Plag, the co-director of the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative at Old Dominion University, said the amount of energy the average person consumes to stay alive is equal to the metabolic rate of two elephants. With just over 7 billion people in the world, that's 14 billion elephants walking around.
"It's bad," Plag said at an Urban Land Institute community luncheon at ODU's Webb Center on Wednesday. "We need to reduce this load if we want to stay in a safe operating space for humanity."
Humans are essentially altering the Holocene, the geological period that marks the last 11,700 years, in which humanity has been able to thrive, Plag said, adding that scientific predictions say the earth is warming and warmer climates mean higher sea levels. Researchers expect the Antarctic ice sheet to fully melt and add 15 feet of water to the sea. Glaciers in Greenland will retreat faster and farther than anticipated, he said.
Today, the waters surrounding Hampton Roads rise 5 millimeters a year or 1.5 feet a century. That could soon change to 6 feet per century, Plag said. He reassured the luncheon crowd of roughly 60 that U.S. and local leaders are paying attention.
Local, state and national governments are working with area stakeholders on a national pilot study of sea level rise in Hampton Roads. ODU's Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute, known as MARI, is developing a report to map the hazards, vulnerabilities, foresight, decision-making, options, knowledge gaps, research needs, assessments and recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change in Virginia. (More)

Virginia Beach hotels poised for another record year in 2014
(The Daily Press, June 25, 2014)

Virginia Beach hotels are on track to break a revenue record, Norfolk hotel revenue is up too and the area at large has had a solid start to 2014 despite ongoing defense spending cuts, according to recently published data and local tourism officials.
According to statistics from lodging industry tracking firm Smith Travel Research, Virginia Beach hotels had $76.1 million in sales through the first five months of 2012, which ended up being a record year. Through May this year, data show, that figure sits at $79.4 million.
"I wouldn't bet my job entirely on it," Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Jim Ricketts said about 2014 breaking the record. "But it's going to be a good year for us." ...
Earlier this year, professors with Old Dominion University's Economic Forecasting Project said Hampton Roads hotel revenues were expected to rise 3.3 percent in 2013, but instead they slipped 1.3 percent to $661.9 million, in part because of defense cuts.
"That's definitely real," DiFilippo said about cuts. "And very candidly that's one of the reasons the rate is up because some of the lower rated government travelers aren't coming." (More)

Hampton Roads communities use student ingenuity, benefit from emergency power assessments
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, June 26, 2014)

With the 2014 hurricane season upon us, 10 critical facilities throughout Chesapeake, Gloucester County and James City County can rest easier knowing their emergency power needs have been accurately documented.
A partnership formed last fall between the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Old Dominion University student and faculty assets, and the Hampton Roads Emergency Management Committee provided communities a clearer picture of their critical facility emergency power needs - at no cost.
Under the partnership agreement, ODU seniors majoring in computer and electrical engineering conducted the emergency power assessments.
Cost estimates to provide these critical emergency power assessments range from $3,000 per facility for an electrical engineer to slightly less for an electrician, said Robb Braidwood, Chesapeake Emergency Management deputy coordinator and the project's brainchild.
"Smaller communities throughout Hampton Roads don't always have the budget to conduct proper emergency power need assessments of their critical facilities," Braidwood said. "By leveraging college students for this task, localities here obtained much-needed facility assessments while ODU senior students gained valuable hands-on experience."
When the magnitude of a disaster is beyond the capabilities of state and local governments to manage, the federal government is called in. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is one of more than 100 federal departments and agencies that provide assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
"All requests for federal assistance come from local communities up to the state, which communicate the combined requests to FEMA," said Stan Ballard, Norfolk District's emergency manager. (More)

Doumar's new cone-makers aren't waffling on the job
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 27, 2014)

The future of one of Norfolk's most beloved institutions, the Doumar's ice cream cone, is in good hands. The question is, whose?
The issue doesn't have to be settled immediately, and while the late Albert Doumar's son, Thad Doumar, Thad's brother-in-law, Randy Windley, Randy's son, Hunter Windley, and longtime family friend and cone-maker Richard Watts take turns on the two vintage cone machines and talk over who will assume the unofficial title of chief cone-maker, they envision Albert, who died May 14 at 92, enjoying a good laugh. After all, in the short time that has passed, it is taking four men to do what he did. ...
Whoever ultimately runs this part of Doumar's operation will be already well-known to customers. Thad began at age 11. "When you grow up in the home of Albert Doumar, this gets in your blood early, and you like always having money in your pocket," he said. He went to the College of William & Mary, studied accounting and, when it was over, returned to the family business, a move made more urgent by the unexpected death of his uncle, Victor Doumar.
As a student at Old Dominion University, Randy was preparing for a career in law-enforcement. That was until he married Thad's sister, Kathy. Then the routine became school by day and work at Doumar's by night. When Randy graduated in 1993, Albert offered him a job - at better pay than the police force. And he has been there since. "You don't find too many in-laws you can work for and truly love," he said.
Richard, a retired Chesapeake police officer-specialist, was born and reared in Norfolk and, like countless kids, hung out at Doumar's with friends. "Albert was like a second father to me," he said. When Thad offered him a job 3 1/2 years ago, he took it. "It took a while to master consistency," he said. (More)

450 Students from 22 Countries Train to Be the Next Generation of Philanthropic Leaders
(Digital Journal, June 27, 2014)

If you've found yourself nodding your head and tapping your feet to the original song "Happy" performed by Pharrell Williams, then you've been listening to some of the musical works of Oscar-nominated, Grammy award-winning songwriter Amir Windom. Regarded as one of the top creative minds of his generation, Windom and a handful of other internationally acclaimed authors, activists and entrepreneurs will speak to students attending Operation Smile's 23rd annual International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC) in Limerick, Ireland from July 12- July 21.
"The purpose of the week-long leadership conference is to enrich each student's perspective of the value of service within their communities and help develop their skills as future philanthropic leaders," said Operation Smile's Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee. Every year, the conference is held at a different university around the world. Last year, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia hosted 450 students for the week-long conference. Throughout the week, students will participate in team-building activities, attend leadership workshops, compete in field games and complete service projects.
Conference participants range in age from 15 to 22 and hail from 22 countries around the world. By bringing together international students, community leaders and scholars from all backgrounds, Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity that provides free surgery for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities, creates a forum for examining and celebrating the positive impact of cultural diversity.
(More)

Hampton Roads cheers on Team USA in World Cup
(WAVY-TV, June 26, 2014)

Many of us were glued to the TV during lunch to watch Team USA play Germany in the World Cup. While it may not have been the outcome everyone was rooting for, the U.S. will still advance.
10 On Your Side watched the match with 106 children at a local soccer camp in Virginia Beach where they had Uncle Sam Red White and Blue on.
It takes a big man to dress like Hayden Montgomery, but he is the spirit of the World Cup and all things Team U.S.A. Montgomery is completely painted red, white, and blue.
"We heard this was going on, and this is incredibly obnoxiously American, so I decided to paint up and get hyped." ...
A subdued crowd was at ODU's Dominion Soccer Academy after the U.S. went down 1-0 to Germany. That's where we found Alan Dawson, who summed up the soccer frenzy in America: "It's becoming more and more popular. Kids are getting excited about the sport. This is not a moment, it is a movement, and this has a lot of kids getting excited about the sport and this is a big day for the U.S."
It was not lost on anyone at ODU that Team USA moves on to the World Cup Knockout round, despite the loss to Germany.
"I like our chances right now. We are down. We will advance to the second round, and that's all we have to do right now," said Dawson. (More)

July 8: Join TidewaterBiz for an update on Fort Monroe and the local economy at the beach
(The Daily Press, June 25, 2014)

Mark July 8 on your calendar for the next free TidewaterBiz networking event where we'll get an update on Fort Monroe, Hampton economic development and the Hampton Roads economy at the Paradise Ocean Club located on the beach at Fort Monroe.
Speakers include:
John Hutcheson, Executive Deputy Director of the Fort Monroe Authority
Dr. Vinod Agarwal, ODU Professor of Economics & Director of the Economic Forecasting Project
Mike "Yaz" Yaskowsky, Senior Development Manager at Hampton's Department of Economic Development
Stay for free alcoholic drinks and finger foods. Meet TidewaterBiz reporter Tara Bozick and newly hired business reporter Jamaal O'Neal.
When: 6-8 p.m.
Where: Paradise Ocean Club, 490 Fenwick Road in Hampton (Fort Monroe)
(More)

ODU has about 300 football season tickets left to sell
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 26, 2014)

Nearly three weeks after putting 1,078 football season tickets on sale, Old Dominion has sold about 800 and has a little less than 300 left to sell, senior associate athletic director Debbie White said.
Follow me on Twitter @harry_miniumVP.
Whether that's good news or bad for ODU depends on your point of view.
ODU has sold out 35 consecutive home games at Foreman Field, and appears destined to sell out all six again this season. At the current rate, all season tickets will be gone sometime next week, two months before the season begins.
On the other hand, some ODU fans have argued on message boards that the availability of tickets is a sign that ticket demand has waned.
ODU officials deny that, and say ticket demand is as strong as ever.
ODU generally loses between 1,000 and 1,500 season ticket holders per season. Some move, others change jobs, some die and some just lose interest.
Prior to this season, ODU has had a waiting list for season tickets, and sold out tickets before they could go on sale to the general public.
The waiting list disappeared last season when the school went through the process of re-seating all 20,188 seats at Foreman Field. It vanished in part because ODU made it more difficult to get on the waiting list after last season, requiring a minimum $100 donation.
ODU athletic director Wood Selig said the school found that many people on the waiting list didn't want season tickets. Instead, they wanted access to single-game tickets, which were offered to people on the waiting list first. (More)

Smigiel wants Norfolk Southern to act on coal dust
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 27, 2014)

A city councilman wants railroad company Norfolk Southern to do more to control coal dust at its Lamberts Point terminal and is asking the council to weigh in.
Tommy Smigiel wrote in a letter that coal dust is a health concern and that the City Council has a "moral obligation" to get involved.
Some residents and environmental groups have complained about coal dust coming from the facility - the largest of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere.
Most of the coal terminal - built before the Clean Air Act of 1970 - operates without limits on particulate pollution, called "fugitive dust," provided the facility doesn't handle more coal each year than allowed by the state. Norfolk Southern hasn't come close in years.
The state Department of Environmental Quality estimated that nearly 90,000 pounds of coal dust blew off the site last year. ...
Smigiel wrote that he noticed coal dust at Old Dominion University's tennis courts when he coached high school tournaments there.
"Each tournament started off with brand new, fresh-out-of-the-can tennis balls," he wrote. "By the time the matches ended, the balls were almost black because of the coal dust collected off the courts." (More)

Iverson, Stanley top local sports Hall of Fame class
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 23, 2014)

Former NBA great Allen Iverson and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame coach Marianne Stanley of Old Dominion headline the 2014 class that will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, the organization announced today.
The seventh induction class for the Hall of Fame also includes soccer coach Al Albert (William and Mary), basketball coach and athletic director Don Forsyth (Virginia Wesleyan), former major-league baseball player Wayne Gomes (Hampton, ODU) and multi-sport athlete Jan Trombly (ODU).
Stanley helped put women's basketball on the national map, building a national power at ODU in the 1970s and '80s. Stanley's teams won three national championships. In her 10 years at ODU her teams went 269-59. ...
Gomes starred at Phoebus High and ODU before being taken in the first round of the 1993 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched in 321 major-league games.
Trombly averaged 12.1 points a game on the ODU team that won the 1979 national championship and was later a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic handball team that tied for fourth at the Los Angeles Games. (More)

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning
(KUNC (Colorado), June 24, 2014)

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.
But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."
The Norfolk-Hampton Roads area in Virginia is home to the largest naval operation in the world. This area is particularly vulnerable because the land is sinking as sea levels are rising. Planning for that is both a national security concern and a topic of discussion among the area's business owners.
Toll, working through Old Dominion University, is helping devise a plan that would coordinate a response between the federal and local governments and local businesses. Toll says a regional approach is necessary because it's not just the military that is affected.
"Any impacts that the Navy is going to feel is going to have a direct and indirect impact on the business infrastructure," he says. And Toll says, "that goes all the way down to the small shops that are right on the water, because everybody lives here." (More)

Kaine to lead bipartisan sea level rise conference in Norfolk
(Augusta Free Press, June 24, 2014)

On Monday, June 30, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, U.S. Congressmen Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, and Rob Wittman, as well as Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, will host a regional conference on sea level rise at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
The bipartisan forum will focus on meeting the challenges Hampton Roads faces due to sea level rise and land subsidence and how to promote action at the federal, state and local level to address the region's needs. The conference will feature two panels of federal policy experts and regional stakeholders that will respectively discuss federal policy needs and the process of coordinating work on these issues across government, academia and the private sector. (More)

NCAA Antitrust Trial Looks at Money's Effect on Smaller Leagues
(Courthouse News Services, June 24, 2014)

As student athletes' class-action antitrust trial against the NCAA headed into its third week Monday, plaintiffs' attorney Seth Rosenthal argued that even smaller college conferences are profiting massively from student athletes and pouring that money into ever more extravagant programs.
"It's fair to say there's been an arms race in college sports," Rosenthal said while questioning Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky.
Banowsky said he wasn't sure what an "arms race" meant, but said he generally agreed that, "there hasn't been discipline with the resources."
Conference USA is a mid-level conference of 16 Southern schools, including Rice University, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, Old Dominion, Marshall and East Carolina University.
Banowsky said his conference has done "a better job" of keeping expenditures in line than others, but he'd like to see revenue from athletics directed toward other university programs.
"We've see this growth in expenses," Banowsky said. "As the revenues flow in, instead of capturing those to give to the library it's just plowed back in to the athletic endeavors."
A lot of this revenue growth stems from lucrative television broadcast contracts. Even the smaller Conference USA has seen an $84 million revenue boost from two 6-year agreements with FOX and CBS Sports TV. (More)

Siemens Invests More Than $1 Billion in Software Grants
(Pumps and Systems, June 21, 2014)

Siemens announced more than $1 billion of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at community colleges and universities in Virginia. Students will now have access to the same Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture some of the world's most sophisticated products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics.
The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers and is designed to support the state's largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, and other companies with local ties such as Rolls-Royce. The grants are part of ongoing workforce development collaboration among community colleges, universities and organizations like CCAM, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SHVEC)-an organization that provides workforce training to the rural population. ...
- Old Dominion University - $746 million: An academic member of CCAM, the grant will help ODU further expand the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) workforce training programming that provides direct benefits to the regional maritime industry, especially Newport News Shipbuilding and the U.S. Department of Defense. The software will be integrated into existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum and help develop a PLM center of excellence with a focus on marine engineering. (More)

Beach councilman more supportive of maglev now
(The Virginian-Pilot, June 25, 2014)

It looks as though one of the biggest skeptics of building a maglev - or magnetic levitation - train system in the city might be having a change of heart.
Councilman Jim Wood recently rode the Linimo maglev train in Nagoya, Japan, and toured its control center and maintenance facility. He reported his findings to his fellow council members Tuesday.
His conclusion: It could work here.
"I'm not going to say that I'm completely sold," Wood said. "The technology works in Nagoya."
There, magnets built into each train car elevate it 6 millimeters above a steel track, according to Wood's presentation. Linear motors then move it back and forth along a 5.4-mile line.
The system debuted in 2005, Wood said. It has seven stations, travels at an average speed of 20 mph and has nearly 20,000 riders per day.
Wood said the system is substantially similar to one proposed for Virginia Beach by American Maglev Technology, the Georgia-based company behind the failed maglev system at Old Dominion University.
"It's the only operational urban maglev system that uses the same technology as proposed by American Maglev," he said. "The track is identical." (More)

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning
(National Public Radio, June 24, 2014)

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.
But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."
The Norfolk-Hampton Roads area in Virginia is home to the largest naval operation in the world. This area is particularly vulnerable because the land is sinking as sea levels are rising. Planning for that is both a national security concern and a topic of discussion among the area's business owners.
Toll, working through Old Dominion University, is helping devise a plan that would coordinate a response between the federal and local governments and local businesses. Toll says a regional approach is necessary because it's not just the military that is affected.
"Any impacts that the Navy is going to feel is going to have a direct and indirect impact on the business infrastructure," he says. And Toll says, "that goes all the way down to the small shops that are right on the water, because everybody lives here."
David DiPalo is the sanguine owner of O'Sullivan's Wharf, a restaurant 3 miles from the naval base. It's on the waterfront, and locals can bring their catch in to be fried.
"We've flooded, in the past five years, three times," DiPalo says. "And basically, it's like we move for a day or two. And that's all you can do."
DiPalo says between lost business and food, damage and cleanup, each time it costs between $5,000 and $10,000. But he says his current storm prep system works, and he vows to stay put. (More)

Va.-led transportation group gets federal funding
(The Washington Post/Associated Press, June 24, 2014)

Old Dominion University is part of a consortium of universities that has received federal money to research energy-efficient transportation.
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech also are in the group that will receive the $5 million Department of Transportation grant, according to a news release from U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia.
"I am excited about the work this grant will make possible," Warner said in the release. "We desperately need to improve the condition of our nation's infrastructure, and efficiency gains through this kind of research will be key to that goal." (More)

Local expert talks about what went wrong in Iraq
(WVEC-TV, June 23, 2014)

Three years after the United States concluded eight years of combat in Iraq, the Middle Eastern nation is in upheaval once again.
The United spent billions of dollars training Iraqi security forces and lost more than 4,000 military personnel during the war.
Despite all that investment in liberating Iraq from the dictatorship of Sadaam Hussein, any gains appear to be on the verge of possible collapse.
So, what went wrong?
"The fundamental problem in the Middle East which the American government has underestimated is that there have not been developed institutions in the Middle East which could help develop Democracy ," said Old Dominion University International Relations Professor Steve Yetiv.
"When Sadaam Hussein fell, the United States military kept Iraq together. And after the U.S. military left, there weren't institutions o leaders that could help Democracy move ahead and keep Iraq together," he said.
While it has been eleven years since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Yetiv says it's worth noting that various factions in Iraq have been at odds for more than 1,400 years. (More)