Week of 9/14/12
New officers elected to ODU's Board of Visitors
(The Virginian-Pilot, September 14, 2012)
Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc., was elected Thursday to lead Old Dominion University's governing Board of Visitors.
He succeeds David Bernd, chief executive officer of Sentara Healthcare, as rector of the 17-member board.
Whyte, 65, was appointed to the board by Gov. Bob McDonnell in 2010. As president of Stihl, he heads the German-owned power-tool manufacturer's U.S. division, based in Virginia Beach.
Also elected were Barry Kornblau as vice rector and Andrea Kilmer as secretary.
Kornblau, retired chairman and CEO of Summit Realty Group in Richmond, was appointed to the board by then-Gov. Tim Kaine in 2007 and reappointed by McDonnell in 2011. Kilmer, vice president and chief financial officer of The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach, was appointed by McDonnell in 2011.
Kornblau and Kilmer are ODU alumni. (More)
Marine FAST team headed to Libya to reinforce security
(Video, WVEC-TV, September 12, 2012)
(Old Dominion University professor Steve Yetiv was interviewed by WVEC-TV reporter Mike Gooding about the escalating situation in Libya). (More)
Joe Bisson shows improvement at Old Dominion Speedway
(Inside NOVA, September 13, 2012)
Joe Bisson is running stronger this season in Legends at Old Dominion Speedway.The 22-year-old King George driver is 10th in points, despite missing four races. And he's taken home three top fives and five top 10s and led some impressive laps.
"I've been pretty happy with racing this year, considering that I didn't spend much money in the off-season and didn't change anything on the car and was able to come out and run more competitively," Bisson said.
Bisson, who is studying engineering with a specialization in motorsports at Old Dominion University, likes the challenge of racing. He loves coming to ODS on Saturdays and trying to improve.
"It's fun to go out there and work hard and see the benefits of all the work," he said. "It's a challenge, but when you do well, it's really rewarding." (More)
Digging deeper into the boom
(Video, Canadian Television, September 10, 2012)
(Old Dominion University professor Steve Yetiv was interviewed on Canadian Television's national news network about the impact of the energy production boom on the United States and oil prices). (More)
Exhibit features images meant to have bite
(The Virginian-Pilot, September 13, 2012)
One set of photographs shows people who live in motels, weariness etched on their faces as they sit in often-dismal surroundings.
Another series includes photographs from the Occupy Wall Street movement, visceral black-and-white images framing people sleeping under tarps and getting arrested.
The photographs - part of "Photographs With Teeth," an exhibit that opens Saturday at the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University - are intended to be hard-hitting, and provocative.
"They're photographs that aren't just pretty pictures," said Greta Pratt, an assistant photography professor at ODU who curated the exhibit and is showing her own photography.
"Photographs With Teeth" is a month-long exhibit running in conjunction with ODU's annual literary festival, this year called "Words With Teeth." It features the work of four female photographers as they explore the working class, socioeconomic inequality and the rhetoric of patriotism. (More)
Democrat publisher Dorsey leaving for new post
(Tallahassee.com, September 13, 2012)
Pat Dorsey, president and publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat, announced Wednesday he has accepted the same post with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Dorsey, 44, has been the Democrat's publisher since August 2005, when the newspaper was purchased by Gannett, an international media and marketing solutions company that owns a powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. ...
Dorsey guided the Democrat's aggressive digital transition over the last several years. In July 2010, the Democrat became one of the nation's first newspapers to adopt a "full-access paid subscription" model, in which readers paid for access to the newspaper's online content. Dorsey said almost 70 percent of Democrat subscribers have activated their online accounts, a rate he said, "is the highest I've ever heard of; the best (other newspapers) get to is about 40 to 50 percent."
Dorsey also oversaw the newspaper's increased focus on local news.
"Much earlier than most newspapers, we turned our focus on the community, which I've said all along is our strategic edge," Dorsey said. "We can cover Tallahassee better than anyone in the world."
Dorsey is a graduate of Old Dominion University (Va.) and worked as a certified public accountant before joining Gannett 19 years ago. (More)
The 700 club and the Virginian Pilot for Kitchenability
(Kitchenability Blog, September 13, 2012)
The Day of Kitchenability started at 5:30 am. I Woke up a little jittery, ready for my big appearance on the CBN's 700 club. Hair and makeup came at 5:45am Shannan did a fabulous job! Before you knew it I looked like a new woman ready to take on national television.
7am came and before you knew it we were being picked up by the executive producer. My amazing publicist Stephanie stood by me the whole time. ...
After we finished the show I felt a sense of accomplishment. We grabbed a quick lunch re-charged our batteries and we were off to Old Dominion University. A reporter from the Virginian Pilot was writing a story on Kitchenability 101 and having 2 local college students make 2 of my dishes in their dorm room suite kitchen. I stopped in and the joy on the two girls faces made me melt. They treated me like I was a celebrity telling me how much they loved the book..."saying can I hug you!!!" I was just in pure "bliss" the photographer there took photos of us. They were so excited to tell me what they had made from my book. They waited to see my reaction to their cooking skills as they poured me a bowl of chicken noodle soup. They also made the peanut-butter butter fluff drenched brownies. I was so proud to see these two girls enjoy cooking and see how Kitchenability is not just a book, not just a word, but a true movement. (More)
Political-ad tsunami swamps southeast Virginia
(The Washington Times, September 11, 2012)
Hampton Roads, the military-laden community on Virginia's southeastern shoreline, is drowning in advertising.
It's a swing region at every level: Rep. E. Scott Rigell, a Republican, is in the toughest battle for re-election of any of the state's 11 congressmen, Virginia's U.S. Senate race between two state political heavyweights is among the most competitive in the nation, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney needs to win in Hampton Roads in order to offset increasingly Democratic Northern Virginia.
All of those campaigns - and the 14 independent groups that also are advertising in the region - make Hampton Roads more saturated than any major city in the other battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Colorado or Ohio.
"We are ground zero," said Gary Byler, chairman of the Republican Party in the state's 2nd Congressional District. "People always say, 'This is the most important election of the lifetime. But what is true is that this is the one that's had by far the most impact on my life." ...
"There's this battle between the defense hawks and deficit hawks," said Jesse T. Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
"People are struggling to find work because they retired from the military, and contractors they'd otherwise be working for have frozen hiring in anticipation," Mr. Richman said. (More)
American reaction to tragedy of 9/11
(WAVY-TV, September 11, 2012)
When terrorist planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11, heroes came out of the woodwork.
As individuals, Americans did what they always do as a whole - we did not really know what to do.
"The reactions to September 11 were alternately extremely prissy and amazingly hardcore and we went back and forth continuously and we're still doing it," Old Dominion University political scientist Aaron Karp said. "Why is it that we're still commemorating September 11 in the same way? The families have largely moved on."
Karp says historically, America has moved on from tragedy more quickly. He says there has been a decision to longer on 9/11 and make it a touchstone for the future of society.
Karp told WAVY.com America used to be defied as a nation of self-invention. He says now, it is all about learning lessons from history, perpetuating history and honoring it. (More)
U.Va. retains No. 2 spot in U.S. News ranking
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 12, 2012)
With the dust-up still unsettled and state lawmakers weighing their role in the dispute, the University of Virginia at least won't see its national standing diminished as a result of the summer's attempted coup.
U.S. News & World Report's ranking of best colleges for 2013, released today, keeps U.Va. in the No. 2 spot among national public universities.
But if the reputation of the state's flagship university was unblemished, that could be more the benefit of timing than a measure of the repercussions resulting from the governing board's unsuccessful ouster of U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan.
Peer assessments and rankings by high school counselors had largely been completed by June 10, when the board announced Sullivan's resignation. ...
Old Dominion University is included on the list of schools whose students graduated in 2011 with the least debt. About 75 percent of ODU students graduate with debt that averages $16,500, according to the report. (More)
President: ODU Guided by 'Entrepreneurial Spirit'
(New Journal and Guide, September 9, 2012)
Old Dominion University continues to take bold steps into the future a few weeks after President John R. Broderick delivered his annual address.
For example, a new art building will open on campus in early 2014. Meanwhile, a team of graduate accounting students recently won the Government Finance Case Challenge for the second year in a row. And the CIVIC Leadership Institute has partnered with the university to work to keep more talented people in the area.
"Community engagement is one of the key initiatives in Old Dominion's strategic plan," said President John Broderick. "Partnering with an organization with the stature and strength of CIVIC opens new opportunities for the university to accomplish that goal."
Clearly, there is a lot of activity on campus since the president delivered his annual address on Aug. 21 in the Ted Constant Convocation Center to about 1200 community leaders and members of the university.
Broderick said for the long-term health of Old Dominion, it's vital that the university examine several critically important issues that connect to its goals.
With more than 25 percent of its student body connected to the military, ODU will continue to be military friendly. ODU has been recognized nationally as military-friendly. But the landscape is ever changing, Broderick said in his recent address. "Our review will determine the university's next generation of support and services for our men and women in uniform."
The port and maritime industry are another priority. The port is a critical component of the economic vitality of the commonwealth, Broderick said. ODU is examining ways to extend its research and academic programs to help grow this resource. (More)
Is the Energy Boom a Mirage?
(The Virginian-Pilot, September 9, 2012)
By Steve A. Yetiv
The United States is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production - one that many people, including Mitt Romney, see as a game-changing, tectonic shift in our energy picture. But while the boom is real, the benefits are less than meet the eye.
The U.S. produces 1.6 million more barrels of oil each day now than it did in 2008. That's a significant increase in a world that consumes around 89 million barrels per day, with the U.S. accounting for about a quarter of that amount.
In addition, America's net petroleum imports have fallen from 60 percent of total consumption in 2005 to 42 percent today. This is partly because of new discoveries and the reclamation of "tight oil" using hydraulic fracturing technology that shoots pressurized liquids into compact, underground rock formations - the same technology driving the natural gas boom.
But what does this oil boom really mean? Will it deliver lower oil prices and enhance energy security, which is what most Americans want and many may expect?
We should not be overly optimistic. ...
Steve A. Yetiv, a professor of political science at Old Dominion University and the author of "The Petroleum Triangle," wrote this for The New York Times. He can be reached at www.odu.edu/~syetiv. (More)
Port could have made better decisions, report says
(Inside Business, September 7, 2012)
While the Port of Virginia is recovering from the hit it took from the recession, past decisions have kept it from reaching its full potential, according to a report from an Old Dominion University economist.
James Koch, president emeritus of the university, drafted the report at the request of Sean Connaughton, Virginia's secretary of transportation, whose office is in the midst of deciding whether one of three private firms should take over the port's operations from Virginia International Terminals.
In the report, Koch says APM Terminals, The Carlyle Group and RREEF Real Estate have made good offers, but the port has room to negotiate better terms.
The Port of Virginia is the third busiest on the East Coast. However, Gov. Bob McDonnell isn't pleased with its performance. Last year, he replaced all but one of the Virginia Port Authority's board members.
"All of its current challenges can't be attributed to the recession," Koch says in the report. "Some of the port's challenges relate to past strategic decisions made by the port and generous public infrastructure investments made by competitor states and more rapid regional economic development in regions serviced by our competitors." (More)
On budget, on time and as part of a team
(Inside Business, September 7, 2012)
A common sight in Hampton Roads is a construction venue wearing the black and red block logo of S.B. Ballard Construction.
The man behind the logo is Stephen Ballard, company president, who prides himself on staying in budget and delivering projects on time.
Many of Ballard's projects are schools in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Suffolk as well as Wise County in the southwestern corner of the state. This could be considered an irony since Ballard admits to being "not the smartest student" while at Norfolk's Maury High School. ...
Ballard was a freshman at Old Dominion University in the mid 1970s when he stumbled into the construction business. He was working at renovating houses while attending classes.
While waiting to speak with a professor, he was balancing his checkbook. The professor walked in and caught a glimpse of Ballard's paycheck.
"He said, 'You're making more money than I am,'" Ballard said.
"That is when I thought maybe college was not for me. It would be better for me to complete a trade."
He now has an honorary degree from ODU, and the school's football team plays on Foreman Field at Ballard Stadium. (More)
ODU teaches foreign students about football
(Video, WTKR-TV, September 6, 2012)
Old Dominion University is teaching students from other countries about the game of football so they too will have an interest in the sport. (More)
Virginia Names the Region's Best Tech Projects of 2012
(Government Technology, September 7, 2012)
Virginia honored achievements in public-sector IT on Sept. 7 at the annual Governor's Technology Awards. As part of the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS), Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling presented awards to winners in 10 categories based on the decisions "by a distinguished panel of government information technology experts," a press release stated.
The annual competition, now in its 16th year, received a record number of entries for consideration from local, state and federal government. ...
Cross Boundary Collaboration on Modeling and Simulation Initiatives
Advancing Patient Safety via Medical Simulation Training For Physicians: Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center, Old Dominion University, and Englewood Hospital (More)
Glut of apartments raises concern
(Inside Business, September 7, 2012)
A Richmond public relations and marketing group specializing in real estate is alarmed that too many apartments are being built in Virginia, including Hampton Roads.
If it continues, areas of the state, mostly in the dense metropolitan regions, will be flooded with apartments, leading to a glut, much like rise and fall of the housing market, the group says.
"We [aren't] saying that there's a bubble about to burst in the next few months," said Andrew Ryan, a partner with Commonwealth Partnerships Group in a meeting with Inside Business.
"Rather, based on trends and developments we were seeing throughout the state, including Hampton Roads, we wanted to raise a flag about a potential glut of apartment supply, which could create a bubble, especially as new apartment projects continue to be proposed and built."
The Census Bureau's quarterly data on rental vacancy rates shows Hampton Roads' rental vacancy rate at 14.4 percent, a big jump from the first quarter 2012 rate of 6.8 percent, Ryan said.
Old Dominion University's 2012 Multi-Family Market Report found that the Hampton Roads area "saw a decrease in demand in 2011" in terms of apartment units absorbed.
"According to the report, this rate was less than half the rate of absorption in 2009 and 2010," Ryan said.
"The Census Bureau's statistics on the high vacancy rate coupled with the soft demand coming from the ODU report struck us as potentially alarming, especially given the coming loss of three ships - and at least 1800 service members and their families - and the possible defense cuts. (More)