An unconventional path to the Senate

first_imgEditor’s Note: This is the first story in a series featuring the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s graduates serving as members of Congress. This series, titled “Trading Golden Dome for Capitol Dome,” will run on Fridays.  When Sen. Frank Lautenberg died on June 3, 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie asked Sen. Jeff Chiesa, then the state’s attorney general, to advise him on what action to take in light of the senator’s death.  Leaving the meeting, Chiesa said he did not think he was someone Christie might ask to fill the vacant Senate seat. At about 10:15 p.m. that night, Chiesa said he received a call from Christie. “I got a call from the Governor, who asked if he could come to my house and talk to my wife and I that night,” Chiesa said. “And that’s when I said to my wife, ‘He is not coming over here to talk Notre Dame football’ … He is coming over because he is going to ask me to go to the Senate. We have a decision to make.’” Chiesa said he spoke at length with his wife and Christie about his appointment to the Senate, and then accepted the offer the next day.   “He didn’t care if I was running, he never asked me how I would vote on anything, and he thought that it would be a great way for me to continue my public service – he knew how much I loved being Attorney General,” Chiesa said. “I thought this would be a wonderful thing to do, you can have a big impact even in the four or five months I’m here, and once [my family] was comfortable with [the appointment] we made the decision the next day.” A life of service Chiesa, who graduated from Notre Dame in 1987, became the first Republican to hold a New Jersey Senate seat since 1982. His tenure will be the fourth shortest of the 65 senators in New Jersey’s history.  His desire to give some of his life to public service was strengthened during his time at Notre Dame, Chiesa said.  “There is a faith-based component to your education here that is with you when you get there, and further nurtured while you’re there,” Chiesa said. “You can tell it’s an atmosphere of community. It’s a college atmosphere where people are always looking to help each other, looking to improve the lives of people they don’t know in many different ways.” “I think anybody who enjoys and admires the kind of thing that Notre Dame stands for, the best way you can translate that professionally is to commit some part of your life – and some people commit their entire careers – to public service.” Chiesa said he feels various aspects of the Notre Dame community instill a desire to serve in its students.  “The academic training you get as a student, but just importantly the community that you live with: my friends, my professors, the people at the University [emphasize the value of service],” Chiesa said. “Fr. Hesburgh was president when I was there, and he was somebody who gave his entire life to other people through his priesthood and through his service to the University – I admired him greatly and continue to admire him greatly. “If you’re going to try in some small way to emulate that kind of behavior then you want to try to get into public service. I think the Notre Dame education and the sense of community stay with you for your entire life … I think that is a fundamental characteristic of people who graduate from Notre Dame.” Working for New Jersey After he graduated from Notre Dame with a B.B.S. in accounting, Chiesa received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America and then went into private practice. Following 10 years in private practice and seven years as a U.S. prosecutor, Chiesa said Christie asked him to serve as his campaign counsel.  “When he was elected, he made it clear to me he wanted me to be a part of his administration, and that he wanted to pick the role I could best serve in,” Chiesa said. “It was a very easy decision for me – he is one of my closest friends, I have tremendous respect for him as a person and professionally and I knew that he was exactly what New Jersey needed to pull itself out of a horrendous situation, both in terms of the financial picture of the state and moral, generally.”  Working in state government positions, Chiesa said he enjoyed being able to work toward tangibly improving New Jersey for its residents.  “As a public prosecutor you have a huge impact on your state and on your community,” Chiesa said. “I never thought I was going to be attorney general, but you have that chance and a tremendous opportunity to impact your state and your community.” Still, Chiesa said he never expected to hold elected office. “My last elected office was senior class president in high school, so I did not expect to be here,” he said.  Limited time in office Chiesa will serve as one of New Jersey’s senators until the state’s October 16 special election, which will allow the people to elect a new senator. Because Chiesa said he will not run in the special election, he will have served approximately four months in office.  Serving in the Senate for a relatively short time period prompted Chiesa to choose several issues to be his focus, he said. “The issue I’m going to pick while I’m here is human trafficking,” he said. “I’m going to try to work to bring awareness to it, to strengthen our laws in any way that I can, and to try to continue as I did as attorney general to communicate the importance of combating human trafficking.” This focus resulted from his experiences as attorney general and his time at Notre Dame, Chiesa said.   “Part of your education at Notre Dame and part of our faith teaches us that you have an obligation when you’re in a position to help somebody else out, to help them out,” Chiesa said. “For me as attorney general that meant I targeted people who would pick on vulnerable victims. So, I went hard after child pornographers, I went hard after gangs, I went hard after human traffickers.” “To the extent that now that I’m in the legislative branch, I can help strengthen the laws or bring more awareness to these topics, that’s what I would like to do.” Chiesa said he also plans to continue advocating for his state to receive the aid it needs from the federal government to fully recover from Hurricane Sandy. “The Governor has done a great job, the state is well on its way,” Chiesa said. “But, a lot of the money comes from the federal government so I’m going to continue to push as hard as I can for New Jersey while I’m here.”  Because he jumped into a position others have held for years and been prepared to take for an even longer time, Chiesa said he had some work to do to prepare himself to weigh in on the issues under consideration in the Senate.  “When I came down here during my first three weeks in-session I was really focused on learning everything I could about [the immigration bill], and then making my judgment at the end of the process,” Chiesa said. “That was something I had to get up to speed on, because they’ve been debating it here in the Senate for months.” Chiesa said he voted in favor of the bill because he felt it would have a very positive effect on the nation and on New Jersey. “It was my feeling at the end of this discussion that the bill that we passed as a Senate improves border security and improves our ability to track people on exit and entry, it improves our e-Verify system so that employers can make sure they’re hiring people who should be here and who are eligible to work,” Chiesa said. “In every measurable way it improves things, and I’m in a state where 450,000 people will be affected by this. … Ultimately, this decision for me was one that made sense. It made sense, I thought, nationally, and I certainly thought it made sense for the people of New Jersey.” Sen. Bob Menendez, Chiesa’s New Jersey counterpart in the Senate and chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has vocally supported action in Syria and worked with the White House to develop a bill to submit for Congressional approval. Though the Senate shelved the resolution to authorize the use of military force in Syria after President Obama’s national address Tuesday, a Sept. 11 Washington Post article quoted Menendez and several other leaders who indicated talks about potential military action would continue should the use of force be deemed necessary.  Communications director Ken Lundberg said Chiesa is “unannounced” on how he intends to vote on a resolution regarding Syria, though he has attended several classified briefings, met with White House officials and other members of Congress. After his term concludes, Chiesa said he plans to reenter private life to lessen the strain his work has put on his family. Though he now contributes to the formation of national policy, Chiesa said attending Notre Dame was one of the “biggest thrills” of his life. “I remember it like it was yesterday — it was March of 1983 that I got my acceptance letter, really it was just a thrill,” Chiesa said. “I had a hard time believing I was going to have a chance to go to school there. … I think anybody who went to school there is very lucky, and my view is that I will do anything I can to help the University.”  Contact Nicole Michels at nmichels@nd.edulast_img read more

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Fighting fit

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State holding to be Indonesia’s battering ram into global battery market

first_imgPT Indonesia Battery Holding aims to produce between 8 and 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) worth of batteries each year, starting around two to three years from now, said MIND ID president director Orias Petrus Moedak during an online press briefing on Thursday.Read also: High capital requirement poses challenge for Indonesia’s battery industry: Expert“The SOEs Minister expects the EVs to also be built domestically but, of course, if we produce more batteries than needed, then the logical step is to export [the exceed output],” he said.Fulfilling such an expectation will be challenging as experts have said Indonesia’s EV industry is still being held back by limited infrastructure and high capital costs. Indonesia has mobilized three of its biggest state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and opened talks with two foreign multinationals to bring Southeast Asia’s largest economy into the world’s highly lucrative electric vehicle (EV) battery market.The SOEs Ministry has ordered mining holding MIND ID, oil and gas giant Pertamina and electricity monopoly PLN to establish a holding company – tentatively “PT Indonesia Battery Holding” – that will develop an end-to-end domestic supply chain for EV batteries.The trio are also in talks with China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG Chem, the world’s top two EV battery makers by output, to invest between US$12 billion and $20 billion in developing the dream supply chain. Nevertheless, the holding company establishment reflects the sheer magnitude of Indonesia’s “massive downstreaming” ambitions – to use President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s words – to turn the country from a commodity-driven economy into an industrial economy.To that end, the government banned all nickel ore exports starting last year and plans to ban all metal ore exports starting 2022, thereby forcing miners to process the ore domestically.Indonesia’s EV batteries will not only cater to the EV industry but also to the energy storage industry, both of which are expected to grow exponentially over the decade as major economies double-down on green energy commitments.According to the holding’s forecast, global battery demand will quadruple over the next seven years to 777 GWh by 2027, almost all of which will go to EVs. A smaller portion will go into energy storage systems for solar-powered buildings, among others uses.Read also: No EV? Park outside new capital city and take public transportationIn comparison, Indonesia’s battery demand is expected to grow 30-fold over the same period to 5.9 GWh in 2027, assuming the government successfully pushes EV usage particularly in the new state capital.“This is a breath of fresh air. The efforts of Indonesia, with its abundant mineral wealth, to downstream industries get a good response from foreign investors,” said SOEs Minister Erick Thohir in a joint statement on Wednesday.As the world’s top nickel ore producer, Indonesia will focus on developing two nickel-based battery blends: Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Cobalt Nickel Aluminum (NCA). The two are among the main five blends vying for the EV battery market.Such nickel-based blends will likely come to dominate the EV market owing to their good performance and low content of cobalt, which is an increasingly expensive metal due to supply constraints, writes consultancy McKinsey & Company in a 2017 report.“This shift is not certain as battery technologies continue to rapidly evolve, but it is clear the chemistries that emerge dominant will be heavily influenced by potential raw material constraints,” reads the report.MIND ID, which is in charge of the upstream supply chain, has several multi-million dollar downstream projects in the pipeline, including a $3 billion integrated nickel smelter to be built in either North Maluku or Southeast Sulawesi.The integrated smelter features a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) facility that produces 50 kilotons of high purity battery-grade nickel each year. The smelter also produces a lower purity steel-grade nickel.MIND ID’s Orias said the company was also looking at ways to secure refined cobalt and manganese domestically. Indonesia has reserves of both metals but is not a major global producer.“The metal that we really don’t have is lithium,” he said, adding that the miner planned to either acquire lithium mines abroad or import lithium. Read also: Indonesia needs 31,000 charging stations to reach electric vehicle goalsMeanwhile, Pertamina, which is in charge of the midstream supply chain, has been assigned to develop a battery cell and battery pack manufacturing plant.“This will strengthen our position as an energy provider and enable us to capture global EV battery demand,” said Pertamina spokeswoman Fajriyah Usman on Tuesday.Meanwhile, PLN, which is in charge of the downstream supply chain, has been assigned to focus on developing and installing ready-to-use battery sets, which will mainly cater to solar-powered buildings and remote Indonesian villages.“We’re collaborating with other related institutions, including automakers in Indonesia, particularly on the issue of preparing charging stations,” said PLN president director Zulkifli Zaini in the joint statement.PLN previously calculated that Indonesia needed 31,000 EV charging stations by 2030 to meet its EV goals.Topics :last_img read more

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Batesville City Council Member Sworn In Tuesday

first_imgNew Batesville Councilmen Jim Fritsch was sworn in Tuesday.A newly elected Batesville City Council member is being sworn in Tuesday. Jim Fritsch was elected through a four member caucus Monday at the Sherman House.Fritsch will hold the District 3 seat previously occupied by Bob Narwold. The position was vacant after Narwold accepted a position with the Batesville Buildings Department in March.Originally contested by Tony Schantz, Fritsch was the lone candidate Monday during the caucus. Schantz withdrew his candidacy prior to the special election.Fritsch is being sworn in at the Ripley County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon. He will attend his first city council meeting as a member on Monday, Apr. 7.last_img

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No. 7 Syracuse falls to No. 4 Virginia, 2-1, amidst a lot of late-game whistles

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 14, 2017 at 4:44 pm Contact Billy: | @Wheyen3 With less than a minute remaining, Syracuse was awarded a penalty corner, trailing 2-1. The clock reached zero before SU broke its huddle. The corner would be the final play of the game. The nearest referee called a delay of game penalty on Roos Weers, awarding the back a green card and two minutes on the sideline. Syracuse would be without one of its top penalty corner weapons for the game’s last play.“It’s not fun,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said. “The reality is we still had an opportunity and we didn’t stay focused on the present.”No. 7 Syracuse (10-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) had a chance to knot it up with No. 4 Virginia (12-2, 4-1) on Saturday at J.S. Coyne Stadium, but fell short in a game where the Cavaliers dominated. The 2-1 score meant SU had one final chance to tie, but everything about the final stat line suggested the game wasn’t close.In the first half, Syracuse didn’t record a shot, the first time in its ACC history that happened. The best chance Syracuse had in the first half came on a hit from outside the arc by Lies Lagerweij. The ball appeared to have deflected into the goal to give SU the early lead. But the referees overturned the call on the field, ruling no one had touched the ball while inside the arc.By game’s end, the Cavaliers had 11 corners to SU’s 3. In one sequence during the second half, Virginia had five corners in quick succession.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We can’t keep giving opportunities up and redos,” Bradley said. “Ultimately it’s going to fall for a team.”At the end of that sequence, though, Syracuse remained in the lead. Weers had scored just over five minutes into the second half.Whenever Virginia took a corner to set up the country’s leading goal-scorer, Tara Vittesse, van der Velde had a standard plan of defense. She’d sprawl on her side and fill the whole lower half of the goal. Once or twice, the freshman was laying on her side before the shot was even taken. But it worked. The SU keeper was credited with six saves overall.“Borg’s awesome,” Weers said. “If you see the growth she’s making, it’s insane. She has so much potential.”The card given to Weers at the end of the match was not out of line with how the rest of the match had been officiated. The game was physical throughout. It seemed like every play in the midfield ended with two sticks smacking against each other loudly. Early in the game, following a green card to Chiara Gutsche, one fan yelled, “Did we just get another card? Oh my god.” An Erin Gillingham yellow card with 21:11 remaining in the second half got a different fan to scream, “That’s an imaginative call!”After Pien Dicke scored for UVA in the second half, Weers attempted to ask a referee to go to video referral. But the ref said Syracuse took too long to challenge the result. No review ever occurred.Bradley downplayed the influence of the referees on the outcome. On the final play, Lagerweij and Weers both said that it shouldn’t have mattered that Weers was off the field for the corner.Syracuse could have felt unlucky about the poor officiating but the Orange stopped all but one of Virginia’s 11 corners. The game could have been a lot different. But on the final play, when Syracuse had its final chance to force overtime, a ref blew a whistle one last time to send Weers off the field. Whether the whistles mattered or not, there were a lot of them, and Syracuse couldn’t overcome Virginia.“We went to what we felt was injustice as a team,” Bradley said. “Injustice or justice doesn’t matter, we’ve got a job to do and you’ve got to get a result.” Commentslast_img read more

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