Cup o’ (Pro) Jo: March 23, 2011

Yesterday, the University hosted a panel in MacMillan Hall about the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Panelists agreed that Japan could have done more to prevent the disastrous effects of the natural disasters, like building “taller, vertical buildings where residents could find shelter,” as Karen Fischer, professor of geological sciences, said. The panel added that while the 12-minute warning for the tsunami certainly saved many lives, the large concrete walls Japan had constructed around its coast provided residents with a “false sense of security,” since these walls did nothing to lessen the force of the tsunami.

Though state law requires that Rhode Island pay back money taken from its “rainy day fund” one year after its withdrawal, lawmakers have decided to push back this date back by one more year. But the House Finance Committee does not want the state to go through with this. State Budget Officer Thomas Mullaney said postponing the $22 million payment is a “one-time savings” that will make an”additional structural problem in 2013.” Rep. Jan Malik, D-Warren suggested that the state repay half of the $22 million, arguing that “any additional money put into the state’s rainy-day fund at this point, is that much less to spend on other state services and programs.” Hearings on this issue will continue today.

Keep your eyes open this semester. Wes Anderson film “Moonrise Kingdom” is set to be filmed in multiple Rhode Island locations this spring. Notable (and confirmed) cast includes Ed Norton, Francis McDormand and Jason Schwartzman, with potential co-stars Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray. The film, set in the 1960’s, is about the search for two young New England sweethearts who run away together.

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