The third annual Tree of Life benefit will take place on February 25th, 2017 at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC. All proceeds from this year’s event will go to Ferncliff Manor, Inc., a unique residential school and housing facility for children and adults with developmental disabilities located in Yonkers, NY. Tree of Life 3 will bring together some of the jam scene’s most talented musicians–including Scott Metzger, Jason Crosby and more–for seven sets of music featuring special collaborations and guest appearances. Tickets are available here.You can check out the full list of scheduled performances below:SET 1: Sunshine Becker* of Furthur will be joined by various friends and special guests performing as the Sunshine Garcia Band.SET 2: Jason Crosby, a member of Robert Randolph and the Family Band who has played with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Carlos Santana, Pete Seeger, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews will be joined by various friends and special guests.SET 3: Elliot Peck, (Midnight North) and Jesse Bardwell (The Quimby Mountain Band) will join together as Peck and Penn, playing an eclectic brand of original music.SET 4: Katie Jacoby, a diverse electric and acoustic violinist who tours with Ed Palermo’s Big Band will be performing a featured mini set.SET 5: Alexander Nelson (Walking Spanish) will be performing a duet with a special guest and will be joined by various friends.SET 6: Scott Metzger of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, will front his band WOLF!, a unique instrumental trio that includes Jon Shaw and Taylor Floreth. Jon Shaw recently played on Bob Weir’s 2016 album and tour. Taylor Floreth, a versatile drummer/percussionist, has shared the stage with Chris Barron, Franki Valli, Bill Sims Jr and many more.SET 7: Tree of Life Band will combine all the performing “friends” and special guests for the traditional late night Tree of Life Band jam.Other featured friends will include Alex Jordan (Midnight North, Cubensis)and Chris Crosby (Danke Baby).For ticket sales, information and sponsorship opportunities visit www.ferncliffmanor.org
Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen spoke to a group of USC students about his life and platform at an event hosted by the USC College Republicans Thursday night in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center International Plaza.Before an open discussion regarding his policies and positions in the upcoming election, Petersen gave a quick summary of his upbringing in Peculiar, Missouri, and the values of hard work and a love of country that were instilled in him.Petersen went on to pursue a career in media in New York City, where he began his work in politics advocating for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2008. Petersen touted his credentials as a producer for the Fox Business network show Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano. He said that some of the content he pushed to be featured on the show was controversial, but that his position on the program was rarely in jeopardy as long as people were tuning in.“Fox doesn’t care as long as you get ratings,” Petersen said, discussing a particular occasion during the program’s run in which he featured the history of the pledge of allegiance.Petersen also talked about Gary Johnson, one of his opponent’s in the Libertarian Party’s primary election. Petersen criticized his opponent and said that Johnson smokes marijuana on the campaign trail and expects to be the nominee, a hope Petersen believes was dashed once he entered the race.Petersen questioned the donations provided to Johnson’s campaign by marijuana businesses and other companies, emphasizing the individual donations that fund his campaign and his hands-on dedication to running for president.“I’m kind of the anti-establishment candidate in my anti-establishment party,” Petersen said.After speaking about his career path and qualifications for the presidency, Petersen opened up the discussion to allow students to pose specific policy questions toward him.On the question of abortion, Petersen believes he has distinguished himself as a self-avowed “pro-life atheist.”“It confuses people, it gets them curious,” Petersen said, believing that one should take a “rational secular viewpoint” on this issue, viewing all life as important and valuable. Still, he believes this is an issue that should be decided on the state level, a sentiment echoed all throughout his discussion on policy.Despite his enthusiasm for free trade, Petersen admitted reservations regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying it would “manage trade, rather than [provide] real free trade.”When asked by a student on how to interact and debate with more liberal-leaning classmates and professors, Petersen mentioned specific inroads that Libertarians could make with liberals, particularly with those outside the establishment, due to their similar viewpoints regarding the War on Drugs, civil liberties, interventionism and criminal justice reform.Petersen addressed the Libertarian Party’s slim chances of reaching the White House, and why he is the best representative for its ideals.“When you don’t have a chance at the White House, you’re sort of acting as a torchbearer for the movement. I would be able to pass the torch forward,” Peterson said.