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    SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — There was no time to waste. As Hurricane Ian lashed southwest Florida, Bryan Stern, a veteran of the U.S. military, and others began gathering crews, boats and even crowbars for the urgent task that would soon be at hand: rescuing hundreds of people who might get trapped by floodwaters.

      On a warm fall afternoon, pianist Brian Woods fills the small performance hall in Mount Vernon with soul-stirring classical music that beckons autumn leaves to dance and transports the audience to another time and place. For a brief magical time, we are lifted above our everyday lives and un…

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      As summer turns to fall, I feel an equal sense of sadness and anticipation. I will miss warm sunny days spent outdoors but look forward to cozy chilly evenings curled up by a glowing fire. Similar mixed emotions can appear when we say goodbye to one season of life and step into another.

      The news that Columbia University filed fraudulent data to rise in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings has again raised the question of what these rankings mean. Does anyone imagine that as Columbia “plunged” from No. 2 to No. 18 (as its ranking was reassessed by U.S. News on its own estimated data) that the Columbia students sitting in their classrooms in Upper Manhattan felt the quality of their education slipping away?

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