같은 젖을 먹고 자란 파바로티와 프레니

freni and pavarotti
테너 루치아노 파바로티(오른쪽)와 소프라노 미렐라 프레니. 동아일보DB

1935년 이탈리아 북부 도시 모데나. 이발사의 아내 잔나는 딸을 낳은 뒤 생활비가 부족하자 동네 담배공장에 취직했습니다. 당시 이탈리아의 총통(두체)이었던 무솔리니는 ‘사회 효율화’를 위해 일정 규모 이상의 사업장에 전속 유모를 두도록 했습니다. 잔나의 딸 미렐라도 엄마 젖과 함께 담배공장 소속 유모의 젖을 먹고 뽀얗게 커나갔습니다.

몇 달 뒤 이 공장에서 잔나의 단짝이던 아델레가 아들을 낳았습니다. 아델레의 아들 루치아노도 같은 유모의 젖을 먹고 부쩍부쩍 자랐습니다. 신기한 일이죠. 이 유모의 젖을 먹은 두 아이가 세계적인 성악가가 된 것은.

잔나의 딸은 소프라노 미렐라 프레니, 아델레의 아들은 테너 루치아노 파바로티였습니다. 둘은 어려서도 친구였고, 자라서는 전 세계의 수많은 오페라 극장과 녹음 스튜디오에서 호흡을 맞추는 사이가 되었습니다.

“생각해 보세요. 누가 그 젖을 다 차지했을지!” 훗날 프레니는 깔깔거리며 얘기하곤 했습니다. 파바로티의 체구가 유독 큰 것을 빗댄 농담이었습니다. 하지만 프레니가 2월생으로 누나였고 파바로티는 10월생이었으니 파바로티 때문에 프레니가 쫄쫄 굶는 일은 없었을 것 같습니다.

연말을 맞아 우리나라 곳곳에서 푸치니 오페라 ‘라보엠’ 공연이 열리고 있습니다. 파바로티는 시대를 대표하는 ‘라보엠’ 테너 주연 로돌포였고, 프레니는 시대를 대표하는 소프라노 주연 미미였죠. 최근 이 코너에서 ‘푸치니가 라보엠에 자기 고향의 모습을 집어넣었다’고 소개하기도 했지만, 모데나 한 동네 출신의 명테너와 소프라노가 호흡을 맞춘 카라얀 지휘의 ‘라보엠’ 전곡판을 들어보며 그들의 환상적인 목소리에 심취해 보아도 좋을 듯합니다.

올해는 파바로티가 2007년 9월 6일 세상을 떠나고 10년이 된 해이기도 합니다. 프레니는 만 70세가 된 2005년 오페라 무대에서 내려왔지만 건강하다고 합니다. 오늘 (19일) 부산 금정문화회관에서는 테너 하만택, 이동명, 지명훈 씨 등이 출연하는 ‘리멤버, 루치아노 파바로티를 기리다’ 콘서트가 열립니다. 앞서 11월 17, 18일 서울 롯데콘서트홀에서도 소프라노 신영옥, 안젤라 게오르기우 등이 출연하는 ‘파바로티 추모 기념콘서트’가 열린 바 있습니다.

Get Rid of Equifax

Get Rid of Equifax

Because of lax security at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting companies, the private financial and personal details of as many as 143 million Americans have been exposed to hackers. We still don’t know what the full ramifications will be; the people who took this information — which includes birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses — could hold on to it for as long as they want and deploy it in years to come.

Many consumers have scrambled to try to protect themselves. To anyone who tried to get through to Equifax customer service, though, it became clear: The company does not care about us. Months before the hack itself, Equifax could easily have patched the hole in its system that hackers exploited, but it simply didn’t.

That’s because we are not the customers of credit reporting companies, but the product. These private institutions hoover up our data, often without our knowledge and consent, and then sell it off to banks, landlords and even prospective employers. The companies rake in some $10 billion in revenue every year. They wield enormous power to ruin our lives — if not through a data breach, then through errors on our credit reports. One in four consumers has an error on his credit report that could affect his scores, yet it can be very difficult to correct the record.

Although they call themselves bureaus, there is nothing governmental about what these private companies do. We let them take on a role that can have outsize consequences. And the free market doesn’t work here, because none of us can refuse to be a part of this system and opt out if we don’t like how we’re being treated. There’s no legal right to ask Equifax to remove your data from its registries or to stop it from getting more in the future.

Why should we continue to allow private companies to make money from us while ignoring our needs? Let’s nationalize Equifax and the other two major credit reporting companies, Experian and TransUnion. We could follow other countries’ example and hand the duty of tracking our financial histories over to a public registry instead of a private profiteer.

Equifax is the oldest of the Big Three credit reporting bureaus, and it got its start as a private investigator in the late 1800s. A client — a business or a bank — would ask it about a consumer, and it would go about digging up dirt on things like marital problems and convictions. That client would then pay it for its services.

This questionable business model raised eyebrows in the 1960s, when the companies were still compiling information on people’s “moral character” such as affairs or drinking problems. At the time, the reports weren’t available at all to the subjects themselves. That changed with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was signed in 1970. But even that reform put virtually no oversight on the bureaus’ practices.

Things haven’t changed all that much. Those who want to dig up dirt via a credit report pay one of the Big Three companies and voilà, they have a dossier of financial information.

The first step toward fixing this mess would be to limit who can use these reports and reduce how influential they have become. Credit reporting companies have experienced quite the mission creep over recent years. In 2010, 60 percent of employers used credit reports to evaluate potential hires. That means that a report that workers have no control over and frequently don’t even get a chance to see, which can have at least one error, is helping determine whether or not they get a job.

There’s no good reason for employers to use this information — credit reports haven’t been shown to predict employee performance. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts agrees, and just reintroduced a bill that would bar employers from asking for credit histories.

But even such a crackdown wouldn’t fully get rid of the danger the credit reporting business model poses to people’s financial lives. Instead, given how poorly they operate and how little incentive their business model gives them to improve, their duties should be handed over to public institutions.

In at least 40 other countries — including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain — credit reporting can be done by a public credit registry. It is usually operated by a central bank that already oversees the financial institutions that feed information into the reports. These reports tend to be more accurate because the operators have a legal right to demand data from banks as well as a mandate to ensure it’s correct and that errors are fixed. Data on late payments and defaults are erased once a consumer has settled up.

Many of these public registries leave out things like medical debt, tax information and personal details like marital status, focusing only on loan amounts. Only about 40 percent of registries collect consumers’ addresses, and two-thirds collect taxpayer IDs — the kind of information leaked in the Equifax breach.

The United States government is, of course, not impervious to data breaches, nor does it have a perfect track record of fending them off. In 2015, it announced that hackers had stolen “sensitive information” on 21.5 million people. But the government is at least accountable to public pressure. Equifax never will be, even under the tightest regulation. Credit bureaus have proved to be complete failures at safeguarding the public. Let’s demand we get our data back.

By Bryce Covert

Cornell built a super-high-tech school in New York City that could revolutionize building design

Nestled between Manhattan and Queens on New York’s Roosevelt Island, a new approach to building design has come to life.

cornell tech

Cornell Tech, a two-million-square foot campus aimed at serving students studying computer science, business, and entrepreneurship, is open for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The buildings will remain in construction until approximately 2043, at which point some 2,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff will live in energy-efficient buildings designed to heat and cool their inhabitants naturally.

Here’s what the school is like up close.

cornell tech
Cornell Tech’s main dorm, the tall building pictured in the background below, is the tallest and largest “passive” house in the world, meaning it uses little energy to heat and cool the interior.
Iwan Baan

cornell tech
Passive houses can use 70 to 90% less energy than traditionally built structures. The dorm will abide by a strict set of energy efficiency requirements established by Germany’s Passive House Institute.
Bebeto Matthews/AP Images

The building is the largest energy-efficient dorm in the world.

The interior walls are covered in tape-sealed “jackets” that prevent outside air from coming in. Each window has triple-pane glass that was assembled in Italy and shipped to New York.

Pipes run around the ceiling, continuously emitting heat or AC into the room. Unlike traditional central heating and AC systems, which shut on and off to adjust the temperature, the pipes keep the inside temperature consistent and adjust in real time to save energy.

cornell tech
The other buildings in the campus also employ a passive design, including The Bridge. It’s a co-working space for tech companies and researchers, who can collaborate to bring products to market more quickly.
Matthew Carbone

cornell tech
The campus also includes a 196-room hotel and a learning center, where students can move between individual work and team-based projects. The building was designed to produce more energy than it uses over time.
Bebeto Matthews/AP Images

cornell tech
Steelblue and Forest City Ratner Companies designed the interior and helped picked startups and more mature companies to fill the space. All will do work involving technology in some capacity.
Iwan Baan

cornell tech
Similar to the exterior, where there are no walls, gates, or barriers, inside the buildings students and faculty enjoy an open-plan design that encourages airflow throughout.
Matthew Carbone

cornell tech
The views of Manhattan are a nice perk, too.
Iwan Baan

cornell tech
All told, the campus has received $683 million in funding from New York City, Michael Bloomberg, Charles Finney, and Irwin and Joan Jacobs.
Bebeto Matthews/AP Images

cornell tech
Now that the campus is up and running, researchers will have even more data to analyze on the long-term cost-effectiveness of passive buildings.
Iwan Baan

cornell tech

cornell tech campus

It doesn’t hurt that the 12-acre campus adds a splash of green to the world’s most famous concrete jungle.

뒷마당 별채 규정 완화 ‘부수입’ 기대

▶ “파킹랏·스프링클러·상하수도 연결료 등 면제”
▶ 가주 주택난 완화 ADU법 시행
20일 한인상의 주최 설명회 열려


가주에서 뒷마당 별채 건설과 관련된 규제가 완화되면서 홈오너들이 경쟁적으로 별채 건설에 나서고 있다.

가주에서 홈오너가 소유한 부지 내에 건설해 임대할 수 있는 별채나 뒤채와 관련된 규제가 완화되면서 부동산 시장에는 주택공급 확대, 홈오너들 사이에서는 부수입 창출 및 집값 상승의 기대감이 무르익고 있다.

더 싸고, 더 쉽게 별채를 지을 수 있는 것을 골자로 지난해 제리 브라운 주지사가 서명해 올해 들어 발효된 ‘액세서리 주거용 유닛’(Accessory Dwelling Unit·이하 ADU법)의 효과가 가시화되고 있다.

주정부에 따르면 ADU법 시행으로 시정부는 반경 5마일 이내에 공공주차장이 있는 경우, 주택 오너에게 별도의 주차장 마련을 지시할 수 없다. 또 본채에 스프링클러가 있다면 별채에는 스프링클러 설치가 의무가 아니며, 기존 별채에 대한 상하수도 연결 수수료 면제 및 신축 별채에 대한 수수료 인하 등이 시행 중이다.

그 효과로서 지난달 뉴포트 비치 시정부는 투표를 통해 3만유닛 이상의 별채 건설을 위한 조닝 코드 변경안을 통과시켰다. 신축 1만3,000여유닛에 기존 건물 1만9,000여유닛이 합법적으로 렌트용으로 개발될 기회를 맞은 것이다.

여기서 주목할 점은 신축 뿐 아니라 기존에 지어진 무허가 별채에도 ADU법이 소급 적용돼 별도로 시설을 개선하지 않고도 적법한 건축물로 인정받을 수 있게 됐다는 점이다. 저렴한 주택 공급을 위한 비영리 단체들에 따르면 LA에만 이런 무허가 별채가 5만유닛에 달하고, 패서디나에도 740유닛 정도가 있다.

건축산업협회 남가주지부의 마이크 발사모 CEO는 “싱글 패밀리 홈 오너들이 집의 가치를 높이는 방법으로서 주택을 리모델링하며 별채를 갖길 원하는 이들이 많아졌다”며 “가주의 고질적인 문제점인 주택공급 부족 문제를 해결할 중요한 첫 걸음을 내딛은 것”이라고 반겼다.

이번 ADU법이 탄력을 받아 가주 전체의 680만 싱글 패밀리 홈 오너 가운데 10%만 별채 건설에 참여하면 납세자들의 혈세 낭비 없이 60만유닛의 신규 주택이 공급되는 효과를 낼 것으로 기대된다.

LA의 별채 건설 전문 컨설턴트인 아이라 벨그레이드는 “400스퀘어피트 거라지를 기준으로 건설비는 3만~10만달러, 평균적으로 5만~7만5,000달러 선”이라며 “적지 않은 비용 같지만 완성 후 렌트 수입은 물론, 주택 전체의 가치가 상승하는 효과까지 감안하면 투자비는 충분히 회수된다”고 강조했다.

실제 크레이그스리스트(www.CraigsList.org)에는 LA 한인타운 인근의 300스퀘어피트 게스트 하우스의 렌트가 월 1,350달러이고, 베벌리힐스 인근은 700스퀘어피트가 1,650달러 선에서 임대되고 있다.

별채를 짓고 싶은 주택 오너로서 궁금증을 해소하고 싶다면 오는 20일 오후 3시 LA 시청에서 열리는 LA 한인상공회의소(이하 상의) 주최 ‘제2회 밋 더 시티’(Meet the City)가 도움이 될 수 있다.

상의 문의 전화 (213)480-1115, 이메일 info@lakacc.com