Key details of fracking policy in England remain unclear and untested, says National Audit Office

first_imgA National Audit Office (NAO) review of fracking in England portrays a £32m government policy beset by uncertainty and indecision, as public opposition to the controversial industry mounts What does the National Audit Office say about fracking?The watchdog’s review of shale gas industry development in England outlines various challenges facing the sector’s progression, and depicts a government approach that does not have a full grasp of the situation.It states: “The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not know how much shale gas can be commercially extracted in the UK.“It does not expect shale gas production to lead to lower energy prices, but believes it could provide greater energy security and have economic benefits.“However, it has not analysed the benefits or costs of supporting the shale gas industry because it thinks this would not be meaningful due to the current uncertainty about how much shale gas can be extracted.”Responding to the report, a BEIS spokesperson said: “The government has always said shale gas exploration can only proceed as long as it is safe and environmentally responsible.“The Oil and Gas Authority will soon publish a finalised scientific assessment of recent industry data, and we will set out our future approach as soon as we have considered the findings.” Cuadrilla has operated a controversial fracking site in the UK at Preston New Road since 2017 (Credit: Cuadrilla) The UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) has painted a picture of uncertainty and a lack of clarity within government over the viability and future direction of shale gas fracking in England.That is despite an estimated £32.7m having been spent by public bodies on support for the controversial industry since 2011.Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is more commonly known, has been a facet of government energy security planning for a number of years, but Whitehall’s administrative oversight body says progress in establishing a shale gas industry has been “slower than planned”.Only three of the 20 wells the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had targeted for operation by mid-2020 have so far been fracked, according to the NAO – and strong public opposition to the development of shale gas facilities has further disrupted the situation.In a report published today, the NAO also raised questions over land ownership of fracking sites and the liability for the decommissioning of shale gas infrastructure.It cited “unclear and untested” arrangements for designating liability for the clean-up of out-of-use shale gas infrastructure, and said the government “could not explain what would happen should a landowner be unable to meet decommissioning costs”.Environmental campaigners have received the NAO findings as further indictment of UK fracking policy, while BEIS says it will set out a future approach for the industry in due course. Environmental campaign groups view NAO review as an indictment of UK shale gas policyResponding to the review, Friends of the Earth environmental campaigner Jamie Peters said: “This is a quietly critical report that doesn’t give the fracking industry any revived sense of hope.“The NAO has several concerns including the ‘mark-your-own-homework’ approach to regulation and the lack of clarity over who should be responsible for clean-up costs if fracking ever got going.“Nothing has changed – fracking isn’t wanted, it’s a failed industry, and the future is renewables and energy saving.”Greenpeace UK chief scientist Doug Parr added: “It’s not easy to admit when you’re wrong, but fracking has been a failure and the government should accept it and move on.“It says it wants to lower bills for people, but it has already wasted well over £1 per UK household propping up a pointless and divisive pursuit of a fossil fuel that our commitments to decarbonisation mean we can hardly use.“We’re in a climate emergency, public opposition is sky high and fracking won’t bring us lower energy bills. It’s time to call an end to this farce.” Public cost of shale gas extraction is estimated to exceed £30mThe NAO indicated that shale gas development has already placed financial pressures on local authorities and other public bodies like police forces in England, which have had to oversee protests by campaigners at fracking sites.It stated: “The full costs of supporting fracking to date are not known by BEIS, but the NAO estimates that at least £32.7m has been spent by public bodies since 2011.“This includes £13.4m spent by three local police forces on maintaining the security around shale gas sites to date.”Public opposition to fracking in the UK has been strong, with environmental protesters causing disruption at shale gas facilities around the country – perhaps most notably the Cuadrilla project at Preston New Road, in Lancashire.Greenpeace protesters outside Cuadrilla’s Preston new Road shale gas facility (Credit: Greenpeace UK)The NAO said: “Public support for shale gas development is low and has reduced over time.“Concern has centred on the risks to the environment and public health from greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater pollution and fracking-induced earthquakes, as well as the adequacy of existing regulations.“BEIS believes it can meet its climate change objectives while developing shale gas, but it has not yet developed the necessary technology.”The report added that the government was confident of its ability to manage the health and environmental challenges posed by shale gas extraction, but that the current system of “statutory self-reporting by the operator” presents its own set of risks.last_img read more

AEG FACILITIES AND SMG COMPLETE TRANSACTION TO CREATE ASM GLOBAL

first_imgLos Angeles, CA, West Conshohocken, PA, – Oct 1, 2019 — AEG Facilities, LLC (“AEG Facilities”), the venue management affiliate of Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (“AEG”), and SMG, a portfolio company of Onex (TSX: ONEX) and its affiliated funds, today announced they completed their business combination to create a new, standalone global facility management and venue services company, ASM Global (“ASM”).ASM is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, with key operations based in West Conshohocken, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. The company also has corporate offices in London, England; Manchester, England; Brisbane, Australia; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. ASM operates a diversified portfolio of arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, performing arts centers, theaters and other venues with more than 300 facilities across five continents.Bob Newman, former President of AEG Facilities, has been named President and CEO of ASM, effective immediately. Prior to joining AEG Facilities, Mr. Newman spent more than 20 years at SMG, last serving as a regional Vice President for the company. Wes Westley, former CEO and President of SMG, will focus his efforts on key strategic growth initiatives and ensuring a seamless integration.Bob Newman, President and CEO of ASM, said, “This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our industry and one that will establish a new standard of excellence in managing live experiences. Bringing together the combined global expertise of each company with the best content and cutting-edge technologies, we will be able to realize the full potential of the world’s greatest spaces, places and events, create amazing experiences for guests, offer exciting new opportunities to employees and deliver the highest value for all stakeholders. Equally important, our deep bench of talent and shared resources will enable ASM to accelerate innovation and capitalize on the growing market opportunities.”Wes Westley added, “I am very proud to have had the opportunity to lead such an incredible organization as SMG. We have a long history of working closely with our public and private partners and are confident in our ability to continue to meet and exceed their expectations. ASM’s focus moving forward will be on providing added value and best-in-class services to its customers. We are well-prepared for a seamless integration process.”Onex, AEG and their respective affiliates are contributing their entire equity investments in SMG and AEG Facilities, respectively, into the combined business and are now equal co-owners of ASM.About ASM Global ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences.ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem-solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world delivers locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners, and operations, and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

CHANNEL 44 NEWS

first_imgIndiana’s Debate Over LGBT Rights ContinuesAUGUST 31TH, 2016 MATT PEAK INDIANAIt appears state lawmakers are not any closer to expanding protections for gay, lesbian and transgender Hoosiers.The renewed debate kicked off Tuesday.The question still looming for lawmakers, should sexual orientation and gender identity be added protections to the state’s civil rights code?Tuesday saw new, mounting pressure from prominent Indiana-based companies like Cummins, Eli Lilly, Cloud One and the state chamber.Opponents quickly focused on the Obama administration’s directive on transgender bathrooms and the impact any civil rights legislation in Indiana would have.Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg says he would sign into law new legislation that added sexual orientation and gender identity to the state`s civil rights code.His Republican counterpart Eric Holcomb says he would consider legislation, as he would any other measure that would come to his desk, alongside balancing religious liberty and nondiscrimination.Indiana Next License Plate Vote Deadline ApproachingAUGUST 31TH, 2016 MATT PEAK INDIANA Hoosiers have just a few more days to decide what our next state license plate will look like.Three plate designs were unveiled on opening day at the Indiana State Fair, and the deadline to share your thoughts is next Monday, September 5th.The artwork was designed by a Fort Wayne, Indiana based company called Intellectual Technology Inc.You can vote for your favorite of the three plates at mybmv.com.Voting ends at midnight on September 5th.Hoosiers will begin to see the winning plate design on vehicles in January of next year as older plates are replaced at the end of the normal seven-year life cycle.Wood Memorial’s Varsity Football Season May Be Over For 2016AUGUST 31TH, 2016 WARREN KORFF INDIANAOfficials in the East Gibson School Corporation have apparently decided to forfeit most of the rest of this season’s varsity football games.44News contacted several schools remaining on The Trojans’ schedule this season. All of the coaches we contacted said Wood Memorial has called them to say they would forfeit the games.East Gibson officials confirmed earlier the school would cancel its game this week against Vincennes Lincoln, but it has not commented on the rest of the schedule.Wood Memorial forfeited its first two games of the season following an investigation of hazing within the football program. That investigation continues.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Blockbuster Memorial Day Weekend in O.C.

first_imgMemorial Day weekend brought what Ocean City officials said was a record-breaking start to the summer season. By Maddy VitaleMemorial Day weekend in Ocean City was one of the best in years, officials say. With the perfect weather, inviting beaches, an abundance of events, activities, restaurants and amusements to choose from, “America’s Greatest Family Resort” had a spectacular holiday.“We saw record numbers of people all three days and we saw people enjoying all Ocean City has to offer throughout the weekend,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We had three days of incredible weather with sunny skies and temperatures over 70 degrees.”The kickoff to the weekend, Friday, May 24, began with a lot of activity on the Boardwalk and in the downtown early, as the city rang in the summer season with the Business Persons Plunge, the “Unlocking of the Ocean” and “Unlocking of the Beach.”The zany events at the Moorlyn Terrace beach next to the Music Pier attracted hundreds of visitors and residents to watch the fun.The Business Persons Plunge is a hit among visitors and residents.The weekend continued on that positive track, with very few accommodations remaining for last-minute tourists, Gillian said.Unlike summer seasons with less than stellar weather, this weekend is one for the books and one that officials say they hope is the norm throughout the season.“With Mother Nature cooperating, we are all looking forward to a fantastic 2019 season,” Gillian said.Gillian noted that some of the increased activity in the resort could have to do with the fact that Ocean City was named by Coastal Living Magazine as one of the top 10 places to go on Memorial Day weekend. It is one of several honors bestowed on the resort by the magazine, including the 2018 title of “America’s Happiest Seaside Town.”Still, even if every weekend doesn’t turn out picture-perfect as the last, there is always something to do in the resort, from rides and attractions, to shopping in the downtown or on the Boardwalk. Gillian also mentioned the array of entertainment at the Music Pier and the culinary delights at the city’s restaurants as major draws for visitors.Surf Mall, owned by Wes Kazmarck, the president of the Boardwalk Merchants Association, says the weekend was fantastic for all of the merchants.Wes Kazmarck, president of the Boardwalk Merchants Association, called Memorial Day weekend “chart topping” for the 150-plus merchants.Kazmarck, who has been the merchants association president for about 11 years, said he has been a Boardwalk business owner since 2002.“Out of all the years I’ve been in business, this was my best one,” he said. “I think it is unique this year, because we had a very wet spring. Everything lined up perfectly weather-wise for Memorial Day weekend. I haven’t seen Ocean City so crowded in a long time. The sheer volume is just a great sign for the summer ahead.”He said Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start to the summer season and is typically used as a barometer of what the entire summer will be.“Everyone I spoke to said they were either on the cusp of or had a record-breaking weekend,” Kazmarck noted. “You had the beach day, the shopping day and chilly nights.”That translated to spending on sweatshirts more than Kazmarck could recall in past years.Another top seller was anything that said “Ocean City,” he added.“I know the boutiques did really well, too,” he said.Jody Levchuk, who, with his family, owns the Jilly’s stores on the Boardwalk, said it was an unbelievable weekend.“We had a very successful, busy weekend,” Levchuk commented. “Our staff really worked hard all weekend. There were positive vibes all weekend long from visitors and locals taking advantage of the great weather.”Jody Levchuk says his family-owned Jilly’s businesses were hopping over Memorial Day weekend.The downtown was also bustling with visitors and residents taking advantage of the specialty shops and restaurants along Asbury Avenue, the city’s Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said.One thing is for certain, officials are hopeful the trend continues throughout the summer.“It’s hard to remember a Memorial Day Weekend with such gorgeous weather from beginning to end. The beach, Boardwalk and downtown were all jammed with people having fun,” Bergen said.He pointed out that the city does not have final numbers yet, but beach tag sales and parking revenue were both exceptional.“A steady stream of cars ran from the bridges back to the (Garden State) Parkway for Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings,” Bergen said. “After a long and wet spring, I think everybody was ready to get outside to enjoy a taste of summer. You really couldn’t ask for a better start to the summer season.”Mark Soifer, retired Ocean City public relations director, comes out of retirement to “unlock” the beach to start the summer season.last_img read more

ND seniors react to commencement speaker

first_imgCardinal Timothy Dolan will deliver the Commencement address to the Class of 2013, and the selection has prompted seniors to reflect on Dolan’s relevance to the student body and his ability to successfully connect with them. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will receive an honorary degree from the University at the May 19 ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium. Senior Jason Kippenbock said he is thrilled by the selection because Dolan’s charismatic personality and intellectual background make him an ideal fit for the event. “When [Dolan] speaks, he has always emphasized how important it is to live out your faith fearlessly and not back down, like the way he lead the bishops’ opposition to the health care mandate,” Kippenbock said. “I’d expect his message to us as graduates of America’s greatest Catholic institution would be to not back down, and to use our gifts and our strengths to live out the gospel.” Senior Camille Suarez said she initially reacted negatively to the announcement because she doesn’t believe Dolan is the most relevant selection for the class. “I feel like this choice isn’t perfect for this moment,” Suarez said. “I was hoping Notre Dame would use this opportunity to kind of move the University forward, and I think this might be setting us back a couple steps.” Suarez said she hopes Dolan will present an image of the Church that is relevant and accessible to her and her classmates. “I hope he talks about Catholic Social Teaching because I think that’s one image of the Catholic Church that needs to be promoted,” Suarez said. “I hope he makes a call to the graduating student body and encourages us to use our [Notre Dame] degrees to promote Catholic Social Teaching and help the poor and suffering.” Senior Katie Pryor said she is excited to hear Dolan’s speech because he is a prominent figure in both the Catholic Church and the world, as demonstrated by his mention in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of the World in 2012. “When I heard Cardinal Dolan would be the commencement speaker, I was very pleased with the decision,” Pryor said. “He is not just another Cardinal but a Cardinal that actually has a lot of substance in his views and beliefs and a lot of wonderful things to say.” With the ongoing discussions about the next pope, Pryor said Dolan is an “especially exciting” choice because he is a member of the Church hierarchy. “Cardinal Dolan is even one of the people being talked about for pope, showing the great importance he has worldwide in the Catholic Church,” she said. Seniors Julia Kohn and Rachel Chisausky said while Dolan is a prominent leader, they are concerned the speech would be relevant only to students that identify as conservative Catholics, leaving others disappointed. “I took a moment to look him up before I formed an opinion … and everything I’ve read seems to indicate that he appears to have a political agenda rather than just being a religious figure, and I don’t agree with any of the views that his agenda suggests,” Kohn said. “I just don’t know what he’s going to talk about that’s going to be that relevant to my beliefs and opinions.” Chisausky said she hopes Dolan’s speech is not “homily style” and that it doesn’t alienate non-religious students. “I was disappointed, because I don’t really know much about him but I’m not Catholic or really religious at all,” she said. “I just hope [his speech] is very open and applies to every student in the graduating body and not just to religious people.” Kohn said if the University wanted a “famous” speaker, they should have sought a more relatable figure. “For a school the caliber of Notre Dame, that has the name recognition of Notre Dame, I feel like we could have gotten someone really exciting,” Kohn said. “I don’t know that Cardinal Dolan is as relevant to everyone as a different famous person would be.” Senior Colin Campbell said he understands there isn’t a speaker who can please everyone, but he is personally excited by the University’s decision to give Dolan a platform from which many will hear him. “I hope Cardinal Dolan helps us to understand the gifts that we have been given through our four years at Notre Dame and then provides motivation and support as we carry those blessings with us and walk out of that football tunnel for the last time,” Campbell said. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected],Cardinal Timothy Dolan will deliver the Commencement address to the Class of 2013, and the selection has prompted seniors to reflect on Dolan’s relevance to the student body and his ability to successfully connect with them. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will receive an honorary degree from the University at the May 19 ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium. Senior Jason Kippenbock said he is thrilled by the selection because Dolan’s charismatic personality and intellectual background make him an ideal fit for the event. “When [Dolan] speaks, he has always emphasized how important it is to live out your faith fearlessly and not back down, like the way he lead the bishops’ opposition to the health care mandate,” Kippenbock said. “I’d expect his message to us as graduates of America’s greatest Catholic institution would be to not back down, and to use our gifts and our strengths to live out the gospel.” Senior Camille Suarez said she initially reacted negatively to the announcement because she doesn’t believe Dolan is the most relevant selection for the class. “I feel like this choice isn’t perfect for this moment,” Suarez said. “I was hoping Notre Dame would use this opportunity to kind of move the University forward, and I think this might be setting us back a couple steps.” Suarez said she hopes Dolan will present an image of the Church that is relevant and accessible to her and her classmates. “I hope he talks about Catholic Social Teaching because I think that’s one image of the Catholic Church that needs to be promoted,” Suarez said. “I hope he makes a call to the graduating student body and encourages us to use our [Notre Dame] degrees to promote Catholic Social Teaching and help the poor and suffering.” Senior Katie Pryor said she is excited to hear Dolan’s speech because he is a prominent figure in both the Catholic Church and the world, as demonstrated by his mention in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of the World in 2012. “When I heard Cardinal Dolan would be the commencement speaker, I was very pleased with the decision,” Pryor said. “He is not just another Cardinal but a Cardinal that actually has a lot of substance in his views and beliefs and a lot of wonderful things to say.” With the ongoing discussions about the next pope, Pryor said Dolan is an “especially exciting” choice because he is a member of the Church hierarchy. “Cardinal Dolan is even one of the people being talked about for pope, showing the great importance he has worldwide in the Catholic Church,” she said. Seniors Julia Kohn and Rachel Chisausky said while Dolan is a prominent leader, they are concerned the speech would be relevant only to students that identify as conservative Catholics, leaving others disappointed. “I took a moment to look him up before I formed an opinion … and everything I’ve read seems to indicate that he appears to have a political agenda rather than just being a religious figure, and I don’t agree with any of the views that his agenda suggests,” Kohn said. “I just don’t know what he’s going to talk about that’s going to be that relevant to my beliefs and opinions.” Chisausky said she hopes Dolan’s speech is not “homily style” and that it doesn’t alienate non-religious students. “I was disappointed, because I don’t really know much about him but I’m not Catholic or really religious at all,” she said. “I just hope [his speech] is very open and applies to every student in the graduating body and not just to religious people.” Kohn said if the University wanted a “famous” speaker, they should have sought a more relatable figure. “For a school the caliber of Notre Dame, that has the name recognition of Notre Dame, I feel like we could have gotten someone really exciting,” Kohn said. “I don’t know that Cardinal Dolan is as relevant to everyone as a different famous person would be.” Senior Colin Campbell said he understands there isn’t a speaker who can please everyone, but he is personally excited by the University’s decision to give Dolan a platform from which many will hear him. “I hope Cardinal Dolan helps us to understand the gifts that we have been given through our four years at Notre Dame and then provides motivation and support as we carry those blessings with us and walk out of that football tunnel for the last time,” Campbell said. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

Full Cast Announced for West End Transfer of Ushers

first_img Ushers features music by Yiannis Koutsakos, lyrics by James Oban and Koutsakos, and a book by James Rottger. The show is set in a West End theater and follows a working shift in the lives of the stagiest people in the theater—the front of house staff! A preview performance of a new jukebox musical is due to take place, a three-year workplace romance is on the rocks, an untrained newbie is working her first shift and the manager is under pressure to cut costs. What could possibly go wrong? View Comments The cast is currently recording the cast album, to be released in March by SimG Productions.center_img The full cast for the West End transfer of Ushers: The Front of House Musical, has been announced. Joining the previously reported original and returning cast members Ralph Bogard, Ross Mcneill and Liam Ross-Mills are Daniel Buckley (The Book of Mormon), Ceris Hine (The Rocky Horror Show) and Carly Thoms (The Sound of Music).last_img read more

Genomic Grant

first_imgUniversity of Georgia plant breeders want to take genomic research from the laboratory and translate it into wide-spread use in plant breeding programs, particularly to develop better disease-resistant agricultural crops. “Over the last 10 years there has been a huge investment in basic genomics research,” said Charles Brummer, professor and plant breeder with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Now we are trying to move the science to practical plant breeding programs and make progress in the real world.” A detailed DNA or genetic map of a plant helps breeders select favorable traits from it to produce plants for better food production, flavor or disease resistance. “Understanding how the DNA or genes on individual chromosomes affect traits in a plant is complex, but we are making great advances in our ability to use genetic data to help with selection” Brummer said. Using a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural and Food Research Initiative, the team will apply marker-assisted selection to soybean, peanut and watermelon breeding programs and create an online plant breeding textbook with a detailed module on translational breeding. The book will be freely available around the world and be used in introductory and advanced plant breeding courses. “Our goal is to make better cultivars and better plants and teach others how to do it as well,” Brummer said.Brummer will work with other plant breeders in the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics to do the work, including Roger Boerma, Steven Knapp, Cecilia McGregor and Peggy Ozias-Akins. Michael Orey from the UGA College of Education and Maria Monteros of the Samuel R. Nobel Foundation will also collaborate.last_img read more

Costa Rica and the United States Join Forces to Improve the Quality of Life for Marginalized Communities

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo September 26, 2016 On September 2nd, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) personnel, led by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Daniel R. Fitch, deputy chief of the Office of Defense Representative in Costa Rica; Costa Rican Minister of Public Security, Gustavo Mata; and the United States Ambassador to Costa Rica, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, visited the towns of Piedra Mesa and Alto Telire, in Talamanca, to coordinate a medical assistance mission scheduled for the last week of November. A team of military doctors, medical technicians, dentists, pharmacists, pediatricians, gynecologists, and support staff from Joint Task Force-Bravo, a SOUTHCOM component, in coordination with the Costa Rican ministries of Public Security, Health, and Government and Police, in addition to the Social Security Department, will spend one week providing preventive medical services to residents of the Alto Talamanca region in the province of Limón. The medical camp will be deployed in the district of Telire. “This effort will provide a great opportunity to bring more humanitarian aid to Talamanca. Thanks to SOUTHCOM, we will provide a wide range of healthcare services, medication, groceries, and clothing to an area that is difficult to reach and difficult for us to coordinate,” Captain Juan Luis Vargas Castillo, director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Air Vigilance Service, told Diálogo. “It has been several years since we’ve had such a large humanitarian aid exercise in Talamanca,” he added. Authorities expect to see between 300 and 500 patients from the region every day. Access to healthcare is nearly nonexistent among these populations because they can only be reached by helicopter or on foot. According to Amanda Segovia, researcher at the Central American Healthcare Initiative, it takes seven days of travel by foot on treacherous paths from the district of Talamanca to some of these communities, not only because of the region’s topography, but because of the presence of drug traffickers. Other factors, such as cultural and linguistic barriers between certain communities, also make it difficult for the population to get medical care. Humanitarian mission In order to carry out a humanitarian mission of such large proportions, personnel, equipment, and medical supplies will be transported in two helicopters from Joint Task Force-Bravo, as well as two helicopters from the Air Vigilance Service. In order to establish communication and trust with patients, local people, who have been trained as healthcare technicians by the Costa Rican Department of Social Security, as well as interpreters, will also participate. The Department of Social Security is the only government organization that brings medical care to communities in Talamanca. Given the backing it has from the Air Vigilance Service, it has been able to get into the mountainous area for one week every three months since 2006 to provide care for the population. The current humanitarian aid plan to assist the Alto Talamanca communities is a continuation of the four-day medical exercise that took place two years ago in Piedra Masa. In that instance, air transportation by helicopter and professional medical assistance was carried out by Joint Task Force-Bravo. “The work of the Department of Social Security is very important, but it’s not enough. We know about these problems, and are doing our due diligence to help the locals,” said Capt. Vargas. “In order to handle this case, we’ve spoken to community leaders. We understand their customs and know what their needs are. The important thing is to help our population improve their lives.” With a population of more than 34,000 people, Talamanca is the second most expansive region in Costa Rica, encompassing the districts of Chuita, Bratsi, Telire, and Sixaloa. It is considered to have the lowest economic and social development index in Costa Rica. According to the 2013 Talamanca Region Diagnostic report, published by the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements, there were approximately four police officers per 1,000 inhabitants in Talamanca. “In conjunction with the medical mission, the Costa Rican Drug Control Police (PCD for its Spanish acronym) will be conducting a marijuana eradication mission in the Talamanca region,” explained Lt. Col. Fitch. “The PCD will take advantage of the JTF Bravo helicopters to move officers from their special mountain unit throughout Talamanca to eradicate known marijuana plantations.” According to Lt. Col. Fitch, the homicide rate in Costa Rica has risen drastically over the past two years, and the Ministry of Public Security believes that 70 percent of the homicides are the result of fights between local criminal groups who are vying for control of the local marijuana trade. “The homicide rate is especially high on the Caribbean coast where marijuana is grown,” he added. “In an effort to reduce the amount of marijuana that is available for domestic consumption, Costa Rica currently conducts marijuana eradication operations four times per year using their organic helicopters, but because of their small size are unable to move enough officers to conduct the mission efficiently.” The plan for cooperative effort will continue into the medium and long term and includes the construction of essential works such as aqueducts, schools, health clinics, and a comprehensive healthcare center for the entire community. “For years, Costa Rica and the United States have worked hand-in-hand as strategic partners, not only against organized crime, but also in this humanitarian realm. If the United States offers us assistance in blockading organized crime activity by sea, land, and air and also offers us humanitarian aid assistance, of course we’re going to accept that,” concluded Capt. Vargas. ” The collaborative effort of community and prevention work will stop people from getting involved with organized crime. That is why a community effort is being made to bring healthcare services and to create jobs and access routes – so that products can go out and so that security forces have a presence in Talamanca,” said Daniel Matul Romero, security analyst at the University of Costa Rica.last_img read more

Long Island Press Dominates 2012 New York Press Association Awards

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Press brought home 23 honors at the New York Press Association’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest April 5th and 6th in Saratoga Springs, including its top prize, the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence.The Long Island Press dominated the New York Press Association (NYPA)’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest at the group’s annual Spring Convention April 5 and April 6 in upstate Saratoga Springs, winning a total of 23 awards spanning more than a dozen categories and clinching the competition’s top prize, the Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence.The contest included more than 2,350 entries from 150 newspapers throughout New York State and was judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association. It was the second time in three years the Long Island Press brought home the competition’s top honors of Newspaper of the Year, the first being in 2010.“The Press has a posse of great writers/reporters,” wrote NYPA board members regarding the Press’ Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence win. “The writing in this newspaper ranges from excellent to vivid description. The stories are well-researched and thorough. The newspaper demonstrates clarity and understanding of local issues.“The contest judges raved about this newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Sandy,” they continued. “New York’s community newspapers overall did an amazing job covering the superstorm in hellish conditions. Many newspapers and their employers lived and worked without power, running water, gasoline or heat, and we salute all of them. The judges said the coverage provided by the Long Island Press was not only clear, timely and comprehensive; it was also beautifully designed, included lists of places to get help, and was amazing in its depth and breadth.”In addition to the top prize, the Long Island Press earned First Place honors in 11 categories including editorial, design and advertising. Among those were top honors for Best News Story, Best Spot News Coverage, Best Feature Photo, Best Sports Coverage, Best Sports Feature, Coverage of the Environment, and First- and Second-Place nods for Coverage of Local Government, and Coverage of Education. The Press also won First- and Second-Place awards for Best Use of Video.“This is a tremendous honor,” said Long Island Press Editor In Chief Christopher Twarowski. “The caliber of writers, editors and designers among the participating publications throughout New York State makes this recognition even that much more exceptional. We are extremely proud and genuinely humbled.”The entire staff of the Long Island Press were recognized with the First Place award in the Spot News Coverage category for their “well-reported stories and complete photo package” and “the excellent presentation of all the content and the numerous add-ons with numbers and other pertinent information in easy-to-follow organization” during and after Hurricane Sandy, wrote the judges.Twarowski took home Best News Story for his expose “Ripple Effect” on the ever-creeping toxic plume of chemicals emanating from the former Grumman Aerospace Corp. and U.S. Naval Weapons site in Bethpage, which has been contaminating drinking water supplies throughout Nassau County and now threatens that of the Massapequa Water District.His articles about the ongoing battle raging between the North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association and commercial shellfishing company Frank M. Flower & Sons and the Town of Oyster Bay (“Clam Wars”) and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s plan to privatize the county’s sewer system (“Hell or High Water”) earned First Place for Coverage of Local Government.Twarowski, News/Web Editor Timothy Bolger and Senior Editor Spencer Rumsey clinched First Place in the Coverage of the Environment category for their stories documenting the ongoing contamination of Suffolk County’s underground aquifers and drinking water supply by antiquated cesspool systems (“Septic County”) and the pollution of the Carmens River not just from contaminants, but also dirty politics (“River Keepers”). Bolger and Rumsey also won Second Place in the Coverage of Local Government category for their articles about political, economic and environmental issues facing Long Island’s bay constables (“Baywatch”) and the budgetary woes crippling the City of Long Beach (“Sinking City”).Managing Editor Jaclyn Gallucci, Bolger and contributing writer Lea Weatherby brought home First Place for Coverage of Health, Health Care & Science for their stories of sleep deprivation among students (“Up All Night”) and the controversy regarding junk food vending machines in schools (“Snackdown”).Multimedia Reporter Rashed Mian and Twarowski brought home First Place in the Best Use Of Video category for their documentation of communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy and the daily struggles of their residents (“Long Island Endures”), and along with Senior Graphic Designer Scott Kearney and Multimedia Designer Sal Calvi, Second Place for their video exposing the subterranean toxic plume from the former Grumman Aerospace Corp. and U.S. Naval Weapons site in Bethpage that’s contaminating drinking water supplies and threatening several more (“Ripple Effect”).Press contributing photographer Matthew Clark won First Place Feature Photo. Art Director Jon Sasala earned Third Place and Honorable Mention in the Graphic Illustration category. Kearney earned accolades for Best Advertising Campaign—Large Space and Best Color Ad Created by the Newspaper.Bolger, Staff Writer Lindsay Christ and contributing writer Kevin Ryan won First Place in the Coverage of Education category for their articles on recent LI college graduates entering a downturned economy (“Major Concern”) and budget woes facing school districts across Long Island (“School House Lock!”).Contributing writer Alyssa Melillo won First Place in the Sports Feature category for her cover story about Long Island’s surfing subculture (“Groundswell”). Mian, Melillo and contributing writer Jackie Salo won First Place in the Sports Coverage category for their cover story profiling Long Island Olympians (“Local Olympians”). Bolger and Salo also won Third Place in the Coverage of Education category for their articles about junk food in schools (“Snackdown”) and suicide among teenagers (“Teen Suicide”).The Press’ annual Best of L.I. awards program, now the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Best Of L.I. Awards Competition, earned First Place for Best Special Section—Advertising.The Press’ Hurricane Sandy coverage earned Third Place for the contest’s Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership; an award the newspaper brought home in 2009 for its groundbreaking coverage of Long Island’s ongoing heroin epidemic. It also earned an Honorable Mention in the Best News or Feature Series category.Bolger, Twarowski and contributing writer Shelly Feuer Domash earned an Honorable Mention in the In-Depth Reporting and Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts categories for stories about Suffolk County’s controversial withdrawal from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s LI Gang Task Force (“Turf War”) and suicides within the Nassau County Jail (“Death Sentence”).last_img read more

Helping others can help your credit union

first_img2. Host Community Events at Your BranchEvery event needs a home. If your credit union has the space, why not volunteer it to host a community event? This can be as simple as a weekend barbecue or a family fair with a raffle and games for the little ones. Hosting an event will help make the community feel connected to your credit union and provide a valuable opportunity for your team to engage with the public. continue reading » 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit unions are quick to point out that they live by the philosophy of “People Helping People.” It’s a noble concept, one that we think is a major differentiator between them and other financial institutions. But we’ve found that when it comes to executing this philosophy, CUs often struggle with how to do it, citing lack of time, resources and budget.Community involvement doesn’t have to be such an exhaustive effort. We’ve compiled a list of five simple and economic ways that credit unions can make a major impact.1. Align with Local Charities and Non-Profit OrganizationsThere is power in numbers. By joining forces and sponsoring a charity or non-profit, credit unions can unlock some big advantages. Not only will it improve the CU’s image, it also creates goodwill within the community. Credit unions can also receive increased exposure from moderate donations. This can include name and logo placement on advertisements, mailing and other promotional materials.last_img read more