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‘This Man Made Millions of Dollars at the Expense of Our Loved Ones’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Gutman and Kate White for the West Virginia Gazette-Mail:Six years and a day after Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch Mine exploded, killing 29 men, Don Blankenship stood in federal court and tried to express his sorrow to the miners’ families.“The lost coal miners were great coal miners,” Blankenship, the former Massey CEO and a towering figure in coal country, told the court.For the families, many of whom sat through Blankenship’s entire two-month trial, it wasn’t enough. Not nearly.U.S. District Judge Irene Berger gave Blankenship the maximum allowable sentence for his actions leading up to the explosion — one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.For that, the families are thankful.But the apology, and the relative lightness of the maximum allowable sentence — a year in prison for willfully conspiring to violate mine safety standards — didn’t sit well.As Blankenship left the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, several family members of UBB victims, emotions still raw six years later, didn’t hold back. Decorum had reigned in the courtroom, but no longer.Tommy Davis, who lost his brother, son and nephew at UBB, reached above the scrum of attorneys and news media surrounding Blankenship to point his finger at the man he blamed.“You don’t have a heart; you don’t miss your kids like we miss ours,” Davis, who was working in a different section of UBB that day, shouted at Blankenship. “I hold a picture, I hold a tombstone; you hold nothing.”Afterward, shaking with emotion, his voice breaking, he said Blankenship showed no remorse, and his apology in the courtroom didn’t help.“It didn’t mean nothing, and it still won’t mean nothing,” Davis, whose son Cory, 20, was the youngest miner killed at UBB. “He never come to me in six years, never come to me, never come to my mom, my dad who’re gone now. They grieved themselves to death. He never come to apologize to us. He never said nothing.”Annette Workman, who lost her husband, Ricky, in the mine, stood quietly outside the courthouse with her family after the sentencing. When Blankenship walked out of the building, she also approached, letting her feelings be known.“Did you ever go down in that mine?” she shouted at the former CEO.She said it was hard to remember what happened during the court proceedings.“I feel like it was a blur,” she said, “like I didn’t know what was going on.”She pointed at her daughter, Monica White, who was holding Workman’s granddaughter, Makenzie.“That’s one he never got to see,” Workman said.“I think he should have gotten a little bit more time,” White said, tears filling her eyes.Gary Quarles, who lost his son, Gary Wayne Quarles, 33, at Upper Big Branch, didn’t care for the apology either.“It really tore me and my wife both up,” Quarles said. “It’s a little too late to apologize now, you know? I don’t know why he did that.”Blankenship was not charged with or convicted of causing the explosion at UBB, but for Clay Mullins, who lost his brother, Rex, it was a distinction without a difference.He noted that 365 days in prison amounted to about 12-and-a-half days for each dead miner.“This man made millions of dollars at the expense of our loved ones,” he said. “Rex Mullins’ family wants their 12-and-a-half days paid in full.”Blankenship’s apology didn’t sway Mullins. Neither did the fact that Blankenship reasserted in court, “I am not guilty of a crime.”“He’s not sorry. He’s sorry he got caught,” Mullins said. “He has been nothing but arrogant, gives the families dirty stares, dirty looks. That’s Don Blankenship’s game that he is playing in front of the judge.”Because Blankenship’s conviction was not directly connected to the explosion, Berger did not allow any family members to speak in the courtroom before she sentenced Blankenship. She also cut Blankenship off when he began to talk about the explosion.Betty Harrah, who lost her brother, Steve, wanted to speak but was happy that Blankenship would be going to prison.“If I could just be there when the damn door closes behind him,” she said.“He had the chance to speak, so why couldn’t I?” Harrah asked. “I want them to know that I lost my everything. My family lost everything.”Dr. Judy Jones Peterson lost her brother, Edward Dean Jones, in the explosion. She had been planning to speak, as well, but was just as happy not to. Standing outside the courthouse with her surviving brother, sister and mother, Jones Peterson said Judge Berger spoke for the families.In issuing her sentence, Berger told Blankenship that, as CEO, he was “ultimately responsible” for the working conditions of the mine.“Each day and each shift that miners don their hats and boots and proudly go underground,” Berger said, “generally without any trepidation to make a living for themselves and for their families, they necessarily rely on owners and operators and administrators of these mines to provide a safe workplace.”Full article: Families react to Blankenship verdict: ‘I hold a tombstone; you hold nothing’ ‘This Man Made Millions of Dollars at the Expense of Our Loved Ones’last_img read more

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Questions on Puerto Rico’s Montana Contract

first_imgQuestions on Puerto Rico’s Montana Contract FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Weather Channel:Facing the destruction of almost its entire electrical grid after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico turned to a little-known Montana company to restore power rather than rely on a vast network of public power companies that usually comes to the rescue after disasters.Overall, progress has been slow and uneven, stoking concerns about whether the unproven company is up to the task – and raising questions about the irregular way in which the territorial government awarded the contract. Ordinarily, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides money and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees federally led recovery efforts after a disaster. Neither agency said it had a role in awarding or supervising the contract Puerto Rico awarded to restore its power lines.Concerns eased Monday after FEMA and the Army Corps belatedly announced a $240 million contract with Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corporation to take the lead in restoring transmission and distribution lines. But head-scratching continues over the curious and opaque manner in which heavily indebted Puerto Rico eclipsed FEMA, the Army Corps and a national network of public utilities – brimming with line workers and bucket trucks – by turning over such an immense responsibility to a two-year-old private company with few resources of its own.Typically, immediately after a disaster, the American Public Power Association – a public utilities trade group – emcees a conference call with its membership – 1,100 public utilities across the country – to get all the needed line workers and bucket trucks to the stricken area as soon as possible under what are called mutual aid agreements. For instance, the public power association facilitated the rapid deployment of many thousands of workers and their equipment to Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck.But the Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority (PREPA) took a different route after Maria’s 155 mph winds decimated the island’s already-failing electrical grid on Sept. 20, leaving 3.4 million residents, hospitals and businesses without electricity – possibly for months.When the power association convened its conference shortly after Maria struck, PREPA told participants it wouldn’t need the network’s help because it had already contracted with Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, a two-year-old consultancy, to spearhead the restoration efforts.Whitefish, having to subcontract almost all of the work, had recruited and deployed 160 of the 1,000 workers needed to do the job – 16 percent – three weeks after Maria struck. By then, coincidentally, 16 percent of the power grid has been restored. Last week, the effort saw reversals when a large number of people whose power had been restored lost it again when a transmission line tripped.“It’s a bit unclear why PREPA chose to go down that route, especially considering the offer was made to them for this mutual aid from the American Public Power Association that apparently wasn’t taken advantage of,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a non-profit that focuses on utility issues.It might have been “reasonable” to try to act quickly given the devastation caused by Maria, she said. However, she urged a federally appointed board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances to obtain “a copy of that contract and do oversight on how that money was spent” to ensure that local ratepayers and U.S. taxpayers aren’t getting “ripped off.”More: Puerto Rico Turns to Unproven Montana Company for Massive Power Restoration Job, But No One Knows Whylast_img read more

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European development bank backs away from financing coal projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SeeNews:The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has issued a draft energy sector strategy that it will not finance coal projects, it said on Wednesday, following a statement by an environmental group that the international lender is not considering support for a coal-fired power plant project in Kosovo.“We have issued a draft Energy Sector Strategy saying that we will not finance coal. This remains a draft and is subject to a final vote and approval by our Board in December,” an EBRD official said in a statement emailed to SeeNews.On Tuesday, one of the largest environmental groups in central and eastern Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network, said EBRD has confirmed it will not finance the construction of the Kosovo e Re coal-fired plant in Kosovo, the country’s biggest energy project.“In an e-mailed statement responding to an enquiry from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), an EBRD spokesperson said the EBRD indeed is not considering this project,” CEE Bankwatch Network said.World Bank President Jim Yong Kim too has said the bank will not back the power plant in Kosovo, according to local media. “We have made a very firm decision not to go forward with the coal power plant,” Kosovo public broadcaster RTK quoted Jim Yong Kim as saying in early October.In December 2017, Kosovo’s government signed an agreement with ContourGlobal to launch the construction of Kosovo e Re. The new power plant will be operational by 2023 and is expected to cost around 1.3 billion euro ($1.5 billion), Kosovo’s economy and development ministry said at the time. The life span of the future power plant is estimated at 40 years. The plant will replace the 40-year-old Kosovo A plant and is seen as the only solution to the country’s chronic air pollution and unreliable power supplies.More: EBRD draft strategy rules out support for Kosovo coal-fired power plant European development bank backs away from financing coal projectslast_img read more

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Asian Development Bank helping Vietnam move forward with 400MW of floating solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping the Vietnamese government introduce an auction scheme for solar project development which was announced in early December.The lender, which supports floating PV development in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and the Kyrgyz Republic has issued a tender to seek consultants to help Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) hold the first two pilot auctions, which will be devoted to floating PV. “This experience will be used as an input to finalize the general auction framework,” the bank said in the tender document.The first auction, planned for this year, is intended to select a company to construct a floating PV array with a generation capacity of 50-100 MW. A second procurement round, scheduled for 2021, is planned for a 300 MW project. Both plants will be located at hydro facilities belonging to the Da Mi Hydropower Joint Stock Co division of national electric utility Viet Nam Electricity (EVN).Although the tender document did not specify locations for the generation sites, the initial project is expected to be the floating power plant the ADB agreed to finance with a $37 million loan in October, which was originally set to receive a feed-in tariff (FIT) of $0.0769/kWh. That project was planned for a man-made reservoir at Da Min’s 175 MW hydropower plant in Binh Thuan province, on Vietnam’s southeastern coast.The 300 MW floating solar facility is likely to be deployed at the Hàm Thuận Hydroelectric Power Complex, a cascade of two hydro power stations in the Hàm Thuận Bắc district of central Vietnam.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Vietnam to hold auctions for 400 MW of floating solar Asian Development Bank helping Vietnam move forward with 400MW of floating solarlast_img read more

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Debt for Nature

first_imgDear EarthTalk: As I understand it, “Debt-for-Nature Swaps” are arrangements by which countries can erase debt by preserving land. Are any being done today? — Bill Hunt, Topeka, KSThe debt-for-nature swap concept, whereby a portion of a developing nation’s foreign debt is forgiven in exchange for local investments in environmental conservation measures, dates back to the mid-1980s when Thomas Lovejoy of the non-profit World Wildlife Fund (WWF) first proposed it as a way to deal with the problems of developing nations’ indebtedness and the negative consequences for their natural resources and diverse environments.The theory goes that if a country with, say, valuable tropical rainforests, is up to its ears in debt, it will sell off or otherwise deplete those natural resources, instead of protecting or conserving them, in order to raise the money needed to pay off its debts. Debt-for-nature swaps can therefore be useful financial mechanisms for helping countries reduce debt without destroying their most valuable natural resources.Since the first swap was brokered with Bolivia (to protect its Beni Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas) by the non-profit Conservation International in 1987, many national governments and conservation groups have engaged in similar types of debt-for-nature swap negotiations, especially in tropical countries which contain diverse and threatened species of flora and fauna. Costa Rica has exchanged tens of millions of dollars in debt to protect some of its most pristine and biologically productive rainforests.In 1998 the U.S. government passed the Tropical Forest Conservation Act to codify debt-for-nature swaps, including formally welcoming non-profit groups like Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy, WWF and others to help arrange the deals and oversee implementation of local initiatives. A 2010 Congressional Research Service report found that since 1987, debt-for-nature swaps have channeled upwards of $1 billion toward tropical forest conservation initiatives instead of back into creditor nations’ coffers.But far fewer deals are occurring today for a number of reasons. For one, says the Congressional Research Service, other agreements for debt restructuring and cancellation have reduced developing nations’ debt by significantly more than debt-for-nature swaps can. Another is that the concept has fallen somewhat out of favor. Some experts argue that the financial benefits are overstated, that funds are misdirected to less needy countries, that external debt is not a primary driver of deforestation and other environmental ills, and that funding does not necessarily equate to effective implementation of conservation strategies.Criticism aside, some deals are still getting done. In 2008, France forgave $20 million in debt owed by Madagascar to help the biodiversity-rich nation triple the size of its protected areas to better protect its native flora and fauna. In 2010, the U.S. forgave $21 million in Brazilian debt to fund several ecosystem protection initiatives in Brazil’s still vanishing tropical rainforests. The U.S. has also forgiven debt from the Philippines, Guatemala and Peru in recent years in exchange for on-the-ground conservation efforts. Germany and the Netherlands have each forgiven some of their foreign debt to tropical nations for forest protection as well. So while debt-for-nature swaps are not as popular as they once were, they are still a key tool in the toolbox of environmentalists looking to promote conservation in tropical countries.CONTACTS: WWF, www.wwf.org; Conservation International, www.conservation.org. The Nature Conservancy, www.nature.org.last_img read more

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Mountain Rail Adventures Giveaway

first_imgSign up for the West Virginia Mountain Rail Adventure!This contest is now closed, but be sure and enter one of our other amazing giveaways here.Winners will receive:1. Four tickets aboard the New Tygart Flyer for a ride to the High Falls of Cheat2. Dinner at the RailYard Restaurant3. Tickets to a Live Music and Variety Show at the American Mountain Theater4. One Night’s Stay at the newly opened railroad-themed Iron Road Inn & Lodge5. Choice of whitewater or tubing (depends on month) with Blackwater Outdoor Adventures OR a two-hour guided horseback ride with Mountain Trail Rides6. Overnight stay at Pegasus Farm Campground in a truly unique, renovated school bus complete with linens, fridge and microwave. Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on March 15th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge  Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No  liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate,  non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for  technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, New Tygart Flyer, RailYard Restaurant, American Mountain Theater, Iron Road Inn & Lodge, Blackwater Outdoor Adventures, Mountain Trail Rides, Pegasus Farm Campground reserve  the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion.  Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before April 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

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How to be a Respectable Newb

first_imgLearning an adventure sport as an adult is like trying Indian food for the first time. You usually don’t know what most of the words mean, you’re too embarrassed to ask, so you take a leap of faith and order “whatever s/he’s having” only to realize, mid-meal, that your palette, or your gut, just can’t handle the heat.At least, that’s how I’ve felt for the past few months on my bike.For whatever reason, it took me until last summer to finally invest some energy into mountain biking. It’s not like I have an aversion to riding bikes (or, in case you were wondering, curry) — in college, I used to ride 20 miles one way on a dinky Trek to my job at Adventure Damascus.But prior to this past year, my only memory of truly mountain biking was back in 2013 when I followed some of the Brevard area’s best riders around DuPont State Forest for a story on “Wheels and Waterfalls.” I’d never written about mountain biking before, never ridden a mountain bike on anything besides sidewalks and paved roads. Knowing this, my editor assigned me not only to write the story but to also experience it. So I grabbed a loaner from Sycamore Cycles and hit the trail.At the time, I was so consumed with not wrecking and landing on the thousands of dollars of camera equipment on my back, the only thing I could think was mountain biking sucks. Roots, rocks, switchback after switchback. My hands were so gripped on the brakes I couldn’t hold a pen right for days. I vowed to stick with kayaking after that.DCIM104GOPROFast forward to last May when I hit the road full time. As days turned to weeks turned to months, I began to realize that I was spending more time by myself than in the company of others. The thought that maybe it was time to pick up a new hobby started taking root. Logistically, going kayaking and climbing by myself was just not an option. Running hurts my knees. I hate hiking. I’d rather lay by a lake and read than swim across it. Yoga’s great when the weather sucks. What else was left but riding bikes?Enter Violet, my beloved 29er I picked up from Adventure Damascus.To say that mountain biking has become my latest addiction would not be an overstatement. Now, that’s not to say it doesn’t scare the complete shit out of me. But on a nice day, I find myself debating whether to ride or to paddle. I dream about flowy downhills and (manageable) drops. I crave long rides in the saddle watching the scenery fly by and the miles rack up. Heck, I even enlisted the help of mountain biking guru Sue Haywood to help me get in shape for my first-ever races, Six Hours of Arrowhead (which was just this past Saturday), the Big Bear 2×12, and the crowned jewel of the summer (for me at any rate), the Captain Thurmond Challenge in the New River Gorge.Despite all of this, I still suck on a bike.Photo by Chris Jackson Photography.Photo by Chris Jackson Photography.As I stood at the ready waiting to start my first lap on the Arrowhead loop last weekend, I eyeballed the other racers in their matching kits and clipless shoes with envy. Maybe they weren’t great riders (I was never fast enough to find out), but at least they looked the part. Clad in baggies, a cotton tee, and flats, I’ve never felt more like a poser in my life.What am I doing? I thought ten miles in, already red in the face, exhausted, and soaked in sweat. I have no business being here.Six hours later, I realized I had every right to be in that race, novice or not. Sure, my laps were a good half hour slower than the top riders, and yes I did wipe out and rub elbows with trees, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about picking up new hobbies “later in life,” it’s this: there are two paths of rookiedom — you’re either a newb or you’re a noob.If you’re unsure of the difference between the two, I’ve consulted the definitive resource for slang definitions, Urban Dictionary, to clear the air.Newb is the abbreviation of Newbie, a term describing someone who is new at a game/forum/activity. Not to be confused with noob, an annoying ignorant bastard.Newbs are meant to be nurtured and cared for, lest they become a noob. If you deal with a newb carefully, they may become a respected member of any community.In short, it’s okay to be a newb. Just not a noob.If you’re going to suck, do it right. Here are seven ways to be a respectable newb.1. Spread the stoke.Everybody loves people who are stoked, especially if you’re just getting into a sport. Nothing makes for a good-day-turned-bad like an epic beat down and a sour attitude to boot. So, yes, you may get your ass handed to you more often than you’d like, and yes, there may be some elementary-age teasing reminiscent of those childhood memories you’d all but suppressed, but keep a smile on your face and it’ll all be good. And don’t worry. There’s no such thing as too much stoke…usually.2. Bum gear.Don’t go out and buy the priciest, top-of-the-line stuff you can afford the day you decide you’re going to pick up kayaking. If anything, it’ll only heighten your reputation as a noob if you swim through a rapid in an Immersion Research drysuit and lose your matching, brand spankin’ new Adventure Technology paddle in the mix. Newbs bum gear and borrow boats or demo bikes. Your bank account will thank you.3. Feed the fear.There is nothing pleasant about starting from ground zero after you’ve already become competent in other hobbies or sports. It can be frustrating, degrading, humbling, humiliating. But more than likely, you’ve decided to pick up a new sport for cross-training purposes, to have an off-season option, in light of a recent injury, or for the simple fact that you’re bored. It’s good to be scared. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Embrace that fear. Don’t shy away from it, but listen to your instinct. You should be with people who support either decision.4. Repeat after me: you don’t know it all.Really, none of us do, but especially if you’re a newb who pretends to know it all, you become a noob by default. Seek out advice and be patient with those who supply it. You may have to decipher the bro-talk later.5. Don’t apologize.Even the Chris Sharmas and Sue Haywoods of the world were considered amateurs at one point. Everybody has to start somewhere. The more you apologize, the less likely you’ll receive an invite back. Take your carnage, pick up the pieces, and carry on. Your apology is not accepted.6. Buy the beer.After all, it’s the least you can do for the crew that waited for you at every trail intersection or chased your gear downstream. Nothing says “thank you” like an ice cold beverage.7. Walk the talk.In the paddling world, we call them “club boaters.” They’re the people who have all of the gear, follow all of the forums, talk all of the talk, but rarely paddle. Don’t be the club boater of your sport. Get out there and take your lickings. At least you can say you tried.###Have any other suggestions for newbs? Leave ’em in the comments below!last_img read more

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Wildlife breeder known as “Joe Exotic” sentenced to 22 years in prison

first_imgRead the full story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/01/22/joe-exotic-zookeeper-sentencing/  An Oklahoma wildlife breeder and dealer was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for plotting to have a Florida animal sanctuary founder and animal rights activist murdered and for over a dozen wildlife violations, including killing five tigers.  The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to lease Utah’s Sand Flats, a popular mountain biking spot, for oil and gas drilling, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Under the plan, the agency would auction two parcels on Sand Flats, one of which is just a mile from Arches National Park, and five others in Grand County, UT.  Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic” tried to hire an undercover FBI agent to murder Carole Baskin, the Florida sanctuary owner. He was also convicted of illegally selling or attempting to sell tigers without a federal permit. Additionally, he shot and killed five tigers, telling the courts he “euthanized” them because they were sick. A forensic pathologist who examined the animals after their death said they appeared healthy. California hiker rescued by helicopter while clinging to a cliffside Wildlife breeder known as “Joe Exotic” sentenced to 22 years in prison Video shows the woman letting go of the roots and slipping down the mountainside on her stomach before being caught by a paramedic. She was then lifted back onto the trail by the helicopter. The woman did not appear to be hurt and refused medical attention, but she did make sure to hug her rescuers once she was back on safe ground. Oil and gas leasing proposed on Moab’s Slickrock trail A hiker in California survived a nail-biting rescue after slipping off a trail down a steep cliff in Rubio Canyon near Pasadena. The hiker was able to grab onto tree roots and stop her fall. Firefighters and paramedics responded to the stranded woman, and a helicopter was dispatched. Under new rules that support energy development on public lands, the BLM now offers virtually any parcel nominated by industry on lands that are deemed open under drilling-friendly resource management plans, the Salt Lake Tribune says. The public comment period for this proposal opens Feb. 20. Read the full story here: https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2020/01/23/feds-propose-oil-gas/last_img read more

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Lula and Brown Will Sign Cooperation Agreement For London 2012 And Rio 2016

first_imgBy Dialogo November 02, 2009 The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, will sign an agreement on Wednesday to allow cooperation between the organizers of the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The memorandum of understanding will allow the organizers of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to take advantage of the experience already acquired by the organizers of the London Games, official sources said today. The signing of the sports cooperation agreement between the two countries was announced by the the Brazilian president’s spokesman, Marcelo Baumbach, at a press conference granted in order to provide details on Lula’s agenda during his visit to the United Kingdom next week. Among the various matters to be discussed by Lula and Brown at their meeting in London on Wednesday evening, sports cooperation will be especially important, according to the spokesman. “There are significant possibilities for cooperation in view of preparing for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, given that London will be the host of the 2012 Olympics,” Baumbach affirmed. “For this reason, a memorandum of understanding in the area of sports cooperation will be signed, in order to guarantee that Rio de Janeiro will be able to take advantage of London’s experience in organizing the Olympics,” he added. Rio de Janeiro was chosen a month ago by the International Olympic Committee as the host of the Games of the Thirty-First Olympiad, an honor for which Madrid, Tokyo, and Chicago also competed. The 2016 Games will be the first in Olympic history to be organized by a South American city.last_img read more

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Continuing Promise Completes Mission in El Salvador

first_imgBy Dialogo August 01, 2011 USNS Comfort and the Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11) mission team departed Acajutla, El Salvador, on 24 July, after providing medical, dental, veterinary and engineering services to the country. “The El Salvador mission stop is a great one,” said Cmdr. William Scouten, a pediatrician on board. “I was here in 2005 and this is one of the countries where they actually have a fairly robust health care system. We see that here with all of the health education being conducted outside of the site by our host nation partners.” The CP11 mission team on board Comfort is made up of military members and NGO volunteers who have come together in the spirit of helping people. Four Salvadoran medical providers worked side-by-side with the embarked CP11 team at three medical sites. “I’m very thankful because I have worked with the Comfort crew before in 2007 and it has always been a very comfortable and pleasant experience,” said Elsa Noemi Jimenez-Martinez, a Salvadoran dentist. “I feel like we join as a family, as well as associates, when we are working together with the objective of providing service to the people who really need it, which is the most important thing.” In addition to general medicine and dental care, patients received optometric and pediatric care, as well as physical therapy treatment. “It’s an extreme honor to be here. I’m having a wonderful time and I’ll take many of the lessons that I’ve learned here back with me to my practice in America,” said Air Force Capt. Kristine Andrews, a pediatric resident from Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. The team of U.S. and partner nation medical professionals diagnosed and treated 8,257 patients during the mission stop at all three sites. The CP11 team performed 113 surgeries, filled 14,077 prescriptions and saw 2,318 optometry patients. The CP11 veterinary team treated 380 animals at 14 different sites throughout El Salvador, bringing the total number of animal care sites for the mission to 92. The Seabee and Marine Corps construction team completed engineering projects at two different schools in the country. Comfort will continue the CP11 mission in Costa Rica and Haiti, the eighth and ninth mission stops.last_img read more

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