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Tumble Down Festival Concludes With Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & Guest-Heavy Twiddle Sets [Audio/Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images Tumble Down Festival returned to Burlington, Vermont’s Waterfront Park, for day two of the annual festival hosted by Vermont locals, Twiddle. Started in 2016, Tumble Down has quickly become one of Burlington’s favorite weekends of the summer, as Twiddle invites some of their favorite bands to make music along the banks of picturesque Lake Champlain.On Friday, a very special friend joined in the fun, as 2016 presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, took a moment to address the crowd before introducing Twiddle to the stage. Sanders is no stranger to Tumble Down, showing his love for the event and Twiddle last year, in a thoughtful letter addressed to the band. Saturday’s jam-packed musical marathon saw three sets of Twiddle, as well as Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Ripe, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, GEM, and more.Tumble Down Night 2 Recap[Video: Twiddle]Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s set was cut short due to weather, but that didn’t stop them from throwing down a funk-filled set for the Green Mountain State. “Penguins” got the show started off, with Greg Ormont taking the lead on vocals, giving Tumble Down Festival a taste of his hysterical stage theatrics. “Somethin For Ya” led way to a fast-paced and groovy “Funk E.”, with bassist Ben Carrey putting on quite the show, laying down some massively sticky bombs. Carrey and drummer Alex “Gator” Petropulos seem to get tighter and tighter in the pocket together every show they play, and Saturday’s performance was highlighted by the pair’s mean rhythm section.Continuing with the funk, Pigeons dove into “Doc”, with guitarist Jeremy Schon laying down an impressive solo, firing off on all cylinders on his gorgeous PRS guitar. Ormont brought it back into the main theme of “Doc”, before transitioning into the breezy opening of “Horizon”. With Carrey thumping away on bass, Ormont set up the perfect rhythm riff for Schon to take the jam into deep improvisational space. As the jam came building higher, the weather also worsened, an issue that was at hand Friday night as well. As Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were playing “Fortress”, the band was unfortunately not able to play their complete set, and were abruptly cut short. Even a force as strong as PPPP aren’t able to control the weather, and fans were delighted with the tunes they did get to hear, despite a little disappointment.Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Tumble Down Festival | Burlington, VT | 7/28/2018Set: Penguins, Somethin’ For Ya, Funk E., Doc, Horizon, Fortress (cut short due to rain)Saturday night concluded with three sets of Twiddle. The Vermont quartet took full advantage of their final opportunity to jam with the various guests on site for the festival. The first set was marked by an energetically-charged “Polluted Beauty”, which saw 15-year-old and frequent collaborator Brandon “Taz” Niederauer flexing his chops with one of his favorite bands. The first set closed with a beautiful “Hallelujah”, featuring vocalist Kat Wright.Soaring through back-to-back jams during their second set, Twiddle also welcomed out guitarist Grahame Lesh for their signature “Lost In The Cold”. Later on, Lesh and vocalist Elliot Peck returned to the stage for a “Hatti’s Jam” into “When It Rains It Pours” during the final set of Tumble Down. Thanks to taper edmund.edwards, you can re-listen to the majority of Twiddle’s three sets below.[Audio: edmund.edwards]Setlist: Twiddle | Tumble Down Festival | Burlington, VT | 7/29/2018Set One: Second Wind, Dr. Remidi’s Melodium, Polluted Beauty w/ Taz (guitar), Hallelujah w/ Kat Wright (vocals)Set Two: Orlando’s> Jamflowman> Hattibagen McRat> Orlando’s> Frankenfoote> Tiberius> Orlando’s> Carter Candlestick> Cabbage Face> Orlando’sSet Three: Lost In The Cold w/ Grahame Lesh, Apples, Hatti’s Jam w/ Graham Lesh (guitar) and Elliot Peck (vocals) > When It Rains It Pours w/ Graham (guitar) and Elliot Peck (vocals)You can view a gallery of photos from Tumble Down Festival in Burlington, VT  below via photographer Bahram Foroughi.Tumble Down Festival | Waterfront Park | Burlington, VT | 7/28/2018 | Bahram Foroughi Photographylast_img read more

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A trio of ideas for education

first_imgThe man who helped to reshape the country’s largest school system has a new focus: the nation’s K-12 public schools.Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, spoke at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Monday, outlining his plan for a “transformative” approach to the country’s ailing primary and secondary education systems.“Human history is a race between education and catastrophe,” said Klein, quoting British author H.G. Wells. According to Klein, catastrophe will be unavoidable without major restructuring of the American K-12 system. His proposed solution has three core recommendations: Professionalize teaching, create choice and competition among schools, and bring technology further into classrooms.Klein instituted many changes in New York City’s public school system when he was chancellor from 2002 to 2010, including implementing teacher performance bonuses, establishing more charter schools, creating a unified and citywide curriculum, incorporating data into teacher evaluations, and closing some high schools in favor of smaller, community-driven schools.He shaped his national proposal in part on that experience, and in part on an influx of depressing educational data.“The facts are pretty gruesome,” said Klein, who rattled off statistics, including a high school graduation rate in the United States that hovers around 70 percent, the country’s low literacy ranking in science and math internationally, and the fact that although U.S. spending has tripled since 1970, student achievement levels remain almost unchanged.But change is possible, said Klein, in part because so many teachers will be retiring from the profession in the next decade, making way for “millennials who I think will be much, much more accommodating to a new and different vision of the system.”In addition to fueling innovation and driving change, enhanced choice and competition among schools is a basic question of equity, Klein said. Every parent, regardless of income level, should be able to pick from the best schools available, Klein said. He cited his own efforts in New York City where he shut 60 failing high schools in favor of 300 smaller, community-based models that he said led to both greater choice and higher graduation rates. Too often, Klein said, parents tell him the schools they don’t want their children attending are for “other people’s children.”“Other people’s children are the kids who start out with the least advantages in life and the greatest challenges. They can’t move to a new neighborhood, or a new community, or send their kids to private school. For them, it’s truly one and done.”The system should not be about pitting a private or public school against a charter school, added Klein, “It’s about choice, and good schools, and schools earning the student body that attends them.”For Klein, fundamental reform includes changes involving teachers.“We have got to create a teaching profession that is a highly respected profession,” said Klein. He complained that too many teachers leave teaching after only a few years, and called both for new measures that ensure they are adequately trained both in content and pedagogy, and for a system that includes better support and pay.Klein singled out the example of Finland where it’s harder to “get into a graduate school of teaching than any other professional school.” Finland’s educational system includes a mentoring program in which teachers are carefully supervised. If they are deemed underperforming, they are “counseled out of the system.”“People go to Harvard Law School, they practice law. People go to Harvard Medical School, they practice medicine,” said Klein. “People go to education schools, and in the first five years a third to a half of them exit the profession. There’s something wrong with that model.”Klein now heads the education unit of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, called Amplify, which in part aims to put tablet computers in the hands of teachers and students across the country.Such technology can engage students in richer, more exciting learning opportunities, Klein said, and can empower great teachers. Tablet computers also allow students and their instructors to work from highly customized plans.With his final words, Klein challenged his audience to help him.“This is the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Where else is a better place to reimagine education, to have big thoughts about the transformative power of three ideas?”last_img read more

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Political failure through a business lens

first_imgRestructure the governing process by forming an independent commission to redesign congressional rules to greatly reduce two-party control over which bills are considered and how issues are addressed; Reduce the influence that money buys in politics. While the authors don’t suggest eliminating fundraising, they say ensuring that donations are fully transparent, closing fundraising loopholes, and encouraging small donors to participate can restore some balance and expand the rolls of those whose needs are heard. While major election and governance reforms likely would take years to implement, near-term fixes could help, such as electing a small group of independent, centrist U.S. senators to form a swing coalition that could align with either party on an issue. That would ensure that decisions satisfy more than just the political extremes.One major objective of the report, the pair say, is to get the business community to understand the structural source of Washington’s dysfunction and help begin to fix it. They acknowledge that won’t be easy. In the current environment, some business leaders want nothing to do with politics, while others have gotten into the game and done quite well for themselves with the help of lobbyists, who typically deliver a healthy return on investment. But while lobbying may produce short-term wins for an individual company or a specific business sector, it is at the expense of the country’s long-term well-being.Some businesses have become special-interest advocates, and thus contributors to the larger political dysfunction, the authors say. While most businesses are unhappy with the current state of affairs, they often disconnect their own lobbying efforts from the dissatisfaction they feel, said Porter, adding, “We’ve got to bring those things together.”“So we are determined, in whatever way we can, to try to get businesses to understand the kind of corrosive effects that is having on our entire economy, on everything they need to happen in our economy,” he said.“Today’s CEOs also need to redefine corporate purpose in ways that align strategy and business competition with the needs of society, which will mean a different relationship with government,” the paper concludes.Bringing the message to the business communityIn the coming weeks, Porter and Gehl will bring their message to the business community and Harvard alumni across the country and plan to work with HBS students eager to change the way Washington works. The authors also hope to convene a major event at HBS with top business leaders to begin tackling the issues.“We’re going to try to make the business community very uncomfortable with the status quo that they sort of fell into without necessarily understanding the consequences,” said Porter.If the political system is to work for everyone, ordinary citizens also must take responsibility for action and demand changes in the rules of the game.“That’s part of why we’ve written this, because we want to be explicit about what’s gone wrong, and we want to invite people who have heretofore engaged in the political system by supporting a candidate or a party to know that there’s another way they must engage,” said Gehl.“You have to engage in caring about the way the system itself is structured. You cannot just show up and vote for the candidate or support the candidate. You’re going to have to care about the rules of the game overall.”center_img There’s a general consensus that Washington is “broken.” But the reason politics doesn’t seem to deliver for citizens anymore may not involve who’s in the White House, which party controls Congress, or even any inherent flaws in the political system.In fact, over the last few decades, the system may have worked better than ever for the constituencies that it was built to serve best: primary voters, donors, and lobbyists for special interests, including businesses. Unfortunately for the American public, most ordinary voters are not among those leading beneficiaries.According to a new Harvard Business School (HBS) report from Michael E. Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, and co-author Katherine Gehl, Washington’s proverbial “swamp” isn’t a set of disjointed public institutions. Rather, it’s a self-regulating industrial complex that limits healthy competition in order to promote its continued growth and caters to the power and profit-driven demands of its best customers instead of the broader public interest.During the 2016 election cycle, the report estimates that federal political spending reached at least $16 billion, and nearly 20,000 jobs could be attributed to campaign staffing, consulting, and lobbying. The political media also benefitted, with most major news outlets posting record advertising revenues last year as a result of expanded interest in politics.While competition between the two parties looks fiercer than ever, in reality, the study suggests, both Democrats and Republicans benefit from having the other as a foil to raise funds against, from having opposing policy positions to rally around, and from, in effect, roping off the playing field from outside challengers who might outshine them.To understand how and why politics has become so disconnected from serving the people and producing positive results, Porter and Gehl studied the business of politics as they would study any company or sector, looking at structural components such as competitors, customers, channels to reach customers, suppliers, and the threat of new entrants into the market using the “five-forces framework.”They wanted to know how a country that personified the success of modern democracy after World War II could have fallen into a state of failure and inertia, with no end in sight.“How do you have this system that’s not meeting the customers’ needs, the citizens’ needs, not solving the problems that are in the public interest, and yet we’re not holding them accountable?” Gehl said she and Porter wondered. “What’s going on?”Porter, who studies economic development and competitiveness, said the idea to examine politics through the lens of business stemmed from his experience overseeing the U.S. Competitiveness Project at HBS. Since 2011, the project has surveyed HBS alumni and other business leaders to assess perceptions about which aspects of the country, such as the economy or education, they see as thriving and which as lacking.The survey results consistently showed that Washington’s persistent failure to pass legislation in recent years has been a major obstacle to moving the country forward on nearly every front that makes a healthy business environment, from tax reform and restoring economic growth to improving public education and health care and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.Source: Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter, “Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America,” U.S. Competitiveness Project, Harvard Business School, September 2017Gehl, a former CEO who spent years in politics supporting candidates, said she eventually became disillusioned because while the names and faces changed, the partisan-driven gridlock in Washington and politicians’ focus on primary voters, special interests, and donors did not.“I was always looking for ‘who’s the right candidate?’” she said. But “because the system was so dysfunctional, no matter who you send into that system, the system, the structure, and the incentives that are built into that system are larger and stronger than any individual’s desire to make a difference.”Despite the present dire political straits, however, the pair say they see plenty of reasons to be optimistic.“There are things that can be done”“By changing the design, by changing the rules of the game, we can change the results that the system’s incented to deliver,” said Gehl. “We don’t just have to be frustrated about it, there are things that can be done.”One troublesome aspect of our current political system, the report finds, is that it offers the key actors no incentive to change their behavior. After all, why would they when it’s working great for their interests?Worst of all, the authors said, there’s no accountability.Unlike other industries, which are subject to federal oversight or face threats from competition if they don’t serve customer needs, there’s no higher authority lording over the political system. Though the Federal Election Commission is nominally tasked with ensuring that election and financing rules are followed, the panel is stocked with political appointees and under constant pressure to operate with a very light touch.Theoretically, voters are supposed to be the ultimate check: If the public doesn’t like what’s going on, the party or elected officials get voted out. Yet even with some leadership churn, candidates from outside the two parties rarely get elected, so the system continues to serve the needs of its preferred customers: the small number of hardcore primary voters, big-pocketed donors, and special-interest groups, the study says.That closed loop is no accident, the authors believe. Democrats and Republicans control the political system through mutually beneficial rule-making done behind the scenes, Gehl and Porter assert. The parties have enacted rules that protect their dominance by controlling the primary process, access to voter data, fundraising limits, how Congress is governed, and what issues are debated. The system even coopts media attention and access, which creates a major barrier to entry.Though no industry rolls out the red carpet to new competition, the Democratic and Republican parties have been particularly skillful in keeping challengers outside the two-party system from getting a toehold, the authors believe. Without a competitive threat, the parties have little worry that failing to serve the needs of average voters will have hurt them.“It’s one of the most striking cases I’ve ever seen” of antitrust-style behavior, said Porter. “It’s impossible” to succeed from outside the parties.What can be done to revamp the systemThough they concede that the situation is complex, Porter and Gehl identify four key areas of the political system that could be revamped to improve how politics can deliver for everyday voters.Among their recommendations:Change the election process so that it more fairly represents all voters, by gerrymandering reforms overseen by a nonpartisan redistricting panel, and open access to presidential debates to candidates outside the two major parties so voters can hear broader viewpoints;last_img read more

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Harvard Innovation Labs celebrates year’s accomplishments

first_imgThe Harvard Innovation Labs has published a summary of achievements from the university innovation center’s community in 2019. This year’s annual list features nearly 50 accomplishments from current and former Harvard Innovation Labs teams.“At the start of 2010, the Harvard Innovation Labs was still just an idea — one that would not turn into a reality for nearly two more years,” said Jodi Goldstein, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Since then, we’ve launched and scaled a university innovation center that has brought together tens of thousands of Harvard students, alumni, and faculty to explore ideas across industries and stages.”She added, “In recent years, our growth has included opening the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, introducing the Launch Lab X accelerator program to support alumni entrepreneurs, engaging with more world-leading innovators and entrepreneurs to advise Harvard Innovation Labs’ teams, and creating multiple new funding opportunities through the Allston Venture Fund, the Social Impact Fellowship Fund, and early stage grants. Throughout, we’ve continued to scale the annual Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge, which will offer $510,000 in prize money from The Bertarelli Foundation to winners and finalists in 2020.”Read the Harvard Innovation Labs 2019 Year in Review here. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Press release from Stone Environmental, Inc.

first_imgPRESS CONTACTChris Stone, [email protected](link sends e-mail)Seth Pitkin Appointed Vice President at Stone Environmental, Inc.MONTPELIER, VERMONTThe partners of Stone Environmental, Inc. are pleased to announce that Seth Pitkin, leader of the companys Site Investigation & Remediation Group, has been appointed a Vice President and Officer of the organization.Since joining Stone in 1998, Pitkin has developed the investigation and remediation function into a vital service group that has shown strong financial performance and robust client and project growth.Pitkin developed Stones specialized Rapid Adaptive Site Characterization (RASC) program and is considered an expert in subsurface contamination investigation, site characterization, and vertical profiling. He serves as lead scientist on site characterization investigations, manages groundwater-related projects and investigations using the Triad Approach, and directs Stones real-time measurement technologies including a modified Waterloo Profiling technology that he has been instrumental in developing.Pitkin holds an M.Sc. in Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. As a member of John Cherrys research team at Waterloo, he helped develop the Waterloo Profiler, a uniquely powerful data acquisition system for the investigation of groundwater contamination. Pitkin and his team at Stone have modified the original profiler to create a proprietary tool that provides high-quality data in real time, including groundwater samples for analysis, a continuous vertical record of the hydrostratigraphy at each location, hydraulic head measurements, and physicochemical data on groundwater quality.Seth will be an important asset to Stones management team as we move the company forward, said company president Chris Stone. His work as leader of our site investigations team has been outstanding and we look forward to his input on broader organizational issues.Stone Environmental, Inc. is an environmental science consulting firm located in Montpelier, Vermont. The company has 21 scientists providing client services in four areas: site investigation and remediation services, water resources and wastewater, agrochemical fate and exposure, and applied information management (GIS, computer modeling, data management). The site investigation groups services include groundwater profiling with the modified Waterloo groundwater profiler, analytical services in NELAP-accredited onsite laboratories, 3-D data visualization, and use of the US EPAs Triad Approach to site investigations. Visit is external) for more information.Lesley AllenCommunications Specialist / MarketingDirect / 802.229.1878E-Mail / [email protected](link sends e-mail)Stone Environmental, Inc.535 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier, Vermont 05602Tel / 802.229.4541 Fax / 802.229.5417Web Site / is external)last_img read more

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CFPB outlines debt collection proposals; NAFCU analyzing

first_imgCFPB on Thursday released an outline of proposals under consideration that would place restrictions on how debt collectors communicate with debtors and would simplify the process for those debtors who want to dispute their debt.“While CFPB’s outline is targeted toward third-party debt collectors, NAFCU is analyzing the provisions under consideration to assess any direct or indirect impact on credit unions,” said NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio. “Credit unions are good actors that engage in responsible, fair debt collection practices and work to make sure their members’ financial needs and goals are met.”A survey by NAFCU’s research team this June on credit union debt collection practices found that 80 percent of respondents had waived late fees, interest or fines for delinquent accounts due to member hardship during the last year. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Your branding should be in your CU’s DNA

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr “Every single associate, every single staff member is a brand ambassador,” says John Mathes on the CUES Podcast Episode 25. Mathes is director of brand strategy at CUES Supplier member Weber Marketing Group and a faculty member at CUES School of Strategic Marketing I and II, where you can learn about branding this summer in Seattle.That is why, when undergoing a credit union rebrand, it’s important to survey entire staff for their points of view. When Weber Marketing Group works with a CU client, they conduct employee focus groups, plus workshops with the senior leadership team and board members.“You never know where the brand insights are going to come from,” he says.What is branding? continue reading »last_img read more

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Trial and Error: Report Says Prosecutors Rarely Pay Price for Mistakes and Misconduct

first_imgBy Joaquin Sapien, ProPublicaThe Innocence Project released a report Tuesday alleging that prosecutors across the country are almost never punished when they withhold evidence or commit other forms of misconduct that land innocent people in prison.The Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal group that represents people seeking exonerations, examined records in Arizona, California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania, and interviewed a wide assortment of defense lawyers, prosecutors and legal experts.In each state, researchers examined court rulings from 2004 through 2008 in which judges found that prosecutors had committed violations such as mischaracterizing evidence or suborning perjury. All told, the researchers discovered 660 findings of prosecutorial error or misconduct. In the overwhelming majority of cases, 527, judges upheld the convictions, finding that the prosecutorial lapse did not impact the fairness of the defendant’s original trial. In 133 cases, convictions were thrown out.Only one prosecutor was disciplined by any oversight authorities, the report asserts.The report was issued on the anniversary of a controversial Supreme Court ruling for those trying to achieve justice in the wake of wrongful convictions. In a 5–4 decision in the case known as Connick v. Thompson, the court tossed out a $14-million dollar award by a Louisiana jury to John Thompson, a New Orleans man who served 18 years in prison for a murder and robbery he did not commit.The majority ruled that while the trial prosecutors had withheld critical evidence of Thompson’s likely innocence – blood samples from the crime scene – the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office could not be found civilly liable for what the justices essentially determined was the mistake of a handful of employees. The decision hinged on a critical finding: that the District Attorney’s office, and the legal profession in general, provides sufficient training and oversight for all prosecutors.The Innocence Project study echoes a 2013 ProPublica examination focused on New York City prosecutors. In 2013, ProPublica used a similar methodology to analyze more than a decade’s worth of state and federal court rulings. We found more than two dozen instances in which judges explicitly concluded that city prosecutors had committed harmful misconduct.Several of the wrongfully convicted people in these cases successfully sued New York City. In recent years, New York City and state have doled out tens of million dollars in settlements stemming from such lawsuits. Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes was voted out of office, in part because of wrongful convictions gained through misconduct on the part of his prosecutors or police detectives working with them.But only one New York City prosecutor, ProPublica’s analysis found, was formally disciplined: Claude Stuart, a former low-level Queens Assistant District Attorney, lost his license. He was involved in three separate conviction reversals.Just as we found in New York, the Innocence Project’s report found that appellate judges and others almost never report findings of misconduct to state panels and bar associations that are authorized to investigate them.“In the handful of situations where an investigation is launched,” the report found, “The committees generally failed to properly discipline the prosecutor who committed the misconduct.”The report concludes with several recommendations on how to improve accountability for prosecutors. It suggests, among other things, that judges ought to mandatorily report all findings of misconduct or error and that state legislatures pass laws requiring prosecutors to turn over all law enforcement material well before trial.But perhaps most powerful is the report’s introduction, a 2011 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder and two national prosecutor associations. It was written in response to the Connick ruling and signed by 19 people whose wrongful convictions were secured in part by prosecutorial misconduct.“We, the undersigned and our families, have suffered profound harm at the hands of careless, overzealous and unethical prosecutors,” the letter said. “Now that the wrongfully convicted have virtually no meaningful access to the courts to hold prosecutors liable for their misdeeds, we demand to know what you intend to do to put a check on the otherwise unchecked and enormous power that prosecutors wield over the justice system.”According to the Innocence Project, the Justice Department never responded to the letter.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York last_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, July 28

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAlter diet to turn back climate change While pursuing my BSN at Siena College, I took a summer class called “Feeling Stressed? Try Nature,” which taught issues facing our planet such as climate change. Although I have heard comments such as “It doesn’t feel warmer,” 93% of heat trapped in our atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions is absorbed by our oceans.Ocean temperatures have been increasing since the 1990s causing coral bleaching. The future of once thriving ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef, over which 50% has died, is dependent on the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.The United States is the second greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. Changing over to alternative forms of clean energy is a lengthy process, and even if we could do so immediately, it would take 100 years for reversal of global warming.Animal agriculture, especially that of cows, is responsible for 51% of human-caused climate change, 30% of the world’s water consumption, 91% of Brazilian Amazon deforestation and the leading cause of ocean dead zones.Solutions like changing diet can make a difference to effect change now. I made the personal decision against consuming milk. Check out these documentaries on Netflix: “Before the Flood,” “Cowspiracy,” and “Chasing Coral.” If you can’t be convinced without scientific research, check out “Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption,” “The Impacts of Dietary Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Land Use, Water Use, and Health: A Systematic Review,” and “Global Warming and Recurrent Mass Bleaching of Corals.”Sarah DiniusNiskayuna Follow simple rule of safety on bike pathsThis letter is concerning the ignorance of bike trail etiquette, specifically for pedestrians sharing the trails, with the same opinion as in Michael Werner’s July 19 letter.Mr. Werner says “get a bicycle bell” for your bicycles instead of shouting “On your left.”I would like to remind Mr. Werner that if he walked to the left side of the bike trail, facing oncoming bicycle riders (as one should on all roads), there would be no need for a verbal, bell, air-horn or klaxon type of warning at all.At 50-75 yards away, the average person would only need to keep their eye doctor checkup current. We could all avoid the extra noise borne from a valid warning of approaching riders and the snide retorts of individuals that refuse to use some common sense and exercise personal responsibility.“Walk Left, Ride/Drive Right”James HerdmanScotiaState going wrong way in AdirondacksMuch of the news the last few years regarding the Adirondack wilderness has been disappointing and bewildering.The actions of the APA, DEC and governor make you wonder what wilderness will be left in a few years.However, it was encouraging to see that The Appellate Division, Third Department, ruled recently that state tree-cutting to build a network of wide class II community connector snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Forest Preserve violated Article XIV, Section 1 of the State Constitution. The DEC and governor should be trying to uphold the wilderness protection provided by the state constitution, not trying to skirt their way around it.In addition to the snowmobile trail issue last summer, they allowed ATV vehicles on Whiteface Mountain without notifying anyone. They rushed the Boreas Ponds classification to limit the input of public opinion. And they spent millions of dollars on the new Frontier Town Campground.The money spent on the campground would have been better spent on hiring more rangers, rebuilding trails and improving the parking situation in the High Peaks area. These infrastructure needs should have been addressed before building the campground to bring more tourists into the area. Rangers should be on the trails and summits educating hikers, not writing parking tickets. I’m afraid the governor’s idea of wilderness is a paved road up Mt. Marcy, lined with nonconforming blue signs with a Taste of New York kiosk on top. I hope they remember to put in the septic system.Chris BuckleyBurnt Hills We need a president who upholds American idealsI cannot believe the chanting done at the president’s political rally. I have tried to keep in mind that this is our president and we should stand by him, but I cannot after this latest episode. This president is causing such division in this country that I fear for our future for the next year.He’s talking about American citizens. He’s singling out one who is the only one born outside of our country but went through the proper protocols to be a citizen. How can people back up this alarming rhetoric? The only thing it does is confirm that racism is alive and well in this country. How far have we come when a United States president belittles women that have so much love for this country they ran for election and won to support the people? I did not, purposely, say women of color. They are women, human beings, who should be recognized for the attributes they hold dear to make this country better.Wake up America. Impeachment isn’t the answer. Voting is for 2020 to make sure we have a president that stands for the ideals of democracy and practices those ideals for we the people.Vincent F. CarelliAmsterdamcenter_img Thoroughbreds start their racing careers too youngProvoked by Sara Foss’ July 15 Gazette column, I’d like to put in my two cents. Cold-blooded saddle horses are usually 2 or 3 years old before they are “broke,” wear a saddle or carry a rider. Thoroughbred racehorses are considered 1 year old on January 1, regardless of the month they are born. At age 2, his training begins, including time on the racetrack. It just seems stressful on their young delicate legs and systems. But, of course, to wait one more year to train that racehorse would add a lot of expense to the industry and probably never happen.Sally AustinBallston LakeFilm brings awareness to teen pregnancy challenges On July 13, Proctors held the premier showing of “Cradle.”  Prince Sprauve spent six years bringing this film together.It’s a compelling film, based on true stories of teenage pregnancies in Schenectady. The film follows the real-life challenges and complicated relationships with family and friends that teenage pregnancy presents.The audience was filled with several hundred people, many of whom were teenage mothers or products of a teenage mother. The making of the film was with the intent to bring the serious community problem of teenage pregnancy and the resulting impacts of domestic abuse and abandonment to the awareness of our community. The hope is to bring together school programs and community agencies to dialog about the issues and try to safeguard our youth from these difficult challenges.At the end of the film, Prince Sprauve took the stage and repeatedly emphasized that tonight “is not about the limousine;”  it’s about bringing awareness and coming together as a community to help educate our youth avoid these situations.The July 14 Gazette coverage was only that of a photo of the limousine and a cute headline play of Prince’s name. There was no accompanying article. There was so much story to be told and reported, including or highlighting impact responses from the audience members. It’s a shame The Gazette missed the point of the evening and the opportunity to expose the message of the film.Hopefully, this film will reach greater audiences and promote dialog across our community.   Carol Harrigan LupoSchenectadyMedia must stop stirring up anti-police sentimentThe July 21 Daily Gazette Opinion headline read: “Eric Garner is proof that we need to reform laws on excessive force.”No. We need a law that simply says don’t resist arrest; if you do, any harm that comes to you will be considered your own fault, by law.In 1991, Rodney King established the value of resisting arrest, i.e., resist arrest, hurt by police, avoid going back to prison, become national hero, cover of Time magazine.Mr. King died a pathetic, alcoholic-related death. Some national hero.But the deceitful media coverage of King’s arrest led to rioting that killed 63 people and injured 2,373. Sixty-three people killed by dishonest media in a riot and how many since, including the very unfortunate Mr. Garner? Alvin Bragg, the agenda-driven author of this column, is hardly an unbiased writer, since he stated in the column that he “has provided legal advice to the family of Eric Garner.” He gives no hint as to why the police officers felt they needed to use any force at all in arresting Mr. Garner. Mr. Bragg is simply writing another biased article enflaming antagonism against police. Enflaming antagonism toward the police has been a focus of the PC media for 30 years and is causing huge damage to the fabric of our country. It needs to stop.Clyde MaughanRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

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Bundaberg house comes with a free holiday to Hawaii

first_imgAs if Queensland’s warm weather wasn’t enough, a couple in the regional centre of Bundaberg are throwing in a free trip to Hawaii with the sale of their home. Yes, you heard right. The house is listed for sale for $520,000 and the lucky buyer will score a free trip to Hawaii valued at $4,000.The vendor’s son Dion Borg, who is handling the sale on behalf of his parents John and Connie Borg, says the five-bedroom property has been on the market for more than a year and the holiday is an incentive to attract buyers.A look at the family home from the street.“There’s been a decline in property sales in Queensland. The idea was to look at ways to promote the property and hopefully find more buyers,” Borg says.He says he chose Hawaii because the US island state has a similar climate to that part of Queensland.Borg has purchased a $4,000 voucher through which he says should cover flights, accommodation and some activities for two people.Whoever purchases the property just has to visit the site and choose a package that suits them, either in Waikiki or Kona. If they choose a package that exceeds $4,000 they will have to pay the extra amount.The property sits on two hectares and is just a 15-minute drive from Bundaberg’s CBD.Borg has been helping his parents manage the listing on and even created a video to showcase the property’s value for families. from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoThe five-bedroom property sits on two hectares with a fish pond, and vegetable garden with greenhouse.“We’ve been targeting people that might want to have horses, fruit trees or a trucking business,” Borg says.“Bundaberg is a great place to bring up a family.”The property is being officially managed through Property Now as a private sale.last_img read more

Read More Bundaberg house comes with a free holiday to Hawaii