Governor Peter Shumlin was joined today by firefighters, store owners, ski area representatives and others in celebrating the sale of the 25,000th â I Am Vermont Strong’license plate, marking the half-way mark in a campaign to sell enough plates to raise $1 million for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. Money from the license plate sales is earmarked for Vermont families impacted by flooding in 2011, as well as the Vermont Foodbank. The Governor reminded Vermonters that the need for assistance following the devastating spring floods and Tropical Storm Irene remains strong. â I am urging people to continue to support their neighbors who suffered damage to their homes during last yearâ s storms by buying a VTStrong license plate,’Gov. Shumlin said. â These plates reflect the spirit that makes Vermont strong and the funds are critical in helping Vermonters recover from the devastation of the May and August flooding.â The $25 plate can be affixed to the front of most vehicles or bought as souvenirs. The goal is to sell 50,000 plates to raise $1 million for the Disaster Relief Fund, and the Governor bought the first plate in February to present to the Corliss family of Berlin, whose mobile home was destroyed by flood waters. Today the Governor bought the 25,000th plate, presenting it to Barre Fire Department Capt. Keith Cushman and thanking all emergency responders across the state for their help during the 2011 storms. â Vermontâ s firefighters, emergency responders, police officers, National Guard troops and others stepped forward to save lives and property during both storms,’Gov. Shumlin said, presenting the plate to Capt. Cushman. The historic plate will remain on a Barre fire truck for a period of time before being shared with other departments across the state, and eventually donated to the Vermont Fire Academy for display. Firefighters from Montpelier and other local units were on hand today for the event. The Governor noted that the St. Johnsbury Fire Department has purchased â I Am Vermont Strong’plates for its fire trucks, and the Barre firefighters plan to do the same. Shumlin also thanked the organizations and individuals who have been selling the plates, including member of the Vermont Ski Areas Association and the Vermont Grocers Association (Price Chopper took 1,750 plates and is the biggest purchaser; Shaw’s, Maplefields and Hannaford’s also have made large purchases). In addition, he thanked businesses like National Life and others that have stepped forward to help with Irene and flood recovery in other ways.The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund was created following the spring flooding a year ago. When Irene struck Vermont in August, Gov. Shumlin formalized and established a governing body for the fund, which is chaired by David Coates of Colchester. The fund is the primary vehicle for providing disaster assistance to individuals.Governor’s office 4.5.2012
April 1, 2017 Regular News LSGM honors Laquer for gift L SGM honors Laquer for gift More than 100 people gathered at the Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood to honor Edie Laquer and celebrate the establishment of the Edie Laquer Foundation Women and Children’s Rights Attorney Chair at Legal Services of Greater Miami. This inaugural gift will help ensure women and children will always have an attorney dedicated to providing them with representation in the civil justice system and that their right to safe, affordable, decent housing and access to health care will be protected by the legal services staff. Laquer has been a presence in the Miami real estate industry for over 30 years. “We are so very grateful to Edie for being a trailblazer and establishing the first Endowed Attorney Chair at Legal Services,” said LSGM Executive Director Marcia Cypen. “Her vision and philanthropic leadership will make a lasting impact on women and children in our community for generations to come.” Legal Services of Greater Miami is a nonprofit organization providing free civil legal services for vulnerable members of the community with nowhere else to turn for help, including women, children, seniors, veterans returning from combat, people with disabilities, low-wage workers, and the homeless.
Board of Governors reviews proposed IOTA rule amendment Nov 18, 2020 By Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Top Stories Supreme Court seeking comments on IOTA task force proposals The Bar Board of Governors has been briefed on proposed Bar rule amendments from the Task Force on the Distribution of IOTA Funds, including that the Supreme Court is now seeking comments on the rule changes.Former Bar President Mayanne Downs, chair of the task force, presented its recommendations to the court at the board’s interim November 16 meeting.That discussion included deadlines for commenting on the amendments, whether the board should take a position, and a separate proposal from public board member Jody Hudgins to boost interest payments by banks on IOTA funds.The amendments would apply to Bar Rule 5-1.1(g), which governs the IOTA program.Under the task force proposal, “All IOTA monies will be paid to experienced and already-in-this-business-and-good-at-it grantees in Florida and they would use all that money to hire and pay lawyers so that lawyers can provide direct legal services,” Downs said.Grantee legal aid agencies would be able to use 10% for overhead and The Florida Bar Foundation, which collects IOTA funds from banks and distributes it to local programs, would be able to use 15% for overhead — the first time there have been limits on overhead, Downs said.It would eliminate the Foundation using IOTA funds for grants to improve the administration of justice, as allowed in earlier Supreme Court IOTA opinions. It would mandate that IOTA funds be distributed within six months of receipt. The rule amendments also call for a two-year review if it is ultimately adopted by the court.An official notice is online and will be in the December edition of the Bar News. The court has set a January 4 deadline for comments and the task force has until January 25 to respond, Downs said.The court’s directive in creating the task force in October 2019 was to consider an alternate model for collecting and distributing IOTA funds, whether there should be priorities and limits on how IOTA funds are spent, and whether there should be reporting requirements in the rule (the Foundation now provides a detailed annual audit). The court also, Downs said, specified that “in doing all of our work, we ‘shall give priority consideration to the need for funding direct legal services for low-income litigants in Florida.’”Board member Paige Greenlee, a former member of the Foundation Board of Directors, asked if the Board of Governors would be taking a position on the rule amendments, adding “I’ve heard from several constituents with concerns.”President Dori Foster-Morales noted the court set up the task force with administrative support from the Bar, but has not asked the board for its position.“We are here for discussion and if that’s something that people want to do, then a motion could be made to do that,” she said.No motion was made at the meeting.Board member Josh Chilson said the proposed amendments would do away with the Foundation’s program to help repay student loans for legal aid attorneys and asked Downs about that.Downs called that and the recognition of some other Foundation programs that would lose funding “agonizing” but said it could be reviewed in two years if ending the loan repayment assistance made it difficult to hire or retain legal aid attorneys. She also said the Foundation or legal aid programs might be able to find other funds for that effort.IOTA Interest RatesHudgins, who also serves on the Foundation Board of Directors, outlined a different amendment to Rule 5-1.1(g) he is proposing on behalf of the Foundation to set a standard interest rate for banks to pay in lawyers’ IOTA accounts. He said it has been discussed with the board’s Disciplinary Procedure Committee and the DPC will revisit it at the board’s regular December meeting.“There’s no equitable…index on the rate being paid on the IOTA funds,” Hudgins said, adding few lawyers know what rate is being paid on their IOTA account and those rates are generally too low.“Why are banks paying such a low fee? Because we can. Why can we pay such a low fee? Because you guys don’t ask. Why do you not ask? Because it really doesn’t have any economic effect on your practice of law or on your well-being,” said Hudgins, who is a banker. “It has a tremendous effect on the access to justice for the low to moderate income folks around Florida who need access to justice.”The proposal would set the minimum interest rate on IOTA accounts at 25 basis points [the current rate averages 11 basis points] and allow it to rise when interest rates increase.Hudgins said he expects “banks to complain a bit” but ultimately go along with the proposed rule change because it is fair and equitable. He noted that every extra basis point paid on IOTA accounts yields an extra $670,000 for the Foundation and its grant programs.He presented more details at a recent Foundation Board of Directors meeting.
The Unexpected Art Gallery opens in a historic Grand Avenue building this month, bringing a unique mixed-use art exhibition gallery, office and event space to this growing Downtown Phoenix neighborhood. The gallery renovates the 8,000 square foot Miller Store Fixture building at 734 W. Polk St. where the owners plan to host exhibitions and include a TechShop maker’s space, a game room, the “UStudio” photo, video and recording studio commons, “Back Alley” outdoor community gathering place, a VIP loft and an art library.The gallery debuts with art classes offered by renowned local artist Lucretia Torva of Torva Fine Art. The owners also announced the building’s first tenant is the Earl Jones Institute For Film and Television, a nonprofit organization established by actor Robert Earl Jones, to create and support cultural diversity in the fields of film, television and digital media. The nonprofit, now run by Robert’s son Matthew, has plans to hold workshops and events in the space.“Our goal has always been to have a focal point for the collaboration of the arts community with business, engineering and education. Unexpected is a community-designed experience poised to become a hub for art and commerce, but it’s also so much more. It’s a place where you can connect with those who are looking to expand the view of Phoenix culture. It’s a place where you can express yourself, learn from others and create community,” said Ben Smith, one of Unexpected Art Gallery’s partners.The gallery is also seeking local artists through November 12 to adopt a brick on a designated wall in the building and create a unique interconnected art design. The only “rule” is that each brick connects somehow to the bricks adjacent to it to create a large work of art that all gallery visitors can enjoy. For each brick created by an artist, the gallery will make a donation to Arizona School for the Arts. There is no fee for artists to participate. Interested artists can sign up by sending an email to email@example.com.“We are thrilled to join the Downtown Phoenix neighborhood family and bring a unique space to the area,” added Smith. “Our commitment is to give back and create connections in the vibrant community we have joined.”
The Guardian: It’s time to come clean: climate change is a hoax. And the moon landings were faked, 9/11 was an inside job, and the CIA is hiding the identity of the gunman on the grassy knoll.It might seem odd to lump climate change – a scientific theory supported by thousands of peer-reviewed papers and hundreds of independent lines of evidence – with conspiracy theories like these. But new research to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found a link between the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the rejection of established facts about climate science.In a survey of more than 1,000 readers of websites related to climate change, people who agreed with free market economic principles and endorsed conspiracy theories were more likely to dispute that human-caused climate change was a reality.Read the whole story: The Guardian More of our Members in the Media >
Strong international support is still needed to bolster the remaining portions of West Africa’s Ebola response, such as treatment units and putting contact tracing teams in place, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official said today, warning against a false sense of optimism and complacency.Bruce Aylward, MD, MPH, the WHO’s assistant director-general in charge of Ebola outbreak response, told reporters in Geneva today that Ebola transmission in West Africa is still intense enough to pose a threat of international spread and though response efforts are making a difference—especially more treatment beds and safer burials—behaviors play a key role. He said one badly done burial, for example, could spark another spike in cases.Caution balances message of progressAt the end of September when the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) launched and case numbers were rising exponentially, the WHO and its partners set an aggressive Dec 1 target for 70% of sick people to be isolated in treatment centers and for 70% of Ebola victim bodies to be buried safety. Though overall the countries didn’t meet the targets, “the big picture is that we’re in a different place than we were 60 days ago,” Aylward said.One piece of good news is that all three countries have exceeded the 70% goal for safe burials, following the doubling of safe burial teams, which are now at 202, he said. Also, two countries—Guinea and Liberia—have exceeded the 70% for Ebola patient treatment and isolation. Aylward said Ebola treatment beds have also doubled over the past 60 days, which has played a key role in edging the countries toward that goal.Managing escalating Ebola activity in western Sierra Leone remains one of the big challenges, he said, as does putting treatment units in the areas where they’re needed, given the expanding geographic range of the disease.Aylward said the political will and investments are there for the response, but he said the most alarming thing he’s heard is that things are “on track” and he warned against using the word “optimism” when gauging outbreak trends.”There’s no room for optimism when dealing with Ebola,” he said. Unlike other diseases, the response demands getting Ebola to zero cases, which won’t happen without 100% safe burials, 100% patients treated and isolated, and broad, aggressive case finding and contact tracing efforts in every district, he added.The response is shifting from being hunted by the virus to hunting the virus and shutting down all chains of transmission, Aylward said.Opportunities for responseThe recent slowdown in cases offers new opportunities for responders and scientists, according to a Nov 26 editorial in the journal Nature. Nature editors added, however, that the surge in cases in Sierra Leone is a reminder that Ebola remains a major threat.The exact reasons for the lull in cases in Guinea and Liberia are unclear, but are probably related to response efforts gaining steam and Africans coming to terms with the disease and blocking its main routes of transmission, such as by reducing traditional burial practices, the editors said. The slowing of cases in some areas offers a reprieve to health workers and scientists and “is an opportunity to regroup, to consolidate gains, and to go all the more on the offensive,” the editorial said.Global groups should heed the advice of Doctors without Borders, which has said a more flexible Ebola response is needed, given the shifting epidemiology of the disease, the Nature editors wrote.They also said the slowdown creates some precious time for testing drugs and vaccines, though they pointed out that the focus on countermeasures has turned the spotlight and resources away from simpler interventions such as rehydration and electrolyte control that could have had an immediate impact.Outbreak response updatesNo new Ebola cases have been detected in Mali over the last few days, keeping its total at 8 cases, 6 of them fatal, the country’s president, Boubacar Keita, said on Nov 29, according to an update today from UNMEER. It said 285 people are being monitored, and so far none have shown any signs of the disease.UNMEER also said today that five transit centers designed to isolate up to 12 suspected Ebola cases pending transfer to treatment units have opened in different cities in Guinea, with five more to be open by Dec 5.In Liberia, an expedited review of lab locations requested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prompted a reshuffling of labs, with a new one to be deployed to Sinoe County.Meanwhile in Sierra Leone, the first Ebola treatment center opened in Makeni. The $300,000 unit was built by Addax Bioenergy Ltd as part of its contribution to the Ebola response, UNMEER said.In a Nov 28 report, UNMEER said a recent meeting in Monrovia on payment of wages for Ebola workers found that one of the main challenges was a lack of a centralized government list of workers, so the next step will be gathering all the information needed for a centralized national database. A similar meeting in Guinea identified the same problem, and officials agreed that a response-worker database is needed to track payments.In Liberia, global partners are setting up 15 community care centers in different hot spots, the UNMEER said, and in Guinea construction on four more ETUs is under way, with the capacity to treat 190 patients. The locations are Nzerekore, Coya, Beyla, and Kerouane.Other developmentsA rapid diagnostic test for Ebola will be tested in coming weeks in the Ebola treatment center in Conakry, Wellcome Trust, one of the joint funders, reported on Nov 28. The 15-minute test is six times faster than other tests that are currently used. The trial will be led by a team from the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal. The new test involves a “mobile suitcase laboratory” designed for low-resource settings. It includes a solar panel, a power pack, reagents that can be used and transported at room temperature, and a results reader the size of a small laptop.The Italian nongovernmental organization Emergency expects to launch a trial of the antiarrhythmia drug amiodaraone for treating Ebola in Sierra Leone, according to a Nov 27 British Medical Journal (BMJ) report. The trial will be conducted at a hospital built recently by the United Kingdom to be run by Emergency. Roberto Satolli, coordinator of the trial, told BMJ that preclinical studies have shown the drug to be a potent filovirus inhibitor, and because the drug’s safety profile is known based on its use for many decades, it appears to be a good candidate for a phase 3 trial.The WHO on Nov 26 released a set of key messages for counseling men who have survived Ebola. It said it does not recommend isolating men whose blood has tested negative for the disease. India recently quarantined a man who arrived in the country after recovering from Ebola in Liberia after traces of the virus were found in his semen. Based on limited studies, it said men who have recovered should be aware that seminal fluid may be infectious as long as 3 months after symptom onset and that they should take precautions during that time, including good personal hygiene after masturbation and, if abstaining from sex isn’t possible, use of condoms. The agency noted, though, that sexual transmission of Ebola has not been documented.To assist health providers in West Africa, the WHO recently issued a guide for delivering obstetric and newborn care in Ebola outbreak settings. The 5-page guide details interventions for lowering delivery and postpartum risks for mothers and newborns and steps for minimizing health worker exposure to blood and body fluids that could transmit Ebola.See also:Dec 1 WHO press briefing transcriptNov 26 Nature editorialDec 1 UNMEER reportNov 28 UNMEER reportNov 27 BMJ reportNov 28 Wellcome Trust press releaseNov 26 WHO statement on Ebola virus in semenWHO Ebola and newborn care guide
Curb and gutter up grades in progress today on Trinity Drive. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Paving operations are in progress on Trinity Drive causing traffic delays and lane changes. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Large drainage pipes being installed today on the Central Avenue approach to the roundabout. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Share The East Hampton Historical Society hosted the 2019 House & Garden Tour, showcasing some of the finest examples of architecture in the Hamptons. From sea to bay, this year’s tour — comprised of five noteworthy homes and gardens — offered a one-time-only glimpse inside some of East Hampton’s most storied residences. With over 600 attendees, the tour enjoyed the largest attendance in its 35-year history.
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GERMANY: The first of six double-deck push-pull trainsets being built by Škoda Transportation for Deutsche Bahn is undergoing trials at the Velim test circuit in the Czech Republic. Entry into service is not now expected before December 2017.The trainset is initially formed of four coaches, although it will operate in six-car formation when in regular use.Intermediate coaches 70 80 26-94 001-3, 002-1 and 026-0 (DBpz) plus driving trailer 70 80 86-94 002-8 (DABpbzf) are being powered by one of three DB Class 102 electric locos (001-003) which are currently also on test at the site.In August 2013 DB Regio awarded a contract for Škoda Transportation to supply six Type 109E3 locomotives rated at 6·4 MW, along with six six-car sets of double-deck coaches. The push-pull trainsets with 676 seats are intended to operate at up to 189 km/h on DB Regio’s NIM Express regional services on the Nürnberg – Ingolstadt – München high speed line. This service forms part of the 12-year Ringzug West/NBS operating contract which began in December 2016.