Paralyzed Soldier Completes London Marathon for Charity

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Major Phil Packer lost both his legs in Iraq. Doctors back home said he would never walk again.Not only is Phil walking again (with canes), he has just finished the London marathon, walking two miles per day. Determined to raise a million pounds for charity, he is taking on other challenges — rowing the channel and pulling himself to the top of El Capitan mountain.Watch the inspiring video from ITN and the UK Telegraph, below, and get the latest updates at PhilPacker.com. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

US Cracks Down on Mountaintop Coal-mine Permits

first_img “The administration pledged earlier this year to improve review of mining projects that risked harming water quality. Release of this preliminary list is the first step in a process to assure that the environmental concerns raised by the 79 permit applications are addressed and that permits issued are protective of water quality and affected ecosystems,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We look forward to working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, with the involvement of the mining companies, to achieve a resolution of EPA’s concerns that avoids harmful environmental impacts and meets our energy and economic needs…” According to the EPA, based on studies of over 1200 stream segments impacted by mountaintop mining and valley fills the following environmental issues were noted: an increase of minerals in the water — zinc, sodium, selenium, and sulfate levels may increase and negatively impact fish and macroinvertebrates leading to less diverse and more pollutant-tolerant speciesstreams in watersheds below valley fills tend to have greater base flowstreams are sometimes covered up wetlands are, at times inadvertently and other times intentionally, created; these wetlands provide some aquatic functions, but are generally not of high qualityforests may become fragmented (broken into sections)the regrowth of trees and woody plants on regraded land may be slowed due to compacted soilsgrassland birds are more common on reclaimed mine lands as are snakes; amphibians such as salamanders, are less likelyvalley fills are generally stable cumulative environmental costs have not been identifiedthere may be social, economic and heritage issues Reuters quotes one analyst as saying the move would “likely benefit mining companies, like Consol Energy Inc, that have low-cost underground operations as opposed to mountaintop mining.” (Read more from Reuters) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will put the brakes on 79 pending permits for mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachia because they likely pose environmental problems in violation of the Clean Water Act. Also called surface mining, the technique often results in the burying of streams with blasted debris from mountaintops, and high levels of toxic metal runoff into adjacent valleys and community watersheds. EPA’s initial review concluded that all of the projects would likely cause water quality impacts and require additional scrutiny under the Clean Water Act. last_img read more

Post-Katrina, Innovative Charter School in New Orleans Sets Example for Nation

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSince Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become a laboratory for all sorts of charter schools.One school promising a college prep environment opened its doors to incoming freshman in the desolate Ninth Ward, where most of the students entered with reading skills at only a fourth grade level.By focusing on enthusiasm for the goals of reaching college and daily character growth, the Science & Math Academy has designed a program that both addresses their deficits and accelerates them beyond the average. And, the program is working.In two years, as founder and incoming principal, 28-year-old Ben Marcovitz has taken the original freshman class,  previously with little hope for a successful future, to nearly the top of the city’s list for overall test scores.WATCH the video to witness the transformation of kids enrolled at Sci Academy…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Cardboard Bicycle Can Change the World, Says Israeli Inventor

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA sturdy bicycle made entirely of cardboard is an eco-friendly way to bring transportation to developing nations for just ten bucks.A coat of waterproofing resin and a layer of gray paint makes this cheap bike look slick and operate smoothly.Its Israeli inventor, Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard. He told Reuters that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months.(READ the story from Reuters)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Gives Girl Surprise of a Lifetime

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreQuarterback superstar Aaron Rodgers surprised a young lady, who is a big Packers fan, bringing her onstage at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee to produce some music. He also wanted to raise awareness for Independence First, an organization she works with  that is run by and for the benefit of people who have disabilities.Aaron and David Gruber host an online series of videos where they surprise guests and invest time into helping them achieve their goals and ambitions. You can find more of them at www.ItsAaron.com.  (WATCH the fun video below or READ the story from Wisconsin Free)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Biologists Risk Their Lives to Find Hiding Place of Extinct ‘Tree Lobster’

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Ball’s Pyramid” is a sheer rock cliff in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. For years this leftover shard of a volcano had a secret.At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don’t know, writes NPR’s Robert Krulwich.The stick insect — as big as a human hand and called a “tree lobster” because of its hard, lobster-like exoskeleton — disappeared from a nearby island, its only known habitat, after a European ship wrecked there and left rats that wiped out their population.The Lord Howe stick insect, Dryococelus australis, was presumed extinct. There was a rumor though….(READ the story from NPR)Photo by Nick Carlile, inset, John White Photographylast_img read more

Right On! First B.C. Right Whale Sighting in 62 Years

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAfter 62 years, there’s new hope for one of the rarest animals on earth. A lone Pacific right whale has been sighted off the BC coast near Haida Gwaii.Canadian scientist, environmentalist and media personality David Suzuki says he never imagined that a right whale would ever be seen again off the Western shores of Canada.“This news is about as exciting as it gets for this once abundant giant whale and for all those who care deeply about the survival of critically endangered species.” Right whales, once abundant throughout the North Pacific, were reduced dramatically in the 1800s by hunters. Only a “few tens of animals” were thought to have survived in the eastern North Pacific, according to Suzuki.“This rare sighting brings us hope that with careful conservation measures, resilient ecosystems can, indeed, rebound,” said Suzuki in a blog post.(READ more from DavidSuzuki.com)Photo: Dr. John Ford, Dept of Fisheries and OceansAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Irish Prime Minister Re-Registers as Medical Practitioner So He Can Join the COVID-19 Response Team

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreCitizens and news outlets around the world are praising Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar for re-registering as a doctor with the national health service in order to offer an extra hand in fighting the novel coronavirus outbreaks.Prior to going into politics and being removed from the medical register in 2013, Varadkar reportedly spent seven years working as a junior doctor at St. James’s Hospital and Connolly Hospital in Dublin.Trained as a general practitioner, Varadkar rejoined the medical register in March so he could offer up his services to the country’s Health Service Executive once a week. According to Irish broadcaster RTE, part of the prime minister’s work will involve conducting phone assessments in order to free up the work load of hospital front line workers.RELATED: Doctor Left Crying After Officer Pulls Her Over For Speeding But Gives Her Face Masks Instead of a Ticket“Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way,” said a government spokesperson.Euronews goes on to say that Varadkar may be the first European Union leader to personally offer his assistance to medical workers fighting the COVID-19 outbreaks.This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.File photo by Annika Haas (EU2017EE), CCBe Sure And Share The Inspiring News With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Group discusses new budget

first_imgMembers passed the new budget for the 2011-2012 academic year during the weekly Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting. Student body president Nicole Gans opened the floor for the new budget by presenting the newest components. “We have had an overall budget decrease from last year of 30 percent and therefore adjustments have been made throughout the budget to accommodate these changes,” she said. Gans began the meeting by emphasizing its main goal was to pass the budget. “We really did not have as much rollover this year because of the decrease,” she said. “We did not have control over this. This cut just had to happen.” Since the College has had a decrease in enrollment the past two years, the budget had to be minimized, she said. The money for the budget comes directly from the money grossed by students, which is why the decrease was inevitable. Technology commissioner Maureen Parsons explained how each section of SGA would receive their own portions of the new budget. “We took the rollover from last year and took in the purpose of each board as well as events being planned for this year to determine what each group receives for the budget,” Parsons said. Executive treasurer Liz Busam stressed the importance of passing the new budget before the end of the night when more than one question rose from the governing body. “The longer we go without passing the budget, the more time goes by before we can give everyone her own budget for the year,” Busam said. After putting forth the motion to pass the new budget, 13 members of SGA agreed to pass it out of the 19 members who voted, reaching the required two-thirds majority. In addition to the budget, SGA also approved the bylaws and amendments of the governing documents.last_img read more

SGA introduces new organizational structure

first_imgMajor changes are in the works for next year’s Student Government Association (SGA) at Saint Mary’s. Senior Emily Skirtich, SGA chief of staff, introduced the new structure in a slideshow presentation Monday night. “We’ve broken up [SGA] to cover all aspects of student life,” Skirtich said. “We don’t want to have the power consolidated in one place.” The voting body will be restructured into five councils and one senate.  The updated SGA will have a minimum of 15 new elected positions under the new Student Senate, comprised of four rising seniors, four rising juniors and four rising sophomores, in addition to three first year students who will be elected next fall.  “[SGA is] a small, sample population of the student body,” Skirtich said. “That’s why we broke it up by class — to get fair, objective representation.” Senators’ responsibilities will include voting on the SGA budget and approving legislation for the Student Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, Student Diversity Board and Class Boards.   Senior Liz Busam, SGA executive treasurer, said the Senate’s job will be to effect change on campus.  “The job of the Senate is to be a governing body that is able to pass legislature and make changes,” Busam said.  SGA will include a six-branch split of executive powers, run under the direction of the student body president and vice president, as well as the vice presidents of internal and external affairs and finance, respectively.  The Council of Activities, Council of Class Boards, Council of Committee Chairs, Student Academic Council and Council of Clubs will also offer new opportunities for student involvement. The new Council of Committee Chairs offers a minimum of 30 new appointed positions for students.  Ten committee chairs are being proposed to SGA on Wednesday, including a Committee for Social Concerns, an International Committee, a Committee of Food Services, a Sustainability Committee and a Committee of First Year Concerns.  “I think the new structure will really help the flow of information from those who make the decisions down to those who are affected by them,” Busam said. “Overall it’s going to benefit the student body and make everything we do more efficient.” The student body president and the vice president of internal affairs choose the committee chairs. Each committee chair will have the power to appoint a minimum of two and a maximum of five members to their committee. “You have a voice and an opinion in a lot of the big issues that are going on around Saint Mary’s.” Skirtich said. “It’s really increasing student participation … Our old structure just wasn’t serving all the purposes that 2012 necessitates. I think it’s important for future posterity and for future Belles. It’s a step towards a better student government.” The Student Academic Council will be comprised of academic representatives chosen by the educational departments to serve as liaisons between those departments and the student body. The Council of Class Boards will contain the president and vice president for each class of Saint Mary’s students, as elected by the students. The Council of Activities also has elected positions, and contains the offices of Resident Hall Association president and vice president, the Student Activities Board president and vice president and the Student Diversity Board president and vice president. The Council of Clubs will include the presidents, vice presidents, and treasurers of the approximately 80 clubs on campus.  “We’re trying to streamline a lot of our efforts, collaborate forces and operate more efficiently,” Skirtich said.  Informational meetings will be held for those interested in running for next year’s student government positions Feb. 15 and 16 at 6 p.m. in the student government office of the Saint Mary’s Student Center.last_img read more