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In one of the more heartwarming stories we’ve come upon, a mother wrote an open letter to Syracuse.com, sharing the story of how Dave Matthews took the time to provide support to her daughter. The daughter, named Kristen Kawa Caron, had late stage ALS, and Matthews agreed to a meet and greet with Ms. Caron despite his usual hesitations for these types of encounters.The meet and greet was particularly meaningful for Caron, as her mother tells the tale:My daughter, who was in the final stages of ALS, had put together a beautiful book to leave behind for her children using some of her favorite quotes, many from Dave’s songs. She could no longer speak but had come prepared to the concert with questions and of course, this book of remembrance. He and his staff were really taken with Kristen and spent quite a bit of time with her before they took the stage.What followed was a lengthy email correspondence through Caron’s final days, and they sent each other books throughout it. She sent Dave Matthews a copy of The Great Gatsby, for example.“His generosity meant so much to my lovely daughter who kept this connection close to her heart. So thank you, Dave, and all your staff, who were so very kind,” Sharon Kawa writes in the letter. You can read the full note here.
At their weekly meeting, the Notre Dame student senate met with Financial Management Board (FMB) Student Union treasurer Christine Arcoleo to discuss fiscal policy and spending for this upcoming year.Arcoleo, a senior, began the meeting by giving a presentation about the FMB. The FMB is composed of a member from every Student Union body including all four class councils, the student government, judicial council, SUB and other organizations.The FMB monitors club spending that exceeds $5,000, organizes The Shirt Charity Fund and allocates funds towards all Student Union organizations now and in the spring. Arcoleo also clarified that this funding the FMB and CCC allocates each year comes from The Shirt Charity Event, Student Activity Fees and half of endowment returns.She said FMB goes through a long process involving multiple budget proposals and a four-hour meeting to finalize how the money is allocated.Arcoleo addressed previous Student Union deficit spending and ways to prevent it. Arcoleo said if the four class councils overspend, the account balance rolls over to the next year, which can lead to a smaller balance for the next class. The issue lies with all other Student Union organizations which have their debts covered by the Carryforward account — pooled from student activity fees — and resets July 1.The implication of this resetting means each Student Union organization’s balance returns to zero dollars regardless of whether that organization was severely in debt or running a surplus. Arcoleo stressed there is virtually no accountability on this particular issue, with very little in the Constitution available to address rampant spending.Arcoleo gave a list of recommendations to the Senate — such as having Student Union organizations check in monthly with the FMB about spending, changing roll-over policy and adding penalties or incentives for spending certain amounts.Student Body vice president junior Patrick McGuire spoke about how the student government came to realize this issue through the recently-cancelled Midnight Express.“Just to give a little bit of context, as it turned out for the past five years, the student government was not aware that it was required to pay for 50% of The Midnight Express, so therefore those budgets had not included any allocation,” McGuire said. “Not [to] the fault of any past student government administrations because these budgets were based on precedent and they weren’t aware they were paying for it, but the student government budget finished with a very significant amount of debt.”As it turned out, student government had been bailed out by the Carryforward account.Questions toward Arcoleo centered around how much money goes into each Carryforward account, the ability of the FMB to limit spending, which Student Union organization spends too much and which organizations receive the most funding. McGuire mentioned a past policy on this matter.“Once you spend past your budget, FMB will require all expenses to be approved, which would require a lot of time and attention and effort,” McGuire said.There was a focus among senators about being too careful and potentially punishing future administrations with entirely different leaderships about the fiscal shortcomings of previous administrations.“If we punish somebody in the future, it’s not their fault if the previous administration overspends,” Keegan McArdle, a sophomore senator representing Dunne Hall, said. “Would something like semester checks make the budgetary restrictions shorter, then you can spend X amount this semester and X amount the next semester, and basically say if you overspend in the first semester, you get this much money and we’re not going to foot the bill for anything else. You can’t really do that and then put that at the hands of the new administration.”Senior Linde Hoffman, student government chief of staff, said student government should be careful about leaving debts to future administrations.“If we did go with punishing the next administration for what the previous administration did, for us that would have been the payment for the Midnight Express — we discussed that we would not go for it this year because it would have taken up half of our budget,” she said. “We would have been docked half of the money we had been allocated the previous year, and then if we wanted to continue paying for the Midnight Express, we would have then had to pay for this year, which would have been the other half of our budget. … Seeing that there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances like the Midnight Express happening, I don’t know if [punishing future administrations] is the best way forward.”Two proposals were pitched, including requiring clubs to get spending approved by the FMB should they go over-budget and setting aside part of an organization’s funds as a cushion.Following discussions of the FMB and spending oversight, senate moved onto hearing and then confirming the Election Committee Nominations for the school year. The judicial council is required to have its members ready for the upcoming Freshman Class Council elections taking place next week. Eight members were approved with a few returning from last year.The senate is expected to meet with Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life and Keri Kei Shibata, chief of Notre Dame Police Department, next week about dorm access policy.Tags: Club Coordination Council, Financial Management Board, Midnight Express, regulating, Senate, Student government
The innovative Omaha theater company will use the production as a fundraiser to purchase and renovate a 1923 theater as their home base. Come play with us, forever and ever! Or for two nights. The Benson Theatre in Nebraska is staging a new theatrical version of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. According to The New York Times, the adaptation, written by Jason Levering and Aaron Sailo, is set for performances on March 21 and 22. King’s horror novel follows alcoholic writer Jack Torrance who slowly goes mad while supervising an isolated resort with his family during a snowstorm. Jack Nicholson famously portrayed Jack opposite Shelley Duvall in the Stanley Kubrick-directed film adaptation in 1980. The Shining is not the first King novel to make its way to a stage. Most famously Carrie was adapted into a musical that was revived off-Broadway in 2012. Other King works on stage include Misery, Dolores Claiborne and Ghosts of Darkland County. View Comments
Asparagus demonstrates what Mother Nature can do with a plant. By planting asparagus only one time, the plants will continue to produce for many years to come. A vegetable garden in Vermont has had the same producing asparagus bed for more than100 years.February is the best month for planting asparagus. Crowns not seed are used to establish asparagus, so check with area garden centers early in case the crowns need to be ordered.A soil test should be taken to determine fertilizer and lime needs in your garden plot. If adding lime to raise the pH level, it should be plowed in before the crop is planted. This is especially important for perennials such as asparagus since the soil once the bed is established it should not be disturbed again.Asparagus crowns that are one year old are best to use when establishing a bed. Be sure to add organic matter such as animal manure or compost. Adding the appropriate amount of commercial fertilizer will pay good dividends. Use 50 pounds of 6-12-12 or 5-10-15 per 1,000 square feet before setting crowns. Annual split applications of 6-12-12 or 5-10-15 at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 100 square feet should be adequate to keep asparagus actively growing.The plant is dioecious, which means the male flowers are on one plant and the female flowers are on a separate plant. The green foliage is fern-like and produces excess food that is stored in the fleshy storage roots. The spears, which develop in early summer, are doing so at the expense of this stored food. For this reason, the harvest season should be regulated to allow sufficient time for the plant to replace this stored food.
Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that his office has completed its review of a special investigation conducted by the Vermont State Police into activities at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, VT, to determine if any criminal misconduct occurred. Suspicion of possible misconduct came to light in late 2009, when certain inappropriate e-mails were discovered on four employees’ work computers. After this discovery, Rutland County Sheriff Stephen Benard, the Chair of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, ordered the seizure and examination of the four state-owned computers used by the employees.A preliminary forensic examination of the four computers was conducted resulting in the discovery of files that appeared to contain child pornography on one of the computers, that used by David McMullen, who was the VPA Training Coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security. None of the other computers seized from the VPA contained any suspected child pornography.On January 11, 2010, VSP was notified of a possible criminal violation based on the discovery of suspected child pornography on McMullen’s work computer, and State Police detectives began their own investigation. McMullen’s work computer was sent to the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), for a complete forensic analysis.The analysis of McMullen’s work computer revealed several “link files” whose titles were indicative of child pornography. Link files do not contain the actual original file’s content, but are rather a pointer to where the original file content was stored when it was reviewed. It appeared that the contents of these files came from some external drive attached to the computer, and were created in 2009. Based on this information, a search warrant was obtained for the seizure and examination of computers and other peripherals located in McMullen’s home.VSP executed the search warrant at McMullen’s home in his presence on January 15, 2010, and seized several computers and other electronic devices. On January 16, 2010, McMullen was found dead on the grounds of the VPA, the result of an apparent suicide. A resulting death investigation concluded that McMullen died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot would to the head.Subsequent forensic analysis of McMullen’s home computers revealed the presence of child pornography on two of his personal computers.Given that no evidence of child pornography was found on any of the other three work computers that were seized from the VPA at the outset of the investigation, and the absence of any evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of any individual besides David McMullen, who is now deceased, the Attorney General’s Office has concluded that there are no grounds for any criminal prosecution based on this review.Source: Vermont Attorney General. 7.12.2010
Engie to replace its coal plants in Chile with 1,000MW of renewable energy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Engie Energia Chile SA launched on Friday the construction phase of its investment plan to install 1,000 MW of renewables, which starts with three projects in the Chilean region of Antofagasta.Two of the three are already in construction, the Chilean energy company said. These are the 150-MW Calama wind farm and the 100-MWp Capricornio solar park, both slated to begin operations throughout 2021.Construction of the third project, the 120-MWp Tamaya solar park, is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2020. Engie Chile estimates that the initial investment in the three schemes will reach around USD 300 million (EUR 273.4m).The strategy is part of the company’s asset rotation plan to replace coal-fired generation units with new renewable energy producing plants. Engie Chile is one of four power producers that signed an agreement with the Chilean government to voluntarily and gradually close coal-based plants, and the first one to take offline its units.Two units totaling 171 MW at the Tocopilla power plant ceased operations in early June, while two other units, of 132 MW and 136 MW, will be retired starting January 1, 2022.Engie’s 1,000-MW campaign will represent an investment of USD 1 billion, the company said.More: Engie Chile kickstarts 1-GW renewables build-out
Over three million people hike along the iconic Appalachian Trail each year. The 2,191-mile footpath is maintained almost entirely by volunteers.While the National Park Service officially oversees the A.T., resources to maintain the trail have long been insufficient. The Park Service counts just 10 full-time employees dedicated to its management.Enter the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), a non-profit organization started in 1925 with the sole intent to help coordinate the volunteer efforts of the 31 hiking clubs dedicated to managing, protecting, clearing, maintaining and, when necessary, rerouting the A.T. “Our volunteers are the prime movers that keep the trail in good shape,” says Morgan Sommerville, Southeast Regional Director of the ATC. “Without them, the A.T. would not exist.”Neither would most other trails across the region. In 2005, the U.S. Forest Service considered closing many of the popular trails at Bent Creek Experimental Forest near Asheville because they didn’t have the money or the labor force to maintain them. That’s when a group of volunteers banded together to form the Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), which now maintains some 150 miles of trail inside Pisgah National Forest—including 100% of Bent Creek’s trails. “The Forest Service contacts us when anything from rerouting trails to building bridges needs to get done,” says Jeff Keener, the president of Pisgah SORBA.Keener says that his organization has about 300 members—all of whom are unpaid volunteers—who meet up weekly to clear drainage clogs, hack brush, and remove fallen branches. The organization also applies for grant money to help fund more extensive projects. To date, they have raised more than $420,000. A portion of their first grant for $184,000 was used to reroute Spencer Branch, a 2.5-mile downhill trail in North Mills River, which required hiring a trail building contractor to tackle the heavy construction work over an eight-week period.A dirty secret of trail work, especially building new trails, is just how expensive it can be. Deno Contos, the owner of Benchmark Trails in Greenville, S.C., has been building and rerouting trails in the region for more than 19 years. He says that a general rule of thumb is that trail work can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per linear foot depending on the complexity and location of the work—or about $16,000 to $52,800 for every mile of trail.A major factor in the cost of a project is whether machinery like a walk-behind mini-excavator or powered rock-drills can be used, says Contos, who employs 12 fulltime workers. “It is cheaper and more efficient to use mechanized equipment,” he says. “We can then hand-groom things to make everything look as natural as possible.”One of the recent jobs Contos and his crew tackled was building about 250 stone steps on the newly opened Wildcat Rock Trail outside of Lake Lure, which involved using power drills to split boulders on site combined with a tree-mounted cable system to move the 400-pound slabs into place.In total, the new trail—which took four years to complete—required 2,000 hours of volunteer labor and some $200,000 in construction costs, says Peter Barr, the Trails Coordinator for Conserving Carolina.When a trail like the A.T. crosses through a federally designated wilderness area, however, trail workers are not allowed to use any power tools. That’s usually when Bill Hodge, the Executive Director of the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, SAWS, gets a call. Hodge founded SAWS in 2010 as a way to build teams armed with the backcountry skills needed to maintain and rebuild trails in the most remote and gnarly wilderness areas across five national forests in five different states—an area of about 378,000 acres.“It takes an entire community to keep trails on public land open,” says Hodge, whose teams average a total of 15,000 to 20,000 hours of work each year.On a typical assignment, a six-person SAWS crew packs up their food and equipment—which includes six-foot-long, 85-year-old crosscut saws they carry on their shoulders—and then hikes up to eight miles into the wilderness, sets up camp, and spends days or weeks working on trails.An example of a SAWS project involved installing erosion control structures along the 6,000-foot-high Black Mountain Crest Trail that also serve as a new set of wooden steps connecting Potato Knob with Deep Gap. In that case, a SAWS crew partnered with volunteers from the North Carolina High Peaks Trail Association and the Forest Service to fell locust trees in the area, strip them of bark, and cut them into four- to six-foot-long logs. The project took two weeks to complete.“That was a true collaborative effort between those three entities to get those steps in there,” says Jake Blood, Vice President of the North Carolina High Peaks Trail Association, who volunteers on a weekly basis to maintain trails on and near Mount Mitchell—including the centuries-old, 12-mile-long Mount Mitchell Trail.Blood says he is excited about several new land acquisitions that, when completed, will double the size of Mount Mitchell State Park—and add the potential for new sustainably-built trails on its western slope. When that time comes, he knows it will take the combined efforts of volunteers, non-profits, and the Forest Service to get the work done.
The Red River Gorge’s Climbers Coalition hosts Rocktoberfest, their largest fundraiser of the year, this weekend in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. The event features sponsor booths with the latest climbing gear, raffles and contests with prizes, live music, movie night, food trucks, a climbing competition and clinics taught by professional athletes. Here’s something that avid cyclists won’t find surprising: a new study has found that people form strong emotional bonds to their bicycles. A researcher from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences interviewed cyclists to get a better understanding of how people’s identities are linked to their bicycles. “They all really loved their way of getting around and how they can interact with the world as a consequence of the way they’re moving through it,” researcher Karly Coleman told Cycling Today. The first all-female spacewalk is scheduled for October 21 The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition is a group of volunteers dedicated to maintaining open access to the world-class rock climbing available in the Red River Gorge. The fundraiser helps the coalition manage over 1,100 acres of climbing land and roads and save money for future purchases. Study finds cyclists are emotionally attached to their bikes Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will make history on October 21 when they set out on the first all-female spacewalk. The original all-female spacewalk was canceled back in March due to spacesuit availability. This time around, Koch and Meir’s mission is to install lithium-ion batteries that will assist with the station’s power supply. Koch arrived on the International Space Station on March 14 and will stay there until February 2020. Her time on the station will be the longest single spaceflight by a woman and falls just short of the longest ever spaceflight by a NASA astronaut. Both Koch and Meir were a part of NASA’s 2013 astronaut class. Over 6,000 people applied for eight positions that year, and half of them went to women. Red River Gorge’s Rocktoberfest is this weekend, October 11- October 13 Coleman also found that cyclists reported forming strong bonds with friends while cycling and having a stronger sense of place. “In your car, it’s very unlikely that if you see your neighbor you’ll stop your car and roll down your window and hold up a great deal of traffic to chat with them about their flowers,” Coleman said.