Mountain Mama: Paddlers for Pisgah

first_imgBoaters supporting social justice in Western North CarolinaPaddlers for Pisgah combines two things I’m most passionate about – paddling and social justice. Join us this Thursday, May 28, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at The Bywater (796 Riverside Drive, Asheville, NC). ASTRAL, the Asheville-owned company that designs and manufacturers some of the best kayaking lifevests and footwear around, teams up with Pisgah Legal Services, a grassroots non-profit poverty law firm, to host a one-of-a-kind event at our favorite river venue, The Bywater. ASTRAL presents its famous products, games and activities. The crowd will also have an opportunity to learn about Pisgah Legal Services’ life-saving work that keeps our community afloat. Your $15 donation at the door supports PLS and gets you two of the Bywater’s signature cocktails or drafts.To learn more about the inspiration behind this unique event, I sit down with ASTRAL’s VP of Operations, Yonton Mehler and Pisgah Legal Service’s staff attorney, Molly Maynard who are engaged to be married later this summer.Mountain Mama: What’s your connection to Asheville and why do you care about the community here?Yonton: I’m originally from Tel Aviv, Israel and fifteen years ago the freestyle circuit brought me to the U.S. After visiting WNC many times, I started working at ASTRAL and have been living in Asheville for ten years.Molly: I came to Asheville to work at Pisgah Legal Services a little over three years ago, and now I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. I went to law school because I wanted to work in public interest law, and I feel really lucky to do it in a community that is so supportive of that work. It’s pretty unique.Mountain Mama: How did you first become involved in Pisgah Legal Services?Yonton: I drive by Pisgah Legal Services almost every day and I’d heard the about it on the radio, but it wasn’t until I met Molly that I really learned about the work Pisgah does and began to understand how much need there is for Pisgah’s services in this area. Last year I became part of PLS’s Young Professionals Board and we were brainstorming how to reach out to let more people know about Pisgah Legal Services and tap into slightly different circles. That’s how the idea to host Paddlers for Pisgah originated.Mountain Mama: How did you get involved in kayaking?Molly: I grew up in Wilmington and did a little kayaking at the beach, but it was all in a giant two person sit on top kayak that was mostly good for getting picnics out to barrier islands. I didn’t really learn anything about whitewater kayaking and the community around it till I met Yonton. I’m actually signed up for beginner lessons this weekend!Mountain Mama: What is the connection between paddlers and the services of Pisgah Legal Services?Yonton: This area is a very tight knit and strong paddling community. Although kayakers aren’t known for being the most ethnically diverse group, we are socioeconomically diverse. Kayakers are likely to be very sympathetic to the kind of work and services that Pisgah provides in the area. We often band together to promote and support causes that we believe in, but I think the cause of social justice is just not on the radar for a lot of kayakers yet. I hope this event can bring it to their attention.Molly: I think social and economic justice are causes that people in this community feel very strongly about, but don’t always have ways to act on directly. It’s been exciting for me to talk about Pisgah’s work to people who aren’t familiar with it because helping people get access to civil legal services- whether it’s to stop the illegal repossession of the car they need to get to work each day or to get someone a protective order that stops life threatening domestic violence- is a way to have a direct, measurable impact on those issues.Mountain Mama: ASTRAL seems to mostly sponsor environmental causes. Do you see any links between alleviating poverty and improving the environment?Molly: Being poor is really expensive. Many of our clients move frequently and the cost of moving is staggering with having to pay the security deposit and first and last month’s rent. People are in survival mode. Once we help our clients stabilize their financial situations and legal issues, they can think about saving money and higher level concerns like their environmental impact, or even doing the kind of outdoor activities that cultivate a lifelong love and appreciation for the environment. Yonton: Until now I actually saw this as a completely unrelated from the environmental philanthropy that Astral is usually involved in, but Molly brings up a good point. I didn’t even think of that.To learn more about Astral, visit them online or join us this Thursday at Paddlers for Pisgah to meet Yonton and Molly. More information about the event can be found here.last_img read more

Drug Confiscations Intensify Throughout Central America

first_img Central American nations from one end of the isthmus to the other are stepping up their war on drugs. Panama is maintaining its crackdown not only by intercepting narcotics shipments but also improving its tools to battle drug cartels. The National Police made headlines in early June when it busted a 32-year-old man in Aton with 40 kilograms of cocaine and 140 packets of smuggled cigarettes. That was followed by “Operation Puerto” — an intelligence mission that revealed four backpacks filled with cocaine hidden inside a shipping container full of wood. Authorities are hoping to continue the mission to find out if the drugs were placed in that container in Panama, or if the narcotics were merely being smuggled through the country as part of a bigger plot. Officials, however, hope to build on those busts as they acquire more resources in their battle against drugs. Panamanian Security Minister José Raúl Mulino said the installation of 19 new sets of surveillance radar along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines could be up and running by March 2013. Private companies have donated thousands of square meters of land to aid this initiative. “When we purchased the radars, we made sure they had a guarantee,” he told reporters, adding that training for Panamanian officials is also included in the contract. Also making Panamanian officials smile earlier this month was the christening of four PC-200 patrol boats, valued at $80 million, that were donated by the Italian government. The National Air System (Senan) will begin using the vessels immediately. “These boats will help fight drug trafficking and money laundering that other governments have allowed to abound until today,” Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli told reporters. Guatemalan police put brakes on extortion racket Meanwhile in Guatemala, the National Civilian Police has put the finishing touches on this month’s bust of a drug trafficking ring that had extorted about $500,000 from bus drivers and operators over the past four years. Eight arrests were made following accusations that gang members were demanding payments to not kill the civil servants. “Via intelligence work, it was established that members of this gang got their orders from maras [gang members] being held in prison,” an Interior Ministry spokesman told reporters. Guatemala’s attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz, also has made headlines as she continues her crackdown on drug trafficking. Under her watch, the country’s homicide rate has dropped 5 percent, and five of the nation’s 10 most wanted criminals have been arrested. Also, she recently oversaw the extradition of two of the country’s top drug kingpins to the United States. “We have tried criminals who once thought themselves to be untouchable,” she said in a recent press conference. “The level of impunity in our country is embarrassing. But we have made advances in Guatemala once thought impossible.” Costa Rica also is making advances in the war on drugs as seven police officers were each sentenced to 22 years in prison for their role in a narcotics smuggling scheme. The officers were believed to have been part of a Colombian drug running operation that had an estimated 2,500 kilos of cocaine confiscated in three separate busts since 2009. “This has to do with the institutions, and what drug cartels do is corrupt institutions to disrupt the legal system and the rule of law,” Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla told reporters. “I don’t remember in our whole history a menace like this menace from organized crime.” Corruption crackdown continues in Nicaragua In Nicaragua, officials also are trying to uproot corrupt politicians who are aiding drug runners in their country. Substitute Magistrate Julio César Osuna was arrested last month as part of a large sting operation. He is accused of using his power and influence to smuggle drugs, launder money and sell fake Nicaraguan IDs to drug traffickers. “It was just a question of time before this happened,” said Roberto Orozco, a security expert at the Managua-based Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policy, in a recent interview with Time magazine. “We had already identified narco-penetration in lower levels of government, where municipal and local officials have been bought by organized crime. This is especially true along the principal drug-trafficking routes, where we’ve seen the worst corruption among police and local judges. Nicaragua is not an island — it’s the belly-button of Central America.” But many officials believe Osuna’s arrest is just the tip of the iceberg as major reforms in the country’s customs and passport policies are being debated. “It’s very difficult to think only one person was involved in this, especially when so much money was at play,” said Rosa Marina Zelaya, former president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council. “This uncovers a very serious problem — Nicaragua’s national ID system is broken, and this is more widespread than we realize yet.” Police in Belize also were celebrating a victory in their battle against narcotic dealers last month when they busted a man in Benque Viejo for trafficking about 25 kilos of marijuana. The man, driving a grey Ford Escort, drew the attention of police when he nearly swerved off the road in front of a police car, before racing to the nearest intersection. There, the driver and passenger jumped into the nearby bushes hoping to elude police. Officials apprehended the man within 24 hours. The following day, 26-year-old Abner Francisco Escobar, a naturalized Belizean citizen from Guatemala, handed himself over to police. Inspector Jesús Palma said he was identified as the driver of the vehicle and detained. Honduras scores big cocaine seizures Honduran officials also executed several big drug busts over the past few months. The first came early in May when two drug traffickers were killed and an estimated 400 kilos of cocaine were confiscated and destroyed as part of an aggressive operation near Ahaus. The shipment was intercepted as it was loaded onto a boat after being flown into the country. Then, less than a week later, a smuggling ship in Gracias a Diós which contained 36 bales of cocaine — an estimated 1.5 tons of the narcotic — was intercepted by law enforcement officials. “Once the boat was identified, members of the Navy moved in three boats. At 3:42 pm they commenced the interception operation, wherein four people were captured, of which three are Hondurans and one a Colombian,” Honduran Chief of Staff René Osorio Canales told reporters. “The boat had no flag, and the detainees were interrogated.” Finally in El Salvador, officials are struggling with the growth of street gangs that have taken on a larger role in dealing drugs, especially in larger cities. El Salvador, which averages 18 homicides per day, did make national headlines in April when it posted its first murder-free day since 2009. Law-enforcement officials are hoping to build on that momentum. “Drug bosses, cartels — they are using the local gangs,” Juan Bautista Rodríguez, head of the emergency response police in San Salvador, told reporters, “and this makes things more violent because the gangs are used more as hit men, and for revenge.” By Dialogo June 25, 2012last_img read more

Embezzling credit union VP gets 30 months

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A former credit union assistant vice president was sentenced last week to two and half years in federal prison for embezzling $826,000 from the $223 million Pantex Federal Credit Union in Borger, Texas to buy “toys” for her late husband.U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo, Texas ordered Dorothy Stegall Barnes, 57, of Fritch, Texas, who also went by the last name of Newman, to pay restitution totaling $797,336 and serve five years of supervised release following her prison sentence. continue reading »last_img

Look to the future to unite the country

first_imgThis is a great country, and its greatness is greatly increased when we are one.The past is history and there’s nothing that we can do about it. Today, we should maximize that which unites us and minimize that which divides us.We cannot change history, but the future is in our hands.George SummersellSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img

Rob Holding confident over Arsenal’s top-four chances – but admits he’d prefer to win Europa League

first_img Comment Advertisement Advertisement Rob Holding confident over Arsenal’s top-four chances – but admits he’d prefer to win Europa League Arsenal were defeated at Sheffield United on Monday evening (Picture: Getty)‘Top four is more than within our capability,’ the central defender said ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Vitoria.‘I want to win the Europa League first and foremost. We got to the final last year but I was injured and I didn’t get to play in it.‘Top four and a Europa League trophy would be a brilliant way to end it.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityHolding brushed off the recent criticism aimed at Arsenal by Patrice Evra who labelled them ‘babies’ in the wake of their defeat at Bramall Lane.‘What he says doesn’t affect me personally. I know what I am and how I like to play,’ the centre-back said.‘He’s got his opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.‘Just as a group of players we knew it would be a fight.‘We made sure everyone knows that in the changing room. We know how they’re going to play.’MORE: Mike Phelan explains key reason Man Utd’s form has dipped under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Rob Holding has made two first-team appearances for Arsenal since returning from a serious knee injury (Picture: Getty)Rob Holding insists Arsenal are ‘more than capable’ of finishing in the top four, but admits he would rather win the Europa League if he had to choose between the two this season.The Gunners have a 100 per cent record in Europe this term after comfortable victories over Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege and will look to tighten their grip on Group F when they face Portuguese outfit Vitoria on Thursday evening.Arsenal’s Premier League campaign has not been quite so convincing, though, with Unai Emery’s side sitting fifth in the table after four wins from their opening nine matches.AdvertisementAdvertisementAnd while Arsenal fluffed their chance to go third in the table as they fell to a dismal 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United on Monday night, Holding remains upbeat about their top-four chances.ADVERTISEMENT Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 23 Oct 2019 3:38 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShareslast_img read more

Frank Lampard responds to claims Willian feels disappointed over Chelsea contract saga

first_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 7 Aug 2020 7:38 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.3kShares Lampard would wish Willian well if he moves on (Picture: Getty Images)Frank Lampard has defended Chelsea’s handling of Willian’s contract situation amid claims the winger is ‘upset’ about how his time at the club is coming to an end.After seven years at Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian looks set to move on with his current deal due to expire after the Blues’ Champions League campaign.The west London club are believed to have snubbed Willian’s demands of a new three-year contract, while Arsenal are willing to meet his requirements.Reports claim that the player is ‘upset and offended’ as he believes that there was little desire on Chelsea’s side to keep him.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, Lampard backed the club’s stance and admitted he doesn’t think Willian would feel that way about the situation.‘I read a headline that mentioned disappointment, it doesn’t matter,’ the English boss said. Lampard backed the club over the Willian situation (Picture: Getty Images)‘In terms of being disappointed, certainly as a club we’ve done everything we can to explain to Willian.‘Our relationship is really close and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he does move on. He’s a fantastic man and a fantastic player.‘I think he will feel like that about Chelsea, I’ll leave him to say his own words. I don’t want anyone to try and find a negative attitude because the club have acted very well in this as well.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalInjury has seen Willian left out of Chelsea’s squad to play Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Saturday, where will they have to overturn a 3-0 deficit.Lampard insisted that the Brazilian international would’ve featured in the game if he could and although not offering an update on his future, maintained that he would have his well wishes were he to move on.‘Willian remains our player at the moment, he is injured,’ Lampard added. ‘He’d have given everything to play. He’s carried this injury.‘I don’t know the answer if he moves on I personally would wish him well, that’s kind of where we’re at now.’MORE: Chelsea to fund move for Declan Rice by selling JorginhoMORE: Rennes make contact with Chelsea over Fikayo Tomori dealFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramFor more stories like this, check our sport page Advertisement Frank Lampard responds to claims Willian feels disappointed over Chelsea contract saga Advertisementlast_img read more

Ex-coal power plant site starts showing offshore wind contours

first_img“Of particular interest to the offshore wind sector are Brayton Point’s now proven abilities to conduct efficient heavy lift port operations and receive deep-draft ocean-going vessels at the site’s newly redeveloped marine commerce terminal,” CDC states. In May 2019, Anbaric entered into an agreement with CDC to establish a 1,200 MW high voltage direct current converter and 400 MW battery storage at Brayton Point. “We have seen significant interest from prospective tenants wishing to use the port for offshore wind operations. These discussions take time as the investments are sizable,” said Stephen Collins, Executive Vice President at CDC. According to CDC, Brayton Point Commerce Center has already received a total of nine vessel calls so far, including offshore wind research vessels, yacht transporters, bulk carriers and tug and barge units. “Grading activities will commence this spring to prepare laydown and manufacturing areas for future tenants. The grading plan is designed in accordance with the offshore wind industry requirements for a marshalling port and manufacturing of offshore wind components,” Becker said. The works at the site started some 18 months ago, following the acquisition of the former coal power plant site by Commercial Development Company (CDC), a real estate acquisition and development company, in early 2018. Source: CDC CDC states that it has been engaged in extensive discussions with major offshore wind industry companies. The following month, CDC and Patriot Stevedoring + Logistics signed a port operations agreement, under which Patriot, a joint venture of Carver Stevedoring Services and Pangaea Logistics Solutions, would manage operations of the marine commerce terminal and work to create a regional logistics port with global distribution capabilities. Demolition works at the site of the former Brayton Point coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts, U.S., are nearing completion, with grading activities scheduled to start soon. The works are part of an overhaul of the site that will turn it into an offshore wind hub. “Our crews have safely deconstructed and removed 1.5 million square feet of former power plant infrastructure. We now have a blank canvas to create a platform for new development as the site matures into Brayton Point Commerce Center,” said Russ Becker, President of EnviroAnalytics Group, a North American environmental remediation company. last_img read more

“One of the most visible cases of science denial I’ve seen in decades” – Harvard Professor

first_imgMedia Release SayNopeToDope NZ 18 September 2020A professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School says that the cannabis legalisation debate is based on one of the most visible cases of science denial she has seen in decades.Bertha Madras PhD is a Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; a psychobiologist at the Substance Use Disorders Division, Division of Basic Neuroscience; and Director of the Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology, McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.In public policy, Dr. Madras served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Presidential appointment confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. She is also a recipient of an NIH MERIT award, NIDA Public Service Award, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Founders’ Award, and others.In this interview with SayNopeToDope’s Aaron Ironside, she explains in simple language:* what is psychosis, and what about marijuana & psychosis?* the endocannabinoid system and its role* are older users also at risk for addiction, psychosis and cognitive impairment?* is cannabis less harmful than alcohol?* how dangerous and how potent are edibles? And how significant is potency in general?* what are the concerns about legalisation and the future?* when will the negative effects of legalisation be fully realised?Professor Madras says “It took 100 years of data to really show unequivocally that tobacco caused a series of significant health effects, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease etc. What we’re doing now is engaging in another human experiment without informed consent, because the advocates are not only not informing the public – in many ways, they’re trying to bury it.”She concludes: “This is one of the most visible cases of science denial I’ve seen in decades.”WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW –last_img read more

Fall sports practices begin in Hancock County

first_imgELLSWORTH — Fall sports practices began Monday morning as high schools in Hancock County and the rest of Maine were eligible to begin their preparations for the upcoming season.In Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island and Bucksport, football players began with the morning sessions of their two-a-day practices. Teams from George Stevens Academy, Sumner and Deer Isle-Stonington began later in the day.Teams are eligible to hold their first official games and meets Aug. 31 with the exception of golf, which can do so one week earlier. Teams can hold their first exhibition matches tomorrow, Aug. 17.Full schedules for the upcoming season can be found on the Maine Principals’ Association website and in the Sept. 13 edition of The Ellsworth American.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Everton Appoint Ancelotti Manager

first_imgEverton announced Ancelotti’s arrival yesterday before the home Premier League game against Arsenal, who appointed former Gunners and Toffees midfielder Mikel Arteta as their head coach on Friday.Ancelotti was at Goodison Park for the Arsenal match and will officially take over today. The 60-year-old’s first match in charge will be the home game against Burnley on December 26.“This is a great club with a rich history and a very passionate fanbase,” added former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain boss Ancelotti.“There is a clear vision from the owner and the board to deliver trophies. That is something that appeals to me as a manager.“I am thrilled at the prospect of being able to work with everybody at the club to help make that vision a reality.”Ancelotti has won 15 major trophies during his career and is one of only three managers to win three European Cups/Champions Leagues – along with Liverpool legend Bob Paisley and Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.He has won two Champions Leagues with AC Milan and one with Real Madrid, as well as domestic titles with Milan in his homeland, Chelsea in England, Paris St-Germain in France and also in Germany with Bayern Munich.He guided Chelsea to the Premier League and FA Cup double during his first season in charge in 2009-10 but was dismissed after failing to win a trophy in the following campaign.RESULTS & FIXTURESEverton 0 – 0 ArsenalBournemouth 0 – 1 BurnleyAston Villa 1 – 3 SouthamptonBrighton 0 – 1 Sheffield UnitedNewcastle 1 – 0 Crystal PalaceNorwich 1 – 2 WolvesMan City 3 – 1 Leicester CityMallorca 0 – 2 SevillaBarcelona 4 – 1 AlavesVillarreal 1 – 0 GetafeInter 4 – 0 GenoaWatford v Man United 3pmTottenham v Chelsea 5:30pmReal Madrid v Bilbao 9pmAtalanta v Milan 12:30pmShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ancelotti (right) with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright during Evertons home game with Arsenal saturday Everton have appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their manager on a four-and-a-half-year contract. The Italian, who was sacked by Napoli earlier this month, succeeds Marco Silva, who was dismissed by the Goodison Park club on December 6.Ancelotti, a three-time Champions League-winning coach, returns to English football eight and a half years after he was sacked by Chelsea.Duncan Ferguson, Everton’s caretaker manager during their search for Silva’s successor, will remain at the club as part of Ancelotti’s backroom team.last_img read more