There is a story behind every brick and board that comprise the walkways at Shangri La Botanical Gardens. Each is made up of recycled items and have served purposes other than their present day settings in trails. Wednesday, students from area schools trotted among the “greenest place in Texas” for an Earth Day field trip. Ridgewood Elementary First Graders toured the botanical gardens, peered through the bird blinds and took an educational walk through several of the gardens historical greenhouses. “It was very beautiful,” Ridgewood Elementary Principal Julie Gauthier said, following the trip. “I’ve heard a lot about the place and to actually see it was very neat for the kids and I. We wanted our students to see how beautiful nature, and environment, can all be and how important it is to take care of both of them — especially on Earth Day.” “It really means more to us to see something that impressive so close to home.” Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. Tuesday, Shangri La received yet another acknowledgment for its environmental achievements, being selected by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the world’s top 10 projects exhibiting sustainable architecture and green design solutions. “Our goal from the very beginning of this project was to be as earth friendly as possible,” said Michael Hoke, Managing Director of Shangri La. “Through the vision and support of the Stark Foundation and the innovation of our architects and many others, we have achieved our goal. Now it is up to us to use the wonderful resources of Shangri La to meet our mission of Mentoring Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World.” Gauthier said she was impressed at how well organized and informative the volunteers at Shangri La were throughout her school’s field trip. Even before the students stepped off the buses, Ridgewood Elementary teachers had prepared their students for what they were to expect by utilizing Shangri La’s online teaching resources. “They knew what type of flowers the gardens had for them to see, which type of insects inhabited the park,” Gauthier said. “They were given a very thorough introduction to Shangri La before we even got there.” “Of course, for Earth Day, our teachers all over the campus always cover environmental topics with the students.” Shangri La Volunteer Gail Batchelor, who served as the Ridgewood Elementary tour guide, says introducing environmentally-friendly steps to children at a young age is vital to their understanding of their importance. “Kids need to start young to understand about reducing waste, reusing and recycling,” Batchelor said. “Things like turning off the water and not wasting water when they’re brushing their teeth — anything we can do to keep our environment from being used up before we’re used up.” “If they can learn little by little about recycling — if we can make a difference and make them curious about it all then we’ve done our job.” Gauthier called the school’s Earth Day trip a success, saying the ease and uniqueness of the gardens are already having her plan for next year’s Earth Day trip. “The students all loved it,” Gauthier said. “It was a little hot, but they were all very impressed with the trails and the flowers and all the birds they saw. We’re definitely scheduling another trip.” Batchelor, who spent much of Wednesday giving tours to other school’s beside Ridgewood, said its important to emphasize the importance of being eco-friendly, but that it shouldn’t be a one-day way of thinking. “I think it’s important any day because I think every day should be earth day,” Batchelor said. firstname.lastname@example.org
This picture appeared on the Rapha Condor Twitter today. However, ‘unveil’ may not be the right word. The new TT bike made by London’s Condor looks so stealth as to be undetectable by radar Ã¢â‚¬â€œÃ‚Â and shockingly fast even in a dark warehouse. The team, which aims to step up its racing activities this year, recently announced electronics giant Sharp as its headline sponsor.
by Anne Galloway July 1, 2013 vtdigger.org Six weeks is a lifetime in politics, especially once the legislative session comes to a close. The minute the last gavel falls, the mavens of the Vermont Statehouse ‘lawmakers, the governor’s staff, the press, advocates, lobbyists ‘scatter ASAP. It’s not that people don’t love the place ‘for many it’s an addiction ‘but the four months’worth of intensity wears even the stoutest politicos down. When 500 people gather in a small historic space for 18 weeks and make demands of one another day after day for 12 hours at a stretch, nerves get frayed. Tempers flare; unsavory exchanges occur. It’s all part of the process, as they say.Gov. Peter Shumlin, left, with House Speaker Shap Smith, right, and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, far right, on Jan. 11, 2013. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDiggerThis year was no different, except in its particular variations on the struggle between those who have power (i.e., the governor and legislative leaders) and those who don’t, namely a few rebels among the rank and file.The twist this year was a new form of internecine Democratic warfare not seen since the Dean era. Gov. Peter Shumlin’s budget proposal drove a wedge between the Fifth Floor and the overwhelming Democratic Legislature. Shumlin shocked the party faithful by tacking further to the right than his Republican predecessor on welfare reform and cuts to a popular anti-poverty program. Shumlin pitched a budget with more than $30 million in new spending based on untried revenue sources that failed in the Senate and the House.In the waning days of the session, unexpected tax receipts filled a $10 million budget hole and enabled the governor to save face. Shumlin used the windfall to humiliate Democratic leaders who proposed modest tax increases and bucked his proposal to use the Earned Income Tax Credit to fund subsidies for child care workers.Other measures ‘especially the liberal policies the governor proposed ‘were eagerly embraced. Major social policy changes made this session include: decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, driver’s licenses for migrant workers here in the United States illegally, a legal means for terminally ill patients to take their own lives with prescription drugs and a brace of pro-union bills.Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell figured out how to run the Green Room without always appeasing his colleagues and the governor (who effectively ran the Senate from the Fifth Floor in the last biennium). The pro tem’s leadership was called into question after a tumultuous first term, and in December, Campbell promised he would learn from his mistakes if his colleagues gave him another chance. His new team ‘Rebecca Ramos, his savvy aide de camp, and Sen. Phil Baruth, a political newbie who became majority leader this session ‘kept the pro tem on task and on schedule. Most importantly, Campbell demoted several committee chairs who had challenged his leadership. By the end of the session, even Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, begrudgingly gave Campbell a B+.House Minority Leader Don Turner, R-Milton, left, and Brian Savage, R-Swanton compare notes during the final moments of the 2013 legislative session. Photo by Andrew Stein/VTDiggerSpeaker Shap Smith maintained his authoritative power over the House of Representatives, but his vice grip on individual committees slackened somewhat when his deputy, Willem Jewett, got embroiled in ideological infighting with Republicans and conservative Democrats over budget issues.The politics will, by the time the next session rolls around, likely be forgotten. What will survive the feints, fights and intrigue of 2013 are the some 98 bills the Vermont Legislature passed and the governor signed into law. (While that may sound like a lot, it’s a far cry from the 713 bills that were introduced.)There were no vetoes, no post-session drama over bills that were quietly allowed to go into law without the governor’s signature. That’s because all the wrangling took place in the Statehouse long before Shumlin’s general counsel, Sarah London, embarked on the arduous process of vetting all 98 bills for the governor’s approval.Of that number, 89 went into effect on July 1.Legislative Council, the legal arm of the House and Senate, has written a 70-plus page analysis of the enacted laws. Though the general themes are familiar, many of the details of the final acts will likely be new news, even to Statehouse insiders.Here’s a rundown by subject. All of the information that follows is based on the ‘Summary of the Acts and Resolves of the 2013 Vermont General Assembly.’ Alcoholic beveragesS.61, Act No. 64Beer lovers uniteSo much for the governor’s slight against ‘Gucci’beer, i.e., the $8-a-glass specialty a la maison brews that are all the rage in Vermont. The state will allow out-of-state and in-state brewers to ship beer directly to Vermont consumers. H-2A employers get a breakThe state will forgive farmers who failed to pay or withhold state income taxes for employees working under the H-2A temporary agricultural visa prior to Dec. 31, 2011.Buffalo milk, anyone?Milk from animals other than cows must be labeled as such.S.157, Act. No. 84Hemp farmers get a little help from the stateThe state has removed a ban on growing industrial hemp, which under the new law is defined as Cannabis sativa with a tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, concentration of 0.3 or less. Under the new statute, the Vermont State Police will not be obliged to apprehend farmers who grow hemp. The seeds of the plant are used as feed for chickens and the fiber is used in clothing and rope. Because of its similarity to marijuana, it has been banned by the federal government. The Drug Enforcement Agency opposes hemp production. Read Andrew Stein’s story. EducationH.521, Act No. 56Criminal background checks, special education, private schoolsSchool authorities must now review the Child Protection and Vulnerable Abuse registries each time a teacher renews his or her license. For the first time, the state and superintendents can share criminal background check information with other entities.The Secretary of the Agency of Education must issue a report on school employment of special education paraeducators by 2017.A committee will be formed to study the impact of the conversion of public schools into private institutions.H.538, Act No. 60Lowering of spending thresholds for schoolsThe state will lower the so-called ‘excess spending threshold’for schools that spend more than the statewide average. Schools that currently spend 125 percent of the average pay a penalty. In 2015 and 2016, that threshold will be lowered to 123 percent; in 2017, the threshold will be 121 percent.S.4, Act. No. 68Concussions; allergic reactions at schoolThis law requires schools to develop a ‘concussion action plan’that outlines procedures that must be undertaken when a student experiences a head injury. In 2015, it requires that a health care provider be present for collision sports events. Read the story by Tom Brown. School nurses can administer epinephrine injections to students who are experiencing an allergic attack.S.130, Act No. 77College jumpstartHigh school students can now enroll in up to two courses at local state colleges at no expense. HealthH.136, Act No. 25Free screeningAs of Oct. 1, health insurance companies must eliminate co-payments for mammography and colorectal cancer screening.H.315, Act. No. 35Health insurance for same-sex spousesThe law prohibits health insurers for out-of-state companies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.Sen. Claire Ayer and Bob Ullrich, an active proponent of physician-assisted death, talk after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill allowing terminally ill patients to obtain a lethal dose of medication. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDiggerS.77, Act. No. 39Patient-directed deathPatients with a diagnosis of less than six months to live have the right to obtain lethal prescriptions to terminate their own lives.H.522, Act No. 75Preventing abuse of prescription drugsThe law requires health care professionals who prescribe opiates to register with the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System. Opiates can only be dispensed to patients or a patient’s representative, and pharmacists must obtain a signature and photo ID for the recipient. For more information, read the story by Alicia Freese. S.81, Act No. 85Ban on flame retardantsChlorinated flame retardants in children’s products and upholstered furniture and brominated flame retardants used in plastic shipping products are prohibited by the state. AgricultureH.515, Act No. 83Slaughterhouse rulesIf you prefer to have your chickens slaughtered at home, you’re in luck. Act No. 83, also known in a previous life as H.515, allows itinerant slaughterers to give the coup de grace to home-grown livestock. Read Kate Robinson’s story about the state’s new slaughtering rules. National GuardH.536, Act No. 53Sexual harassment reportThe adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard must issue an annual report about complaints of sexual harassment. AppropriationsH.533, Act No. 51Capital bill investmentsOver a two-year period, the state will invest $173 million in capital construction projects. About $67 million of that total will go to repairs and renovations related to damage to state infrastructure by Tropical Storm Irene; about half of that amount is for costs associated with rebuilding the Waterbury State Office Complex in 2015. The ag lab, which was destroyed in the 2011 flood, has been put on the back burner. The legislation calls for a feasibility study of a joint lab for the Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources.About $2.5 million will go toward the Montpelier district heat plant project; $1.2 million is needed to remediate mold at the Vermont Veterans’Home in Bennington.The commissioner must develop a proposal for a secure residential facility by Jan. 15, 2015. In the meantime, the state is using a temporary structure on the grounds of the Middlesex Vermont State Police barracks.The new state hospital in Berlin will be called the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital.Other miscellaneous details of interest? The legislation authorizes the sale of Building 617 in Essex. It also requires the commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services to develop a 10-year capital investment plan. It calls for the placement of an historic roadside marker at the Cedar Creek Battlefield in Virginia and requires the incorporation of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and thermal energy conservation in new state building construction or renovation. State aid for school construction has been suspended.Bill McKibben addresses the Vermont House of Representatives in January. Photo by Audrey Clark CommerceS.7, Act No. 47Social networkingA committee will give online snooping by employers a hard look this year as they consider whether to prohibit the practice. Keith Flynn, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, has said the state requires prospective employees to provide access to Facebook accounts.Patent trolls get the kiboshA new consumer protection law gives businesses legal tools to defend themselves against ‘patent trolls.’Trolls often file baseless claims hoping to force companies to pay a licensing fee to settle the claim out of court. The new law will increase the cost and risk of pressing a baseless claim of patent infringement against Vermont companies. Motor vehiclesS.150, Act No. 57The no-nos: Texting, idlingDrivers who text while driving will not only get hit with higher fines, but will also get slapped with five points on their driver’s licenses. And forget about dialing in a work zone ‘when you see the orange signs it’s better to drop the call.Idling a vehicle for more than five minutes in a 60-minute period is now illegal.Migrant workers at a bill-signing in Montpelier that allows them to obtain ‘operator’s privilege cards’so they can drive in the state with or without documentation. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDiggerS.38, No. 74Driver’s licenses for migrant workersResidents who are in the United States illegally can obtain driving privilege cards in Vermont. ConservationH.131, Act No. 24State to set parameters for electric biomass plantsTwo electric wood chip plants have recently been proposed in Vermont ‘one in North Springfield and another in Fair Haven. Environmentalists are concerned that biomass plants would significantly increase forest harvesting in Vermont. A new law requires that biomass facilities adhere to the highest efficiency standards and comply with harvesting standards that ensure forest health.H.262, Act No. 58Paint stewardship programThis law sets the stage for the creation of a paint collection program for leftover paint products by July 1, 2014. The so-called ‘stewardship’program is charged with reusing, recycling, and disposing of paint from residential projects. The program is to be supported through a ‘stewardship’assessment on paint containers of five gallons or less. Executive branchH.2, Act No. 19They’ve got your number (and letters)Law enforcement can now use Automated License Plate Recognition Systems to collect information about all vehicles in Vermont. There are at least 46 license plate readers mounted on police cruisers, bridges and traffic lights in Vermont. Each reader can scan hundreds of license plates each minute. The information is held by the Vermont Information and Analysis Center in Williston. The new law requires that the data be destroyed after 18 months unless a court approves an extension.Lawmakers surround Majority Leader Willem Jewett, as opponents of a gas tax try to enter a petition into the record on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Photo by Nat Rudarakanchana/VTDigger Public recordsS.148, Act No. 70Records of a criminal investigation are now subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act, which sets recognized standards for determining when information regarding a law enforcement action must be made public. Fish and WildlifeH.101, Act No. 78Boars and black bearsIn case you were wondering, wild boar may not be imported or possessed in Vermont.And that black bear fishing around in your trash? Better think twice before pulling out your 0.22. State law requires Vermonters to use reasonable, ‘nonlethal’methods of removal first.If that bear has been a nuisance, farmers are eligible for compensation from the state.But whatever you do, don’t feed the bears. Memo to Gov. Shumlin, who famously scrapped with a momma black bear last year: Don’t forget to take down your bird feeder. Domestic relationsS.31, Act No. 63Gold-diggers bewareThis statute prohibits the court from speculating on the value of a person’s potential inheritance in a divorce proceeding. Assets and estate planning are still subject, however, to review. InsuranceH.95, Act No. 43Life insuranceThe state requires insurance companies to make an attempt to contact the beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance policies. If beneficiaries can’t be located, the money must be submitted to the state of Vermont as unclaimed property.Child care workers testified in force at a Statehouse public hearing on Wednesday evening. Those in red represented the Vermont Workers Center, while those in blue supported the legislation, and those in white opposed it. Photo by Nat Rudarakanchana/VTDigger Crimes and criminal proceduresH.511, Act No. 13Zappers bewareThe state has made it a crime to ‘sell, purchase, install, transfer or possess’a so-called zapper ‘a software program that ‘falsifies transaction data on a cash register,’enabling a retailer to misrepresent the amount of sales tax owed to the state.S.20, Act No. 62State extends limit on child sex crime prosecutionsThe statute of limitations for sex offenses against children has been extended to 40 years. Previously, prosecutions could only be pursued within 10 years after the offense was reported or before the victim turned 24.H.65, Act No. 71The ‘pulp fiction’clauseA witness or victim of a drug overdose can seek life-saving medical attention without being prosecuted for drug-related crimes. Read Alicia Freese’s story.An officer shows House Judiciary Ziploc bags containing 1 ounce and 2 ounces of marijuana. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDiggerH.200, Act No. 76First-time pot smokers get a passInstead of getting slapped with a six-month to 24-month prison sentence for first-time marijuana possession, pot smokers will get a traffic fine for up to an ounce of the drug. The state previously punished possession of up to 2 ounces of the drug with a six-to-24-month prison sentence. Vermont legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 2004, and it is the 17th state to decriminalize limited possession of the drug. LaborH.280, Act No. 15Fines for non-payment of wagesThe penalty for employers who don’t pay workers increases from $500 to $5,000. The statute protects workers who file complaints with the Vermont Department of Labor from retaliation from their employer.H.99, Act No. 31Equal payEmployers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who discuss their wages and who exercise their rights as workers under state and federal laws. Under the law, workers can request a flexible work schedule. Employers are required to consider requests twice a calendar year.S.14, Act No. 36Payment of agency feesWorkers who do not belong to a union but benefit from collective bargaining will be required to pay two-thirds of union dues.H.169, Act No. 82Unemployment tax reliefBusinesses that lay off workers as the result of a natural disaster are eligible for unemployment tax relief.S.85, Act No. 86Workers’compensationFirefighters and ambulance workers who contract a lung disease caused by airborne or blood-borne pathogens are eligible for workers’compensation. Economic developmentH.395, Act No. 87The Vermont Sustainable Energy FundThe state’s business lending institution the Vermont Economic Development Authority will be given $10 million to finance sustainable energy projects for businesses in Vermont. The Vermont Sustainable Energy Fund is designed to encourage companies to invest in energy savings, renewables and technologies that support efficiency. The law also increases the number of members of the VEDA board from 12 to 15. The three new members must include the commissioner of the Department of Public Service, the commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and a Vermont resident appointed by the governor.House Representatives are sworn in at the start of the session in January. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDigger Public safetyH.182, Act No. 26Search and rescueThe Department of Public Safety will hire a coordinator who will be responsible for search and rescue operations involving state and local resources.H.50, Act No. 30Regulation of petsVermonters who sell cats, dogs and wolf-hybrids must have a pet dealer permit from the town clerk.SEE 2013 SUMMARY OF ACTS & RESOLVESEditor’s note: Inside the Golden Bubble is an occasional political column by vtdigger.org about the Vermont Legislature.
Innovative Swiss brand, FlussPool, is positioned as a state-of-the-art swimming technology for ‘people committed to a lifestyle in motion’. Founded by Roy Hinen, a 5x Swiss triathlon champion, in 2009, FlussPool provides counter‐current swimming that ‘allows you to recreate the experience of swimming in a river or ocean with current.’FlussPool claims to offer specific benefits when optimizing swimming technique or training using the ‘endurance method’, which is popular in triathlon.Roy Hinnen is Swiss triathlon pioneer and triathlon coach. He finished his first IRONMAN in Hawaii 1989; and his personal best time at the iron distance is 8 hrs 35 mins.In 2017 Hinnen published his first book ‘Total Triathlon’, which collected his experience of 30 years of triathlon in 30 chapters. Total Triathlon is aimed primarily at endurance athletes who have already gathered a few years’ experience and now wish to improve their personal best. FlussPool is designed as ‘the ultimate swim training tool and forms part of an athlete’s everyday endless swimming training routine.’ FlussPool notes that it’s not only competition level swimmers who can benefit from the swim training tool. It can also help beginners by ‘providing a safe feeling and enables the swimmer to learn correct technique from the start.’The company notes that triathletes, cyclists and other endurance sport athletes are increasingly making use of its innovative FlussPool. This includers Philipp Koutny, a Swiss professional triathlete who finished 8th at the IRONMAN World Championship in 2019.FlussPool features:Full cross section water stream (3.5m2 stream area per athlete)Temperature controlled, air bubbles reducedVariable speed up to 1.85m/sec (55sec/100m) according to training programIntended for beginners up to ambitious swimmers and athletes of any levelCan be integrated in various indoor and outdoor pool environmentswww.flusspool.ch Related
As part of an ongoing countywide study, United Community Services of Johnson County is inviting people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences to participate in discussions about housing problems and potential solutions.The local nonprofit is recruiting people to participate on what it’s calling “perspective panels,” which are set to take place virtually starting in January and going through next April.UCS of Johnson County says it is recruiting participants through the end of this year. The signup webpage can be found here.“We are wanting to get a diverse cross section of the community,” said Kathryn Evans, president of Rooted Strategy.About 150 people already signed upEvans shared details about the panels after leading virtual information sessions on how the nonprofit is aiming to tackle racial inequities, including housing issues, in Johnson County.Evans noted that structural racism played a “significant role in Johnson County’s early residential development,” and today, racial segregation in the past created demographic patterns that maintain segregation today.Kristy Baughman with UCS said the perspective panels are “essentially groups of people representing multiple sectors in our community.”“We want to ensure that there are many perspectives across the task force as we move forward,” Baughman said, noting that UCS has about 150 people already signed up. “When we start our work in January, we will take the 150 — hopefully more — and move into facilitated breakout groups, with as many as the perspectives represented in each group as possible.”
Pinterest Share LinkedIn “Normally the process of throwing out this trash would be a good thing,” said Driscoll. “But we think with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s there might be a mismanagement of this very important process that is supposed to protect neurons but, instead, is doing harm to neighbor cells.”Driscoll said scientists have understood how the process of eliminating toxic cellular substances works internally within the cell, comparing it to a garbage disposal getting rid of waste, but they did not know how cells released the garbage externally.“What we found out could be compared to a person collecting trash and putting it outside for garbage day,” said Driscoll. “They actively select and sort the trash from the good stuff, but if it’s not picked up, the garbage can cause real problems.”Working with the transparent roundworm, known as the C. elegans, which are similar in molecular form, function and genetics to those of humans, Driscoll and her team discovered that the worms – which have a lifespan of about three weeks — had an external garbage removal mechanism and were disposing these toxic proteins outside the cell as well.Iliya Melentijevic, a graduate student in Driscoll’s laboratory and the lead author of the study, realized what was occurring when he observed a bright blob forming outside of the cell in some of the worms.“In most cases, you couldn’t see it for long but in a small number of instances, it was like a cloud that accumulated outside the neuron and just stayed there,” said Melentijevic, who spent three nights in the lab taking photos of the process viewed through a microscope every 15 minutes.Research using roundworms has provided scientists with important information on aging, which would be difficult to conduct in people and other organisms that have long life spans.In the newly published study, the Rutgers team found that roundworms engineered to produce human disease proteins associated with Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s, threw out more trash consisting of these neurodegenerative toxic materials. While neighboring cells degraded some of the material, more distant cells scavenged other portions of the diseased proteins.“These finding are significant,” said Driscoll. The work in the little worm may open the door to much needed approaches to addressing neurodegeneration and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.” Email Share on Facebook Rutgers scientists say neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may be linked to defective brain cells disposing toxic proteins that make neighboring cells sick.In a study published in Nature, Monica Driscoll, distinguished professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, School of Arts and Sciences, and her team, found that while healthy neurons should be able to sort out and rid brain cells of toxic proteins and damaged cell structures without causing problems, laboratory findings indicate that it does not always occur.These findings, Driscoll said, could have major implications for neurological disease in humans and possibly be the way that disease can spread in the brain. Share on Twitter
By BONNIE J. GORDONLos Alamos Daily Postbjgordon@ladailypost.comLos Alamos Boy Scout James Cassel completed his Eagle Scout Project today, which is Flag Day 2019.Cassel organized a retirement ceremony for more than 100 American flags. The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. at Los Alamos Fire Station #2 on DP Road.Cassel collected the flags from local residents, with help from the Los Alamos Veterans of Foreign Wars who sponsored his Eagle Project. His liaison at the VFW was Ed McDaris. Cassel even had two gigantic flags from car dealerships to retire.Retired flags that have become worn and frayed must be disposed of in a prescribed manner, most commonly by burning. Any remaining fragments and the metal grommets must be buried, Cassel said.Cassel was inspired to do this project by his father Justin Cassel, a retired firefighter. He worked with Los Alamos Fire Department Battalion Chief James Thwaits to design a method for burning the flags in a safe manner, he said.Cassel told the audience about some of the history of flag protocol and proper disposal. He read a poem honoring the flags for their service. The first flag was then placed in a barrel above a gas fire and a huge pile of approximately 100 flags also was set on fire in a metal crib above a large gas flame.Cassel, who was born and raised in Los Alamos, has been involved with scouting since he was a 6-year-old Cub Scout. He is a member of Troop 122. His Scoutmaster, Greg Noeninckx, congratulated Cassel on successfully completing his project this morning at the close of the ceremony.Cassel will begin his senior year at Los Alamos High School in the fall.James Cassel, right, and his team burn a large flag cut into strips as part of the flag retirement ceremony this morning at Fire Station #2 on DP Road. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com More than 100 flags are set on fire today during the Flag Retirement Ceremony. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com A firefighter helps the scouts hoist a large flag onto the flames. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com Los Alamos Boy Scout James Cassel and his team fold a flag in preparation for its disposal during a special Flag Retirement Ceremony at 10 a.m. today at Fire Station #2 on DP Road. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com Scout James Cassel, center, reads a poem honoring the flags to be retired as members of his team look on. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com James Cassel, center, and his team watch as a member of the Los Alamos Fire Department distributes the remains of flags evenly so they will be completely consumed by the flames. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Most lanes on Trinity Drive, from 20th Street to Oppenheimer Drive, have reopened after being temporarily closed while a broken gas line is repaired. The eastbound lane on the south side remains closed but is expected to reopen around 7:30 p.m. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.comBy KIRSTEN LASKEYLos Alamos Daily Postkirsten@ladailypost.comAfter temporarily closing a section of Trinity Drive, from 20th Street to Oppenheimer Drive, due to gas line break around 2 p.m. today, Trinity Drive is now reopened to traffic; just the eastbound lane on the south side of the street remains closed.The section of the Trinity Drive was closed when a New Mexico Department of Transportation contractor inadvertently struck a 4-inch gas line while excavating a sink hole near Ashley Pond.Department of Public Utilities Public Relations Manager Julie Williams-Hill informed the Los Alamos Daily Post at 3:30 p.m. that the road was reopened.“So people can still travel east and west,” she said, however, “eastbound traffic will be somewhat restricted.”Williams-Hill said the department’s gas crew is working to repair the line. Los Alamos fire and police personnel also responded to the incident. She added the closure is expected to last approximately five hours and Trinity Drive should fully reopen at about 7:30 p.m. today.There is no disruption in service, she said. County workers, including the fire department, are working to repair a broken gas line on Trinity Drive. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
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Garlic may have an added covid benefitRegarding Jack Underwood’s May 16 letter (“Try garlic, hydrogen peroxide for health”). I don’t know about his suggestion to use garlic as a potion. But if you wear garlic in a sack around your neck, it might help with social distancing.Peg LapoDelansonTrump very fearful of accountabilityThere are two things any servant of Trump cannot do: Disagree with him and tell the truth. He especially cannot abide allowing the public to know what he’s doing (or has already done), as evidenced by his replacing five inspectors general in six weeks, even during the pandemic.Michael Atkinson of the Intelligence Committee made the mistake of handling the whistleblower’s complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment over Ukraine.Mitch Behm, a 17-year official in the Department of Transportation and member of the Pandemic Responsibility Accountability Committee (PRAC), kept too close an eye on that $2.4 trillion.Glen Fine, deputy inspector general in the Department of Defense, headed the PRAC. He took his responsibility too seriously. So much for accountability.Christi Grimm, a Health and Human Services official since 2004, made the mistake of detailing actual supply shortages in hospitals during the pandemic.Steve Linick, inspector general in the State Department since 2013, was the most recent oversight official to be purged, an act some in Congress have called “unlawful retaliation.”Trump obviously doesn’t want any watchdogs. Only lap dogs.Richard W. Lewis, Jr.GlenvilleDuanesburg class showed generosityRegarding the article by Jim Schiltz in the May 9 Gazette (“Senior class donates $4,000 to food bank.”): Those 57 students (our Eagles) voted to donate $4,000 of their senior funds to the Regional Food Bank. This is money they have been saving since sixth grade toward their prom and senior trip to Ocean City, N.J., which had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.I applaud this senior Class of 2020, their advisers, Kevin diTondo and Rebecca Press and Andrew Drescher, senior class treasurer, and Paul Munson, student council vice president.We can be very proud of our young adults in Duanesburg and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and many blessings.C.M. DeweyDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.Foss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Everyone was waiting to see the tribute to Ellis Hospital on May 12, the last stop on their way back to Glenville, their home base. People were everywhere with cameras, kids and adults alike.Everyone with such anticipation and then, nothing. Everyone was listening for the roar of the plane and feeling so happy that those at Ellis and Sunnyview were being acknowledged and thanked in a grand way.But they only got the view of the plane “in a distance” apparently returning to the base. It was very disappointing for all those healthcare workers.By the way, in Colorado they had the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds fly over the hospitals, and we can’t get one plane to fly over the base’s hospital, but they can fly to Antarctica.Linda CorteseNiskayunaKrackeler will be innovative on boardPlease join me in voting for Tony Krackeler for Saratoga Springs Board of Education. As a parent of two children in the SSCSD, I cannot imagine a better candidate to support the best interests of our students, teachers and families.I consider myself blessed to have known Tony for the past 10 years and have found him to be a caring, compassionate, highly intelligent man willing to listen to all sides of an issue.More importantly, Tony is tireless in his involvement with his family, the schools, youth sports and the community. His ability to successfully balance all of this with owning and operating a local business leaves no doubt in my mind he has the right skill set, experience and aptitude for this position.These are challenging times, and the district needs an innovative leader like Tony. I know he will serve the BOE with the same passion and creativity he exhibits in all of his endeavors.Eric NemerSaratoga SpringsPlenty of ideas to make lives betterThe Chinese symbols for crisis include danger and opportunity. Today, war, poisoning the Earth, poverty, profit over people, health insurance and COVID-19 are dangerous, but we have opportunities. Imagine if we:1. Try the UN proposal for a global cease-fire, saving money, pollution and lives (both soldiers and civilians). Our employees in Congress and the White House should try it.2. Enact a simple Medicare for All (including president and Congress), saving billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives nationally, or Gov. Cuomo and New York Senate leader could support the New York Health Act, saving billions of dollars and thousands of New York lives (which is supported by a majority of New Yorkers and state legislators, only lacking “leadership”).3. Enact a Green New Deal, putting people back to work at good, living wage jobs cleaning up our act and the Earth.4. Re-enact the FTT (financial transaction tax), a 0.1% sales tax on Wall Street corporate gambling (quite a bit less than the 7 or 8% sales tax on toilet paper we the people pay) that would cover court ordered fair school aid and New York’s huge budget deficit. Let’s make our state, country and world even greater than before.Pete LookerGlenvilleCasino host deal would have helpedMoody’s Investors Service recently announced that the casino industry earnings will plunge 60-70% through March 2021.With coronavirus safety measures in place, casinos will reopen at 50% capacity. Entry will be restricted to patrons living within 120 miles to help prevent the spread of the virus between the state’s regions. Earnings will plunge and local governments will collect lesser amounts of sales and other taxes.Schenectady cannot buck that trend with the mediocre regional casino Mayor Gary McCarthy and Ray Gillen gave us. After reopening, the Rivers casino will drain money only from locals because there will be fewer tourists from other regions.If Schenectady instead had a first-rate supermarket, an essential business would be hiring new workers and paying bonuses, bringing in more sales and property taxes now, instead of sending people to the unemployment line.In reality, Schenectady is now a casino town and Mayor McCarthy is trying to force more people to Mohawk Harbor with the state’s DRI dollars.If the mayor had only demanded a host community agreement guaranteeing Schenectady a fixed yearly income, instead of a percentage of the casino revenue, he would not be cutting 30 police officers and firefighters’ jobs and risking public safety in the process.Mohamed HafezSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDisappointed that flyover skipped us