Vermont Business Magazine Susan Koch, a Union Elementary School Kindergarten and First Grade teacher in Montpelier, has been selected as the 2016 Vermont Teacher of the Year (VT-TOY), the Agency of Education announced today. In addition to teaching first grade, she has encouraged and developed the Educating Children Outdoors (ECO) Program in Montpelier. This outdoor education program has now spread to all of the grades at Union Elementary. All students are given the opportunity to learn in a natural setting throughout the entire school year.Also recognized are:· Alternate Anne Marie Mahar, a science and biology teacher for grades 11-12 at Rutland High School; and· Finalist Stephen Rand, an English teacher at Harwood Union Middle and High School for grades 9-12.Koch, Mahar and Rand will be honored by the State Board of Education at an event November 17. Rebecca Haslam of Champlain Elementary School is the current 2015 Vermont Teacher of the Year. Koch’s tenure as 2016 Vermont Teacher of the Year will begin January 1.As the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Koch will travel statewide visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, she is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Koch will travel to Washington, DC, this spring for a reception at the White House, where she will meet the president.Susan Koch“I am proud to represent all of the incredible teachers and colleagues I have met, studied with, collaborated with, and admired.” said Koch. “Education today is a vibrant exciting profession. The role of a teacher in a child’s education has fundamentally changed. We are no longer lecturing student’s as they sit in a “one size fits all classroom”. Educators are providing unique learning opportunities for students that often include forest lessons, community visits, virtual field trips, and collaborative teaching. Students are creating their own knowledge, learning actively, setting goals, and reflecting upon their learning. The teaching profession is a dynamic and exciting field.”Since 1964, Vermont has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers. For more information about the Vermont Teacher of the Year program, go to: http://education.vermont.gov/department/awards/teacher-of-the-year(link is external).
The Bark N Blues festival is moving from Franklin Park for 2014.The dogs and the tunes of the Bark N Blues festival will be howling in a different location this year.The annual celebration of four-legged friends and blues music had been held at Prairie Village’s Franklin Park — just down the street from founder Kent Kraus’s Somerset Animal Clinic — since its inception. But this year the event is moving to the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility at 8804 Grant St. in Overland Park, just off 87th Street behind the Johnson County Central Resource Library.The change in venues, says Melissa Anderson of Kraus’s office, comes as a way to help the event accommodate growth.“The site is on five acres, so we have more room for the dog walk and for people to just enjoy themselves,” she said.Anderson said they also hope the new location might alleviate the opportunity for conflict over use of green space while the festival is in full gear. Last year, she said, a baseball team had a practice schedule on the Franklin Park diamond while the festival was under way.“They were pretty upset,” she said. “We just thought it was time to find a space where we could spread out a little more.”This year’s lineup will include Katy Guillen and the Girls, the Josh Vowell Band and Crosseyed Cat, among others. The event will run from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, with a one-mile dog walk preceding the music at 9 a.m.
Sarasota Bar bestows awards October 15, 2012 Regular News THE SARASOTA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION (SCBA) recently honored two of its members and a veterans organization for their service and commitment to the community and to the profession at its annual awards ceremony and installation dinner. The C.L. McKaig Award was presented to attorney Evelyn L. Moya for service to the SCBA for her efforts and commitment to improving the association’s goal of diversity in the practice of law in her roles as chair of the Diversity Committee, co-editor and editor of The Docket, as well as a consistent supporter of member programs and functions. Attorney Janella K. Leibovitz received the Distinguished Community Service Award in recognition for dedicating hundreds of hours each year to the women and children of Sarasota most in need of legal counsel, but without resources, by volunteering weekly at Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc., and The Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota. Florida Veterans for Common Sense was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by a Layperson for its dedicated effort to establish veterans’ diversion courts throughout Florida, and its active support of the Courts Assisting Veterans program in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties. Pictured seated from the left are Moya, Gene Jones of Veterans for Common Sense, and Leibovitz. Standing from the left are Norman Vaughan-Birch, Mark Flaherty, Mark Haskins, Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince, Alyssa Nohren, Derek Byrd, Charles Sniffen, and Chief Judge Andrew D. Owens, Jr.
Ebola sickens 2 more in DRC outbreak; 112 total, 48 fatalTwo more Ebola cases were confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Equateur province outbreak, raising the total to 112, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today in a Twitter update.One more death was recorded, lifting the fatality count to 48. The outbreak in the country’s northwest began in early June, just as a large outbreak centered in North Kivu province in eastern DRC was declared over. The latest event affects the same province where a small outbreak in the summer of 2018 occurred, sickening 54 people and killing 33.The WHO’s African regional office said today in its weekly outbreaks and health emergencies report that the developments are worrisome, given the continued increase in cases with spread to new health areas and health zones. Responders are struggling with inadequate resources for risk communication and community engagement in hot spots, and lack of funding requires urgent attention. So far, about 27,300 people have been vaccinated, and three health workers have been infected.In a related development, yesterday the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced more than $15 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help end the outbreak. The funds will help with actions such as disease surveillance, patient transportation, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and community engagement.Sep 8 WHO African regional office tweet Sep 8 WHO African regional office weekly report Sep 7 USAID press release Wisconsin and Massachusetts report more EEE cases, 1 fatalWisconsin reported its second eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) case of the year, involving a woman in her 60s who died from her infection, and Massachusetts reported its fourth human infection involving the mosquitoborne virus.The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) said the patient had lived in Chippewa County, which is in the west central part of the state and borders Eau Claire County, where the state’s first case of the year—in a girl—was recently reported. Of nine EEE cases in horses this year, four were in Chippewa County.The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) said the state’s fourth human case also involves a woman in her 60s. She was exposed to EEE in Plymouth County, which prompted health officials to raise the area’s EEE risk to high.Both states said though the weather is cooling and mosquito populations are declining, the risk of illness continues throughout the fall, and the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites.EEE cases are rare, but infections can be fatal. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the nation averages about 11 EEE cases a year, but 38 were reported in 2019. Transmission is most common in and around freshwater hardwood swamps in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and in the Great Lakes region.Sep 4 WDHS press release Sep 4 MDPH press release CDC background information Chikungunya outbreak in Chad sickens more than 10,000In Sudan, a chikungunya outbreak in the city of Abeche that began in April has sickened 10,631 people as of the end of August, the WHO African regional office said in its weekly outbreaks and health emergencies update today. Abeche, Sudan’s fourth-largest city, has a population of 76,500 and is located in the southeastern part of the country.No deaths have been reported, and the most affected group are those older than 15 years, with illnesses more common in females than in males. The WHO said the outbreak’s rapid growth is a sign of a heavy vector load in an area that has challenges with sanitation.The health ministry has deployed an expert mission, and a response plan is being finalized. Active case finding is already under way, as is vector control, which has reached 377 households. The WHO said community engagement, highlighting the importance of emptying all water containers, needs to be strengthened and that the outbreak response needs to be stepped up to prevent the outbreak from spreading to other areas.Sep 8 WHO African regional office weekly report
By BECKY RUTHERFORDLos AlamosGood news! If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you may be entitled to compensation.You can receive free credit monitoring for 10+ years from three credit agencies or up to $125 in compensation instead of the credit monitoring. If you had additional expenses as a result of the breach (and have documentation to prove it), you could file a claim for up to $20,000.How can you check if you were affected by the data breach and file? The safest way is to go directly to the FTC’s website on the Equifax data breach settlement and click the “file a claim” button to get started. Equifax does not administer the Equifax Data Breach site; it is administered by the Settlement Administrator. The direct link to the Equifax Data Breach page is here; https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim. You can also use this site to check if you were affected by the 2017 data breach, and if you were, use the site to file a claim.I strongly advise you to access the site directly through the FTC’s page or from a link on a trusted, legitimate news site. Suspicious sites bearing similar domain names have already been set up, possibly to try to trick users into handing over their sensitive information; “www. equifaxbreechsettlements . com” has been registered, as has “www. equifaxbreachsetttlement .com”. These are just a few examples that I found, as has been noted by other sources, and there are more out there. Note that in one example, breach is spelled “breech” and in the other, they have added an extra “t” to settlement. Neither site is currently active, but both sites are “parked” and ready to go live. I was not able to confirm, but these sites are likely malicious.Do not Google search for the link to the Equifax settlement site; scammers could potentially use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to make these scam sites show up at the top of your search results, before legitimate results. If typing the site into your browser bar directly, be careful that you don’t make any typos, or you could end up at the wrong site.If you were affected by the breach, you could receive compensation, but be cautious! Make sure that you go to the correct site, and not a spoofed site. You will not receive calls or emails from Equifax about this settlement; you must go to the settlement site to register. Any calls or emails are scams.Additional Resources:Brian Krebs’s site “Krebs on Security” is a great resource; I highly recommend subscribing to his newsletter to stay up to date on cyber news stories. Here is his article on the Equifax data breach settlement:https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/07/what-you-should-know-about-the-equifax-data-breach-settlement/The official FTC site on the breach:https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlementThe Equifax Data Breach Settlement site:https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claimEditor’s note: Becky Rutherford works in information technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
STATE News:SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials today announced 62 additional positive tests for COVID-19.Los Alamos County remain at 2 confirmed case.Per the New Mexico Department of Health, the most recent cases are:16 new cases in Bernalillo County1 new case in Chaves County1 new case in Doña Ana County2 new cases in Grant County4 new cases in McKinley County25 new cases in San Juan County11 new cases in Sandoval County2 new cases in Santa Fe CountyToday’s announced cases include additional positive tests from the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque, where one additional resident and two additional staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19.The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains 12.Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 686 positive tests for COVID-19:Bernalillo County: 262Catron County: 1Chaves County: 14Cibola County: 14Curry County: 6Doña Ana County: 30Eddy County: 4Grant County: 3Lea County: 2Lincoln County: 1Los Alamos County: 2McKinley County: 44Otero County: 3Rio Arriba County: 6Roosevelt County: 1Sandoval County: 114San Juan County: 83San Miguel County: 1Santa Fe County: 64Socorro County: 5Taos County: 13Torrance County: 6Valencia County: 7County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.As of today, there are 48 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.As of today, there are 133 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers; andSymptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath. New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.
By GREG WHITEDemocratic CandidateLos Alamos County CouncilMy name is Greg White. I am running for County Council because I really love this community and I am really frustrated with the Council and top management of the County and the pervasive “Can’t Do” attitude.The Council is suppose to Lead And Oversee. But there is no leadership from the Council, let alone oversight. They constantly fail to adequately question County staff. And a lot of the questions they do ask, they should have known the answer to before the meeting.I’ve repeatedly emailed the Council and staff with measures they can legally take to assist our citizens and businesses during this virus crises. But all I get is “thank you for the suggestion” and no action.How did they fail to ensure the County had a pandemic plan before the virus, when a pandemic has been warned by scientists for decades? And we have the Lab, which employs people from around the world.Why do they not ask the County attorney why the words, “for the construction of any railroad”, appear in the supposed anti donation clause? Those words appear in the clause because it is NOT a blanket prohibition against the government helping, especially in extreme circumstances like a pandemic. If it was a blanket prohibition NM would be the Only State with a constitutional clause or statute with such a prohibition.The Council gives help and money all the time to private interest! I am NOT saying anything bad about the following examples. I AM showing that the Council CAN help businesses and individuals during this virus and they have no excuse not to.They loaned UbiQD, a private company, $325,000 at no interest and deferred payments for three years. They give $300,000/yr to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, a private organization. They provide Ashley Pond and its pavilion at no charge to an out of county company and the bands at no charge. They give money to the JJAB, even though the JJAB claims to be a private organization. They give $20 million/yr to Main Street, a private organization. The Council CAN help during this virus, they simply chose not to.Several recent letters to the editor have made great points on what we need in and from a County official. I feel these apply to both those elected and appointed officials. Namely: empathy, integrity, listening, leadership skills and good judgment.What about diversity? I’m not speaking of just heritage, but also career(s), actual work experience, environment growing up, and education. And not just political view, but also social, religious, justice, and foresight. And most importantly can a candidate take all these life experiences and put them together to be an actual leader?But the absolute prerequisite for public service is TIME! Does the candidate have the time? Because being on the Council takes a lot more time than 4 to 6 hrs twice a month. Council members are assigned as liaisons to several boards and commissions. There are public appearances like the Farmer’s Market, Homecoming, Main St. events, etc. All council meetings involve multiple subjects, which each member should be researching beforehand and not just accepting what staff has to say! Staff may have an agenda or not have the expertise they claim to have. Worse, staff may give the answers they believe the Council wants to hear rather than the truth! Remember the RCLC mess!Honestly I don’t think any of the current council is a leader.And most don’t have the time! They work full time for the Lab or run a business or are an underpaid and overworked teacher.The last two Councils use to come to meetings with prepared written statements so you know they weren’t going to listen to citizens. And the current Council never engages the public except to say, “Thank you for your comment”. Nothing in the Open Meetings Act prohibits the Council from engaging citizens in questions and answers. It Only prohibits taking any action on anything a citizen says that isn’t an agenda item.I have the time, integrity, experience, knowledge, empathy, listening skills, judgment skills and Leadership you need in a Councilor.I’m retired (time), I was a paralegal in the Air Force specializing in contracts (the Council is asked to approve numerous contracts with no real understanding what they’re approving), also in the Air Force I spent a year each overseeing the Zero Overpricing Office and the Govt. Operated Service Store (which made all purchases for the Civil Engineers, aka Public Works).I was a Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coxswain (had to make split second decisions to save lives, as well as intercept drug smugglers and make arrests), was local Law Enforcement in Las Vegas, NV (I know proper LE actions as well as needs and proper staffing).I worked construction and was a Stationary Engineer at the Sahara Hotel/Casino and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV (I have the knowledge to asses budgets for construction, maintenance and repair of County properties, as well as assess bids and designs as to actual feasibility without going over bid cost and wasting tax dollars).Between the military and construction I’ve lived in 12 States and in both small and large communities in each. From as small as a 200 population to 17 million and in between. I’ve seen first hand what works to revitalize communities and what doesn’t. I’ve seen first hand blight disappear and seen it increase.I’ve lived in “Can Do” communities and “Can’t Do”. I’m tired of this community being “Can’t Do”, stuck in the past of the 1940s and blight increase while our hometown businesses fail and out of state business owners move in!!! Are you???I thank you for your vote!
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The 29 countries party to the Antarctic Treaty unanimously agreed at the 39th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) on June 1 to a resolution to “retain and continue to implement” the ban on mining activities in the Antarctic, which is part of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also called the Madrid Protocol. The resolution is in part a response to media reports that the protocol or the treaty expire in 2048, when in fact this is only a date at which a review of the protocol could be requested, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) said.“There is often speculation that countries involved in Antarctic governance intend to review and change the Protocol in 2048 to allow mining. This resolution sends a clear message that this is not in fact the case and that parties stand firm in their commitment that preserving the continent as a place of peace and science is more important than possible financial gain,” Claire Christian, Acting Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) said.Prior to the signing of the protocol, the parties negotiated an agreement regulating mining in the Antarctic. However, the mining agreement never entered into force, as explained by ASOC.The decision not to ratify the mining agreement was led by Australia and France, and came after years of campaigning for a “World Park Antarctica” by the ASOC and its member groups. Though the Protocol contains many important provisions, the mining ban is especially critical because there would be no way to conduct mineral resource extraction activities without causing irreversible damage to one of the world’s last great wildernesses, ASOC said.With information indicating that the climate change and ocean acidification are already having an impact on Antarctica and its ecosystems, the Antarctic Treaty System has become increasingly focused on developing ways to monitor and respond to climate change.“ASOC supports the swift designation of comprehensive networks of marine and terrestrial protected areas, a process which has proceeded very slowly despite urgent need,” Rodolfo Werner, ASOC’s senior advisor noted.“Parties are developing a strategic vision for tourism, but there are key actions that should be taken now, such as prohibiting the development of land-based infrastructure, to preserve the unique values of the Antarctic region,” Ricardo Roura, ASOC’s tourism expert concluded.