The Senator Versus Coal

first_imgThe Senator Versus Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The coal industry — responsible for much of the CO2 pollution driving climate change — is dying, and State Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, wants to help bury it. Hancock, whose district encompasses much of the East Bay, from Rodeo to San Leandro, has spent the last half year drafting legislation designed to prevent millions of tons of coal from being transported by train through the East Bay and exported from a marine terminal that is to be built in Oakland near the foot of the Bay Bridge. Hancock also wants to block any future coal export schemes in the state.Hancock made a last ditch effort to convince Utah’s lawmakers that subsidizing an Oakland coal terminal is unwanted and risky. “I strongly oppose your bill to invest $53 million in Utah taxpayers’ money to build a coal-export terminal in California,” Hancock wrote in a March 2 letter to Utah Senator Adams. “Environmental groups from Oakland and the Bay Area strongly oppose the transport of coal and are working together to stop the project.”Hancock also informed Adams of her four anti-coal bills that will be considered by the California Senate in April. “I would think that Utah residents would also question whether their hard-earned tax dollars should be going to build a railroad and port terminal in another state instead of promoting sustainable economic development in Utah,” she wrote.Some Utah lawmakers raised Hancock’s criticisms during debates in the Senate and House of Representatives last week, but Adams’ $53 million coal subsidy was approved by both houses and will likely be signed by Governor Herbert.Hancock said the use of public money is a bad investment in a “dying industry” and can only result in environmental damage and economic losses. She said it appears that the coal industry is attempting to use public money to stay afloat, because private investors have all but abandoned coal.“Institutional investors are pulling out of coal,” said Tom Sanzillo of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank that promotes renewable energy development. “The industry isn’t collapsing, it has collapsed.”last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: National Park Service seeks public comment on permits for races that would close Blue Ridge Parkway

first_imgNational Park Service backpedals on their decision to allow ATVs in Utah National Parks A move by the National Park Service that we reported on last month allowing ATVs in Utah National Parks has been scrapped by the National Park Service just one week before it was set to take effect. The Associated Press reports that the National Park Service said it reversed course after consulting with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and concluding that the rule wasn’t necessary.  National Park Service seeks public comment on permits for races that would close Blue Ridge Parkway The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular spot to host running and biking races and in 2020 there are two new races that would like permits to temporarily shut down the parkway. These new races would require temporary, full closures of the parkway, and the National Park Service is asking for the public’s feedback. None of the races that currently utilize the parkway require full closures. It’s time for seasonal closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway The first proposed permit is for a running race and would require a temporary, full closure of the parkway from Milepost 377, just north of Asheville, to Milepost 383. The race would potentially draw 2,000 runners and would happen on May 2, 2020. The second proposed permit is from The Ironman Group and would have the cycling portion of the triathlon take place on the parkway on June 7, 2020. The permit would require a temporary, full closure of the parkway from Milepost 91 to Milepost 112 near Roanoke. It’s the time of year when the weather turns colder; stores begin stocking their shelves for the holidays and facilities along the Blue Ridge Parkway shut down for the season. The Waterrock Knob visitor center (MP 451) and Craggy Gardens visitor center (MP 364) both closed for the season on November 11. All campgrounds and picnic areas in Western North Carolina are also closed, as is the Pisgah Inn and restaurant. The parkway itself does not close except during periods of hazardous weather including ice and snow.  The public is invited to comment on the proposed permits until November 22.  Comments for the Asheville permit can be entered here: and comments for the Roanoke permit should be submitted here: The rule would have lined up with Utah state law, which allows ATVs and other off-road vehicles on state and county roads. Instead, the ban on ATVs in national parks, including parks in Utah, still stands.last_img read more

Foundation seeks contributions

first_img May 15, 2000 Regular News Foundation seeks contributions “Imagine being a child taken from the only home you know, the family you trust, and your familiar surroundings. Then imagine being pushed and pulled through a system dominated by adults in offices and stark rooms, being placed in a stranger’s house to stay temporarily, and being frightened like you’ve never been frightened before.” This imagery is in a letter from Bar President-elect Herman J. Russomanno accompanying the 2000-01 Bar fee statement which will soon be arriving in members’ mailboxes. The letter urges Bar members to envision the lives of the nearly 24 percent Florida children living in poverty — according to the 1999 Kids Count published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation — and asks Bar members to make a $25 tax deductible contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation to bring the benefits of the law and of lawyers to the lives of poor children. The Foundation will dedicate Bar members’ contributions to legal assistance to children through grants to legal aid and legal services programs across the state. “Although there are laws to assist these children, the reality is without the services of a lawyer and related legal assistance, the future will remain bleak for thousands of Florida’s most vulnerable children,” Russomanno said. “We have an opportunity to improve their lives by helping to ensure their legal rights are represented — rights to services these children desperately need if they are to become contributing members of society.” The 2000-2001 fee statements — reflecting no increase in fees and only minor modifications to the form — will be mailed by May 19. The fees are payable July 1 and are late after August 15. Annual fees are still $190. Inactive members pay $140. For the past several years, the Bar Foundation has funded special annual grants for legal representation of children out of IOTA funds. But these grants will be cut starting next year because of a reduction in IOTA income brought on by low bank interest rates. “Our $25 contributions to the Bar Foundation on the Bar fee statement can make up that cut and provide even more children the services of a lawyer to help them get a better start in life,” Russomanno said. The Foundation set several goals for its Children’s Legal Services grant initiative, but emphasizes access to special education and health care services required under law. An example of a special education service is providing a student who is hypersensitive to noise and distraction extra time with a teacher or tutor in a quieter setting to supplement what goes on in the regular classroom. Another goal is to create and energize a statewide network of children’s legal services providers. The network also can provide support to the thousands of Florida attorneys involved in children’s legal services through guardian ad litem and other projects. A. Hamilton Cooke of Jacksonville heads up the 2000-01 Bar fee statement “Lawyers’ Challenge for Children” campaign. Cooke said another goal of the children’s legal services grants initiative is to demonstrate the impact on children’s lives of dedicating funding for specific children’s legal services efforts. Cooke, the Foundation’s president-elect, describes the initiative as one of the “most important and rewarding efforts” the Foundation has ever funded. “When our legal aid grantees send in their reports describing the kinds of cases they handle, I’m continually astounded at the obstacles poor children and their families have to overcome,” Cooke said. “There’s a particularly sad case of a 17-year-old girl a school had labeled a trouble maker and a bad seed.” Cooke said her long history of discipline problems began when she was nine and after a fight at school, the district started expulsion proceedings. “Despite her long history of discipline problems, the school never formally looked into the possible cause of her behavior problems at school or evaluated her for evidence of an emotional disability,” Cooke said. “After several interviews by legal services advocates, the parents opened up and revealed that, at age nine, their daughter had been kidnaped and raped. As a result of the efforts of legal aid the school district ultimately conceded error and dismissed their expulsion petition.” Cooke said the district also agreed to place the girl in an intense therapeutic educational setting where she is doing well. “While the outcome for this girl is good, there are still tens of thousands of children in Florida schools who have similarly serious problems and no access to legal advocacy,” Cooke said. According to IOTA Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Committee Chair Terry Russell, president-elect designate of The Florida Bar, state and federal lawmakers have recognized that providing access to appropriate special education services and health care is not only in the best interests of the child, but it is in the best interests of society — especially when it comes to promoting public safety. “Still, children who have discipline problems or who do poorly in school often are more likely to be suspended or expelled than examined and treated, despite the requirements of the law,” Russell said. Foundation Children’s Legal Services grantee reports cite additional examples such as local school principals filing criminal complaints against special education children without advising law enforcement of their disabilities, or illegally denying parents the right to examine and photocopy their child’s school file. Another Foundation grantee reports the case of a 13-year old special education student suffering from Tourettes Syndrome who was being expelled from school for battery on a school teacher. In a meeting set up by legal aid, it was proven that the school was not appropriately assisting the child deal with the extreme frustration caused by his disability and the shoe thrown by the boy had hit his teacher’s leg after bouncing off a desk. As a result, the expulsion petition was withdrawn, and in collaboration with a Department of Juvenile Justice caseworker, legal aid succeeded in having the criminal charges against the student dropped. Legal aid also provided the boy’s teachers with information about Tourettes Syndrome — after they had admitted knowing nothing about it — and a process was put into place for the child to receive additional testing and the establishment of a more appropriate education plan. Obstacles to gaining access to health care services by poor children range from improper denial or termination of medicaid, to failure to provide court-ordered mental health treatment. Other prevalent legal needs involve children eligible under Florida’s children’s health insurance programs, who routinely fall through the cracks as state caseworkers struggle to administer increasingly complex and ever changing eligibility formulas and health insurance application procedures. Russell likened the situation poor families face in obtaining health insurance benefits for their children to clients trying to develop a parcel of land without assistance from an experienced attorney. “Except every hour spent in line by a parent at a state benefit office means time off work — often unpaid — and delay or failure in securing the health coverage affects your child’s very well being,” Russell said. Cooke said he believes Bar members will want to support Children’s Legal Services. “It’s not often that we can make such a huge difference in the life of a child with only a $25 contribution,” Cooke said. “Moreover, the check off for the Bar Foundation on the fee statement is a very efficient form of fundraising.” Cooke said in order to make their contributions count, Bar members need to make sure that their tax deductible gift to the Foundation is added in to their Bar fee statement total. Foundation seeks contributionslast_img read more

The real cost of a teen driver

first_imgYour insurance will go upThis is kind of a no brainer and you’ve probably been mentally preparing for it for some time now. But just how much is it going to increase depends on your state, and the gender of your teen. Thanks to men getting into more accidents on average, you will feel a bit more a sting insuring your son than you would a daughter. Insuring a 16-old boy will increase your insurance by an average of 90% whereas a girl the same age would only result in a 60% additional charge.Drivers EdNowadays driving school can cost anywhere from two hundred to nearly a thousand dollars, depending on the gas prices in your area and where exactly these classes are taught. That seems a bit pricey, but remember that it is a one-time cost that not only teaches your teen the rules of the road to make them a better, safer driver, but it also can lead to cheaper rates on your insurance depending on your plan.The car and its troublesUnless you have extra cars sitting around or intend to share your own, buying a new car will be an expense. However, what is less obvious to most parents is the continued cost of the vehicles upkeep. Maintenance and general repair costs can add up quickly. Starting with a reliable vehicle is the only real way to combat excessive costs over time.AccidentsNobody wants to think about their child getting into an accident, but you have to be prepared for the worst. Nowadays teens have more distractions than ever.  Smartphones let them text, SnapChat, and catch Pokémon. All of these things can lead to a fender bender. The cost of repairs from an accident are not the only expense to worry about, your insurance could also take a nice hit.Traffic ticketsHopefully, like an accident, this never happens with your child but it is a very real concern, especially with new drivers. Depending on whether you choose to pay the ticket for them or have them pay it, there may be other expenses. Depending on the infraction your insurance has the right to raise the price, however, your teen can take a reeducation class to keep it off insurance. But you guessed it, those classes also come at a price.Add up all your kidsThe cost already seems a bit extreme, now multiply it. Double or triple all of the above. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any child will be a better or cheaper driver. Never assume anything, but plan for the worst and hope for the best. 62SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tyler Atwell Web: Detailslast_img read more

Balotelli slams Lazio fans as racist abuse overshadows his feat of scoring

first_img Promoted Content6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?The Best Geek Movies Of All TimeA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs15 Celebs You Probably Didn’t Expect To Be CheerleadersCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket Mario Balotelli achieved a unique feat by scoring Serie A’s first goal of the decade again – but the incredible feat was overshadowed by yet more racist abuse. Brescia forward Mario Balotelli Italian football’s summer break ended with Brescia’s game against Lazio, which saw the ex-Man City striker net just 18 minutes into the contest. A ball over the top saw Balotelli roll his man and bury a powerful finish across the goalkeeper to notch Serie A’s first goal of the 2020s having held the same honour for the 2010s. Balotelli celebrated with his teammates before pointing to his ear and then the crowd, a reaction he later put down to alleged racist abuse. Claims of monkey noises and other chants have been made against the visiting supporters and the player wrote on Instagram after the game: “Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU! #SayNoToRacism.” It is far from the first instance of abuse in Italy and across Europe this season, the striker on the receiving end on a number of occasions. A furious Balotelli launched the ball into the Hellas Verona crowd after hearing racist chants against him during a game in November. And the reaction to that incident was far from satisfactory with Brescia fans tarnishing their man as “arrogant” and the club’s owner stating Balotelli was “working on clearing his name”. Inter Milan travelled to Chievo on January 6, 2010 with the striker still a fledgling prospect playing under Jose Mourinho. In the 12th minute, Balotelli was set free down the right and had an effort saved before turning the rebound home – the ball only passing the line by an inch before being cleared. Read Also:Spiritual touch: Balotelli asks for good health, calmer year While that Inter team went on to win the Scudetto, the 29-year-old’s Brescia side are struggling down the opposite end of the table. Balotelli pointed to his ear after saying he heard racist abuse FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading… last_img read more

Christian Peter: Helping to Rebuild Lives With Service

first_img“I want to help other people, just like so many others helped me.”That’s Christian Peter’s mantra in life.It’s also the reason why Peter was the honoree at Infinity, the first fundraising event for the Tigger House Foundation, founded by Lisa and Richard Stavola after the death of their oldest son, Richard Jr., known as Tigger, from a heroin overdose.The event, held on the beach at Edgewater Beach and Cabana Club on Oct. 9, marked the second anniversary of Tigger’s passing. It was an overwhelmingly successful event for the charity that works with law enforcement, medical, legal, and mental health professionals to help those who struggle with addiction.Peter, 43, told his own unique story at the event, raising the hopes of both young people and their families in assuring them, “there’s always help there for you. There are people who want to help you.”He was brutally honest when sharing his story. Courageous, emotional, and inspiring, Peter bared all and expressed his dedication in helping others learn about addictions.Located in Middletown, the 12-bed house provides assistance for those suffering from heroin addiction and plays a key role in the Stavolas’ mission to have a positive impact by reducing the death rate of heroin and opiate addition, which, they believe, is “an epidemic in our community.”Peter, the former leader of the Blackshirt Defense at the University of Nebraska, former New York Giant before he retired in 2007, is a positive thinker. He’s also a determined individual who was taught during his developmental years that if you really want to do something, do it all the way. That’s what got him a scholarship to the University of Nebraska after playing only one year of football at Middletown High School South. That’s what helped the Eagles gain the state title in 1990 with their undefeated record. That’s what got him into Nebraska’s Football Hall of Fame in 2006. That’s what got other professional football teams – the Patriots, Colts, and Bears – to want him on their side.But that’s also what got him into alcohol addiction and trouble with the law.In order to straighten himself out, he had to look closely at what he didn’t like about himself. He had to put ego aside and change certain aspects of his personality, of his lifestyle. He did it. But a few years after righting himself, when he thought he didn’t need any more help or medication or counseling, he slid back into some bad habits.Fortunately, he managed to retain the Peter concept of “doing it all the way” and made a commitment. He would better himself. He would get clean. He would focus. He would become the loving husband, caring father, and successful businessman he is today.Peter says what helps him the most in his everyday battle to fight alcohol addiction, is helping others. “I love supporting others. Helping someone solve their problems isn’t just a help to the individual, it’s a help to me. I become less selfish, less self-centered.”Peter is far from selfish. He doesn’t mind telling his story about the bad times he’s been through; he laments openly and sincerely about the pain he caused his parents, his brothers, his sister, his extended family. He does it all because he sees it as a way of aiding others. And that’s what Christian Peter is all about.Nor was Christian the only son who conquered his addiction. His younger brother, Jason, was a heroin addict and Peter reached out to help him as well. Their sister, Ashley, the youngest of the four Peters, reiterated this week how very proud she is of her oldest brother, “Christian will do everything and anything to ensure his past mistakes are not repeated. He’s built a connection to a younger generation of addicts and I have to think they respond to him because of his candor. He’s an open book and incredibly selfless. I couldn’t be prouder.”Brother Damian is married, has two children and lives in Fair Haven, and the entire family is close-knit and loving. Peter added he talks to his mom frequently, sees his parents as often as possible.Looking back, Peter can see now, both from his own experience and from professional and expert studies on the problems, behind so many drug or alcohol addictions there are underlying mental issues. “It all stems from something mental,” he explains with intensity. “Addicts have fears, are depressed, they don’t feel good in their own skin. Some have ADD, or are dyslexic. There’s always something mental behind it. They look to self-medicate; they think they can feel better, can like themselves more; they’re going for some kind of relief.”For himself, Peter said he masked his own dislike of himself by playing football. It made him feel good. It made him forget he had to read the same book 10 times before he could understand what he had read. It made him forget the insecurities he felt.But football wasn’t enough. Peter liked to party and learned that alcohol helped mask those same feelings that football did. And partying and drinking made him feel secure. So, in true fashion, he was doing it “all the way.”It wasn’t until he started to realize that there were more bad things with his new habits than good, that Peter started to straighten out. He credits the New York Giants with giving him a major boost up. They got him into Alcoholics Anonymous, they got him counseling and they got him the treatment he needed. But when it all worked, and Peter was doing and feeling just fine, he thought he could go it alone. Hence the relapse.Today, he knows better. He knows he has demons to fight every day. And he can fight these demons best by helping others. He had tried to help Tigger.Tigger was 12 years younger than Peter when Lisa Stavola called on the former football player for help for her son after she learned of his addiction. “Tigger was wonderful,” Peter recalls, a tinge of sadness in his voice, “he spoke from the heart. He was honest, he was decent. Like so many others, he was just trying to help himself, trying to self-medicate. It’s important to remember this: Tigger was not a bad kid trying to get good. He was a sick kid trying to get well.”Similar to how he had tried to help Lisa and Rick in dealing with their son’s illness, he’s continuing to help now, with the Tigger House Foundation. Service to others is a big part of Peter’s life. And an even bigger part of his continuing good health. “I constantly look back at my worst times and hope someone else isn’t having a similar experience. My moments of rock bottom urge me to reach out and help people. When I do, when I make a difference, my past becomes OK.”That’s how Christian Peter lives every day.See Two River People page 22 for photos from the Tigger House Foundation Infinity event. By Muriel J. Smithlast_img read more

Holmdel Writer Brings Her Story to Hollywood

first_imgBy Mary Ann BourbeauHOLMDEL – “Write what you know.”Lorene Scafaria certainly took Mark Twain’s words of advice to heart in writing her latest movie script, “The Meddler.” The former Holmdel resident crafted a heartwarming story about her relationship with her mother, Gail, and how in her grief after her husband died, Gail latched on to her daughter’s life.“He and my mom were married 40 years and they were madly in love,” Scafaria said. “They were such a beautiful couple. His loss was huge for both of us.”Scafaria was an aspiring screenwriter living in Los Angeles when her father, Joseph, an Italian immigrant who worked in the garment business, died in November 2009. Her parents also had an apartment in Los Angeles that they stayed in while visiting her. Gail felt she couldn’t stay alone in the family home anymore, so six months later, she put the house on the market and moved to California, just a mile away from her single daughter.“She started calling me a lot,” Scafaria said.Scafaria and her mother had always been close, so she was happy to have Gail nearby, but all the calling, texting and dropping in unannounced soon proved too much. Scafaria decided to use the experience as a creative outlet and within a month, she had the first draft of a movie script down on paper.“I wanted to tell this story from my mother’s perspective, how lonely she was,” Scafaria said. “The character is so tough and funny, just like my mom. It was therapeutic for us.”As a child, Scafaria was always interested in movies, writing and performing. She began writing screenplays in fifth grade. Once, on a trip to New York City, she bought the script for the movie, “A Clockwork Orange.”“I was so interested in the structure of a script and what it looked like on paper,” she said.As a teenager, she and her friends would regularly perform at the Improv Jam in Red Bank and hang out at the Broadway Diner afterward. They would also go see movies at least twice a week.“I loved hanging out in Red Bank,” she said. “Those were some of my favorite years.”After graduating from Holmdel High School in 1995, Scafaria studied English with a writing concentration and a theater minor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and later transferred to Montclair State University, where she earned her degree. She moved to New York City, answering phones at a film company while writing scripts and submitting them to agents.“When I got my first rejection letter, I hung it on the wall,” she said. “I was so excited that I heard from someone.”A few days later, that agent reconsidered and told Scafaria she should move to Los Angeles. When Scafaria arrived, she found that the agent no longer worked at the company.“I left New York thinking I had an agent in Los Angeles, and when I arrived, there was nothing,” she said.But she powered on and soon began making money off her scripts. She wrote television shows, the screenplay for the film, “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” and wrote and directed the movie, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”In addition to writing the script for “The Meddler,” Scafaria also directed the movie, which stars former Edison resident Susan Sarandon as her mother, renamed Marnie in the film. Scafaria’s character is played by Rose Byrne. While much of the story is based in reality, other aspects, including a love interest for Marnie, did not actually happen.“I added a lot of fiction,” said Scafaria. “It has more closure than exists in real life.”Scafaria said that when she approached Gail about the movie idea, her mother was on board immediately.“She got a kick out of it,” Scafaria said. “I think she loved the portrait of this character. My mother couldn’t believe Susan Sarandon was playing her. Susan was wearing my mom’s tops from Chico’s and driving her car. She said my father would have loved being married to Susan Sarandon.”Scafaria even managed to get photographs of her father, and a shot of his driver’s license, into the movie.“My father is sort of immortalized,” she said. “My mother loves it so much that she goes to see the movie at least once a day. What people don’t realize is that the real-life meddler is in the theater.”“The Meddler” had its premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival and an April red carpet premiere in Los Angeles. The movie is currently in wide release.“It’s been amazing,” Scafaria said. “It’s so exciting to make a film and share it with other people. My mother is really enjoying the feeling of it and the sense of pride in her daughter.”Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MaryAnnBourbeau.last_img read more