High benthic methane flux in low sulfate oceans: Evidence from carbon isotopes in Late Cretaceous Antarctic bivalves

first_imgThe shell material of marine benthic bivalves provides a sensitive archive of water chemistry immediately above the sediment–water interface, which in turn is affected by sedimentary geochemistry and redox reactions. Sulfate has a major controlling effect on sedimentary carbon cycling, particularly the processes of methane production and oxidation, with lower concentrations of sulfate likely resulting in an increase in sedimentary methane production. Whilst it is accepted that ocean sulfate varied markedly across the Phanerozoic, evidence of changes in methane production in sediments has so far been lacking. There is potential for the oxidation products of sedimentary methane to be preserved and detected in marine fossils. Here we present the results of high resolution carbonate isotope records from two taxa of well-preserved shallow-infaunal bivalve (Lahillia and Cucullaea) collected from the marine shelf succession across the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary in Seymour Island, Antarctica. The succession has pre-existing subtle indications of more abundant methane, and the time period is characterized by much lower marine sulfate concentrations than modern. These shell carbonate–carbon isotope records vary widely: at one extreme, shells have typical average values and small ranges compatible with a contemporaneous marine dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) source and modern-style sedimentary carbon cycling. At the other, the shells have large-amplitude annual cycles of carbon isotopic variability of up to 23.8‰ within a single year of growth and shell carbonate δ13δ13C compositions as negative as −34‰. Shells with these increased ranges and unusually negative values are found at discrete intervals and across both bivalve taxa. The contribution of methane required to explain the most negative carbonate–carbon isotopic values in the bivalve shells is extremely high (between 30 to 85% of bottom-water DIC based on mass balance calculations). Records of organic-carbon isotopes from the same succession remained between −26.1 and −21.7‰ throughout, suggesting that methane influence was restricted to bottom-waters. A lack of authigenic carbonate in the section indicates that methane oxidation progressed aerobically and may have provided a significant driver for transient bottom water de-oxygenation. Where methane addition is indicated, the seasonal sensitivity precludes control by methane hydrates. We argue that these data represent the increased importance and sensitivity of methanogenesis in the sediments, enabled by lower ocean sulfate concentrations during the Late Cretaceous. The tendency towards a more dynamic role for marine methane production and oxidation is likely to apply to other times of low marine sulfate in Earth’s history.last_img read more

Speech: Maintaining commitment to Kuwait’s security since 1899: speech by Michael Davenport

first_imgYour Excellency Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah; Your Excellency Deputy Head of the Amiri Diwan Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah; Your Excellency Minister of Information, Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammed Nasser Abdullah Al-Jabri; Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,On behalf of Her Majesty’s government I should like to express our heartfelt thanks to the government of the State of Kuwait, and to their Excellencies the Deputy PM and the Minister for Information personally, for hosting today’s event to mark the anniversary of the first treaty between our two countries, signed on this very day 120 years ago.This treaty, kept secret at the time, was enormously significant for both our countries. It was in fact, according to contemporary records, the first formal engagement ever executed between a ruler of Kuwait and the government of any country.Only days after the signing of the treaty, on 4th February 1899, the British government issued instructions to deploy naval force to prevent an attack on Kuwait. And in the 120 years since 1899 Britain has maintained a lasting commitment to Kuwait’s security.Britain’s intervention in defence of Kuwait in 1920 also marked the first ever overseas deployment of the newly formed Royal Air Force.The British commitment to Kuwait continued beyond Kuwait’s independence in 1961. In that very year Britain responded to His Highness the then Amir’s request for military support, fulfilling its enduring commitment to Kuwait by deploying armed forces amounting to half of a brigade under Operation Vantage.When your country was invaded, overrun and occupied by Iraq in August 1990 Britain under PM Margaret Thatcher played a leading role in securing a UN mandate for an international coalition to be formed for the liberation of Kuwait.Britain was proud to be a member of that international coalition. And we are proud to this day of our armed forces who served bravely alongside coalition and Kuwaiti friends and succeeded in restoring Kuwait’s sovereignty and independence. I am especially pleased that Lt Gen Sir John Lorimer, Defence Senior Adviser to the ME, is with us today in recognition of our continuing commitment to Kuwait.Our two countries have changed radically since 1899. That was the year in which the first motor bus hit the streets of London. Britain moved closer to the Continent when the first radio signal was transmitted across the English Channel. Kuwait’s economy was of course dependent on trade, especially with India, and pearl diving. Some things do not change, however. Especially generous Kuwaiti hospitality. Stuart Knox was the first Political Agent to be appointed to Kuwait after the 1899 treaty. What he reported back sounds very familiar – “My private reception”, he wrote, “has been most kind and cordial. The Sheikh has set aside large rooms for me and my servants. He insists on feeding me – and my servants – while I am staying with him…. The feeding is distinctly good !”Kuwaiti-British relations stretch back, of course, way beyond 1899, well into the 18th century. When the British East India Company ran into difficulty with the Ottomans in Basra it should come as no surprise that Kuwait, with its openness to trade and its excellent natural harbour, should have offered an attractive refuge.But the 1899 treaty ushered in a period of extraordinary expansion in the relations between our two countries and peoples. Throughout the 20th century and right up to this day.Our leaders sealed these relations through historic visits: notably Viceroy of India Lord Curzon in 1903, shortly before the political agency was established; HH Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who visited London just after the First World War; and in more recent times the state visits by HM Queen Elizabeth II and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.In recent decades Britain has become a home from home for many Kuwaitis. Many Kuwaitis I meet seem to know London much better than I do! Kuwaitis invest in properties all over the United Kingdom not just in London, and there are now more Kuwaitis studying at British universities than ever before. Indeed more Kuwaitis are now travelling to Britain than ever before.In 1952, Britain was poised for an extended period of economic growth. But with rationing and shortages still in place after the Second World War, that seemed far from obvious. So Kuwait’s decision in that year to establish the Kuwait Investment Office in smog-bound London, was a resounding vote of confidence in the United Kingdom as a sound place to invest.The KIO was the first such office of any Sovereign Wealth Fund, later managing Kuwait’s investments right across Europe. And Kuwait’s investments in the UK, from both the KIO and the private sector, have continued to grow exponentially since then. We warmly welcome and encourage further such investment because it is both responsible and for the long term.A key outcome of the State Visit to Britain by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah in 2012 was the establishment of a new framework for our bilateral relations in the form of the Joint Steering Group, as part of my Government’s new Gulf Strategy.This Joint Steering Group – or JSG – is helping us to deepen our co-operation in those areas where we are already working together – and to broaden our co-operation in pastures new.The JSG has helped us to deepen our defence and security co-operation. In the year ahead our armed forces will be exercising and training together more than ever before. We are close allies in the international Counter-Daesh Coalition.At a government to government level we are working together in highly sensitive areas, for example to safeguard passengers flying out of our airports and to protect the integrity of our data and communications against cyber attacks.Last week’s visit by the Lord Mayor of the City of London highlighted new opportunities in trade and investment – in both directions – including in support of His Highness the Amir’s exciting new plans for Hareer Territory, in pursuit of Kuwait’s Vision 2035.We are sorry not to have HE the Minister for Education & Higher Education with us today, but I am happy that this is because he is attending the Education World Forum in London, where he is also holding consultations on co-operation in the area of curriculum reform.And in the cultural sphere the 120th anniversary has helped to stimulate fresh co-operation in music and the arts between the British Council and the National Council for Arts and Literature. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be making its first ever visit to Kuwait in April to perform at the remarkable Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre. Britain and Kuwait enjoy distinguished and exceptionally special relations. Many of us are witness to this every day. Our duty and our challenge will be to ensure that our relations endure to keep pace with regional and global developments, and that they are fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.We are well placed together to fulfil this duty and to meet such a challenge side by side. Not only do we have a strong bond of friendship. This is matched by a close and rare identity of interests and values, which helps to strengthen our co-operation in many fields. Whether in the UN Security Council, where we are delighted to be working with our Kuwaiti colleagues. Or tackling global environmental challenges, such as the menace of marine pollution. Or working together to bring security and stability to this precious but troubled region.So I feel confident in wishing our two countries not only a happy anniversary, but also a further 120 years of partnership and friendship, well into the next century!last_img read more

End of an era for Burton’s Biscuits

first_imgPlanning permission is set to be granted for almost 300 new homes to be built on the former Burton’s biscuit factory site in Moreton, Wirral.Wirral Council’s planning committee has the item top of its agenda for its meeting on 15 September, with a recommendation to approve the application.This comes despite a representation on behalf of Premier Foods, which owns the nearby Manor Bakeries site, that the residential development could have a detrimental impact upon the operational efficiency of its business and that the submitted noise assessment does not adequately consider the potential impacts.Burton’s Biscuit Company controversially cut 219 jobs its Moreton site in 2011, moving production to other sites, bringing more than 60 years of biscuit manufacture there to an end.It now says that it wants to redevelop the vacant factory buildings and land as it has been unable to sell them for industrial use.  Its website says: “Since 2013 we have undertaken an extensive, but unsuccessful marketing campaign of the site for employment uses.”Similar housing plans were rejected by the local authority two years ago as the council then said it wanted the land to remain available for employment use.last_img read more

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, & More Close Out Sunshine Music Fest With Friends & Family [Audio/Videos]

first_imgSetlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | Sunshine Music Festival | Boca Raton, FL | 1/15/17Set: Anyhow, Don’t Know What > Keep On Growing, Within You Without You > Just As Strange, Crying Over You, Let’s Go Get Stoned, Feelin’ Alright*, Leavin’ Trunk^, Volunteered Slavery^, I Wish I Knew, I Pity The Fool, I Want More > Soul SacrificeEncore: A Song For You, Space Captain%, With A Little Help From My Friends* = w/ Dave Mason^ = w/ Luther Dickinson% = w/ Oteil BurbridgeEarlier on the same stage, drummer Joe Russo, keyboardist Marco Benevento, guitarist Tom Hamilton, bassist Dave Dreiwitz, and guitarist Scott Metzger also impressed with their Day-RAD set, jamming heavily from one Grateful Dead song to the next. They were the perfect pick-me-up on a warm winter’s day under the hot Florida sun, charging through the anthemic “I Know You Rider”, “Sugar Magnolia,” “Sunshine Daydream,” “Fire On The Mountain,” and more. The amazing Alecia Chakour joined for “The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion)” before she took the stage later in the evening with TTB.Thanks to CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, you can enjoy Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s full show in the audio link below, as well as a few choice videos: Trucks, Tedeschi, and company were again left alone to close out a strong set with Santana‘s Latin-driven “Soul Sacrifice.” When the band returned to the stage, Susan dedicated the entire encore to their fallen friend Leon Russell. It was touching to see the vocalist sing “A Song For You” with pianist Kofi Burbridge, before his brother Oteil Burbridge joined the stage for a surprising “Space Captain.” The band was once again left alone to finish out on a strong note with Joe Cocker‘s “With A Little Help From My Friends.” See below for a video of Burbridge’s fantastic sit-in.You can enjoy Tedeschi Trucks Band’s full show in the audio link below, courtesy of CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS: Setlist: Railroad Earth | Sunshine Music Festival | Boca Raton, FL | 1/15/17:Set: Long Way To Go, Black Elk Speaks, Bird In A House, Stillwater Getaway, Day on the Sand, Dandelion Wine, Like A Buddha, Grandfather MountainWith brothers Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson, and bassist Danielle Nicole, the North Mississippi Allstars broke into the Main Stage for an early afternoon traditional throwdown. Powering through songs like “Shake What Your Mama Gave You”, “Spoonful” into “Mojo Working” and “Drinking Muddy Water”, featuring Luther on the homemade tin can guitar, NMA’s set was the perfect way to start the day: with dancing, singing, and plenty of jams. Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Sunshine Music Festival | Boca Raton, FL | 1/15/17:Feel Like A Stranger (SM) ->China Cat Sunflower (TH) ->I Know You Rider (All) ->Jam @ ->Jack Straw (SM & TH) ->Jam ->St. Stephen (TH) >Sugar Magnolia/SSDD (SM) >Fire On the Mountain # (TH)The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion) (AC)Samson & Delilah (SM)AC is Alecia Chakour (TTB) on Lead [email protected] – With Thrownin’ Stones Teases (MB, then Band)# – With a Unknown Tease (MB)Esteemed pianist and songwriter Bruce Hornsby, along with his band The Noisemakers, continue to endear themselves to fans everywhere with a soulful blend of Americana rock and roll. A splendid mix of originals and covers, Hornsby’s soulful music was only accentuated by the beautiful setting of the sun set, after Almost Dead and before Tedeschi Trucks Band. From a lengthy “Fortunate Son” > “Comfortably Numb” > “Fortunate Son” to a “Hoorah Hooray” with Hornsby on mountain dulcimer, the evening music was well-played in the grassy field and under the starry night. The fourth installment of Sunshine Music Festival was another great success, but it’s not the end of the road for Tedeschi Trucks Band. They head on to play the Orpheum Theatre tomorrow night in Memphis, before spending three nights at the Chicago Theatre, and continuing on their way. North Mississippi Allstars will stick with them for a number of shows, with Jack Pearson, Jorma Kaukonen, and more jumping in from time to time before TTB heads out on their European tour. Check the full tour schedule here.[Photo courtesy of Tim Kohan] In the late afternoon, singer/songwriter Dave Mason played through original tunes written for the band Traffic, including “Rock N Roll Stew”, “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, and “Low Spark”, along with his solo “We Just Disagree”, closing out with a soul-stirring “All Along the Watchtower” Jimi Hendrix cover. Mason made it over to the main stage to close out the night with TTB singing another original, “Feelin’ Alright” spreading the feel-good vibes throughout.Railroad Earth held down the second stage for the daytime slot, churning out their positive and jubilant brand of jammy bluegrass and keeping spirits high. With an envious setlist that heavily favored older tunes, their set strung together crowdpleaser after crowdpleaser, including “Long Way To Go,” “Black Elk Speaks,” “Bird In A House,” “Dandelion Wine,” “Like A Buddha,” and “Grandfather Mountain.”Thanks to Spyder9, you can enjoy Railroad Earth’s full show in the audio link below: The fourth installment of Sunshine Music Festival was a smashing success, bringing eight bands to two stages, from St. Petersburg to Boca Raton, Florida. The Tedeschi Trucks Band-hosted event is now an annual tradition of family and friends in their home state. This year’s roster held up some incredible acts, including Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Mavis Staples, Dave Mason, Railroad Earth, North Mississippi Allstars, and Greyhounds. From beginning to end, the music was perfect. In the beautiful 70-degree Sunday weather of Boca Raton, FL, it was worth getting there first thing to see the music take shape from early afternoon until the starry night took over. See below for some words, audio, video, and setlists from some of our favorite sets.Tedeschi Trucks Band was an obvious highlight, as the twelve piece big band closed the night with a full 2 hour set of rock, soul, and funk-driven originals and covers to keep the crowd going through the night. The first portion of their set was mostly powered by their 2016 release Let Me Get By, giving songs like “Anyhow”, “Don’t Know What It Means”, “Just As Strange” and “Crying Over You” a life of their own before the covers exploded in undeniable force. Thanks to CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, you can watch “Keep On Growing” in the video below:The band’s first guest of the night was Dave Mason, who sang his own original “Feelin’ Alright”, before Luther Dickinson joined the stage for a “Leavin’ Trunk” > “Volunteer Slavery” extended jam. Both sit-ins can be enjoyed in the videos below:last_img read more

Listen To Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Debut Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” In 2015

first_imgLast week, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead released a soundboard recording of the group’s performance at The Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 25th, 2015 for their weekly Taper Tuesday series. The release was dubbed “The Wayback Machine Edition,” as the group’s 4/25/2015 performance marked the 25th performance by the Grateful Dead-inspired band. This week, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead continues this throwback trend with a second “Wayback Machine Edition” of Taper Tuesday, this time with the release of the soundboard of the group’s 22nd show—a performance on April 22nd, 2015, at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Releases Throwback Audio From 4/25/2015 St. Louis ShowFor their April 2015 show in Minneapolis, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead was certainly in proper form, opening with the prelude and part one of the “Weather Report Suite” and later closing out the first set with a thirty-minute long “Terrapin Suite.” Though the group uses the music of the Grateful Dead as a springboard for their innovative and energized jams, the band has developed a rabid group of fans because of their ability to shy away from convention and make each performance truly their own. For the 1st Avenue show, rather than going into a traditional “China Cat Sunflower” / “I Know You Rider” combo that the Grateful Dead leaned heavily on, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead made a detour through an eleven-and-a-half rendition of “The Eleven” before moving from “China Cat” into “Rider.” Notably, the 4/22/2015 show also saw the band debut their cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” a cover that has only been played once since at Brooklyn Bowl this past year on March 10th.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Announces Two Thanksgiving Philly DatesYou can take a listen to Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s performance on April 22nd, 2015, at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota below, plus take a look at the setlist from the night, courtesy of Peter Costello.[Photo: Sam Shinault] Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | 1st Avenue | Minneapolis, MN | 4/22/2015Set One: Weather Report Suite Prelude (Instr) > Weather Report Suite Part One (Instr) > Let it Grow (SM), Help On The Way (TH) > Slipknot! > Moby Dick* >Terrapin Suite + (TH)Set Two: Playing In The Band + (SM) > Ramble On Rose # (TH) >Truckin & (SM) -> China Cat (TH) -> The Eleven + (TH/JR) -> I Know You Rider (All)Encore: Viola Lee Blues $$ (ALL)Notes: * Led Zeppelin Cover, First Time Played | + With “Let It Grow” teases (TH) | # With “Mephisto” (Benevento Russo Duo) Teases (MB) | & With “The Eleven” teases (TH) & “New Speedway Boogie” Teases (MB) | $$ With “China Cat” & “The Eleven” teases (TH) & a “Feel Like A Stranger” Jamlast_img read more

Jack White Announces Intimate Album Release Shows In NYC, LA, & London

first_imgBoarding House Reach will see Jack White expanding his musical palate with perhaps his most ambitious work thus far, a collection of songs that are simultaneously timeless and modern. Written and conceived while holed up in a spartan apartment with no outside distractions, White replicated the identical environment and used the same gear as when he was a 15-year-old (a quarter-inch four-track tape recorder, a simple mixer, and the most basic of instrumentation) to pen sketches of the album’s songs.The album explores a remarkable range of sonic terrain–crunching rock ‘n’ roll, electro and hard funk, proto-punk, hip-hop, gospel blues, and even country–all remapped and born anew to fit White’s matchless vision and sense of restless experimentation. Boarding House Reach is a testament to the breadth of Jack White’s creative power and his bold artistic ambition, and features a cast of familiar musicians: drummer Louis Cato (Beyoncé/Q-Tip/John Legend), keyboardist Neal Evans (Soulive/Talib Kweli/John Scofield), bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl (The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger), percussionist Bobby Allende (David Byrne), and backing vocalists Regina and Ann McCrary of the gospel trio The McCrary Sisters. For more information on Jack White and his upcoming tour, head to his website. Jack White is gearing up for the official release of Boarding House Reach, due out March 23 via Third Man/Columbia. With a lengthy tour kicking off in April including stops at Shaky Knees Festival, Boston Calling, Governor’s Ball, Arroyo Seco Weekend, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a New York City date beyond Governor’s Ball was mysteriously left off the schedule. Today, the festival affectionately known as “Gov Ball” announced that Jack White will be celebrating his album release party in Brooklyn, at Greenpoint’s 1,000-cap venue Warsaw on Friday, March 23. Additionally, White added two more intimate performances in Los Angeles and London to celebrate the album release.These will be the first shows featuring new songs from Boarding House Reach, outside of two “Live First Listen” previews held at White’s own Third Man Records in Nashville this week, and will feature White’s new touring outfit: Carla Azar (Autolux, Depeche Mode, Doyle Bramhall II) on drums, Quincy McCrary (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pitbull) and Neal Evans (Lettuce/Soulive) on keys, and Dominic Davis on bass guitar. Show times, ticket availabilities, and pre-sales vary from event to event, but each present a rare opportunity for audiences to be among the first to acquaint themselves with White’s new material from Boarding House Reach as well as reimagined songs from his catalog.Details for each of the three shows below:Tuesday, March 20th, 7:00pm PDT / The Mayan in Los Angeles, CA: A special pre-sale for Third Man Records Vault members will take place tomorrow (Friday, March 16th) from 9am-12pm PDT. Eligible Vault members who live in the vicinity of the Los Angeles will be emailed a unique code shortly following this announcement. The general on-sale begins immediately following the pre-sale at 12pm PDT. Tickets are will call only, non-transferable, and non-refundable.Alongside this performance, Beats by Dre will host additional extra fan experiences, including a listening station where fans can hear BOARDING HOUSE REACH in advance of its official release on Beats Solo3 Wireless – Third Man Records Limited Edition Headphones. Tickets & InformationFriday, March 23rd, 8:30pm EDT / Warsaw in Brooklyn, NY: A special pre-sale for Third Man Records Vault members as well as Governor’s Ball ticket holders will take place from Monday, March 19th at 10am EDT, lasting until Tuesday, March 20th at 10pm EDT. Eligible Vault members in the New York City vicinity and Governor’s Ball ticket holders will be e-mailed unique codes following this announcement. The general on-sale begins on Wednesday, March 21st at 10am EDT. Non-refundable, non-transferable tickets will be emailed to purchasers at 12pm EDT on the day of the performance. Tickets & InformationWednesday, March 28th, 8:00pm GMT/ The Garage in London, U.K.: A special pre-sale for Third Man Records Vault members will take place tomorrow (Friday, March 16th) from 9am-12pm GMT. Eligible Vault members who live in the greater London area will be emailed a unique code shortly following this announcement. The general on-sale begins immediately following the pre-sale at 12pm GMT. Tickets are will call only, non-transferable, and non-refundable. Tickets & Informationlast_img read more

Long-detained immigrant families could soon face deportation

first_imgHOUSTON (AP) — Lawyers working with immigrant families detained by the U.S. government for more than a year say they’re worried the families could be deported as soon as this week. Six parents and six children could be placed on deportation flights as early as Wednesday, even though they continue to fight to win asylum, the lawyers said. The families say they were unfairly denied protections under several policies enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration that courts later prohibited.last_img

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont Joins National Workplace Fitness Effort

first_imgBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Joins National Workplace Fitness Effort.Employees Will Join Thousands of Americans forNational Walk @ Lunch DaySM on April 18, 2007Berlin, Vermont – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and its 350+ employees will join Blue plans across the country in hosting the first annual National Walk @ Lunch DaySM on April 18, 2007. Walk @ Lunch Day is a workplace walking program, which encourages people to take time during their lunch breaks to start walking toward better health and is nationally sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will hold special events in Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland; BCBSVT representatives expect thousands of Vermonters to participate. In addition to the more than 350 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont employees, for example, employees from the following BCBSVT groups will also participate:”The Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI), Vermont’s teachers and other school employees”Rutland Regional Medical Center”City of BurlingtonThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, every year. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week, has significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints. [Source: Physical Activity and Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, 1996]The National Walk @ Lunch Day event will take place at workplaces throughout Vermont and across the country. Most American’s schedules are built around their workdays, so National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into, not compete with, the average daily routine. Many employers are supporting National Walk @ Lunch Day by encouraging their workforces to participate.”National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to educate millions of consumers about how their daily decisions can have an impact on their health and well-being. It also creates an opportunity for employers to engage their employees in physical activity that promotes a healthier workplace environment,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “Better informed and more physically active consumers also can mean fewer serious health problems down the road which helps better control the rising cost of health care in our nation.”Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont joins companies and employees nationwide hosting lunchtime walks. Employers recognize the health benefits of incorporating walking into employee’s daily activities.”We want to encourage all Vermont employers, whether they’re our customers or not, to participate in this first [email protected](link sends e-mail) Day,” said William Milnes, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “That’s why we’re holding several special events this year, in Burlington, Rutland and Montpelier. We will also have some modest incentives available for employers in all areas of the state to use in encouraging their employees to take this fun and important step toward better fitness.Employers who want information about special programs related to [email protected](link sends e-mail) Day here in Vermont should contact the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont sales and service staff at 800.255.4550 or visit the organization’s web site at www.bcbsvt.com/walkatlunch(link is external).Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its full-service field office in Williston, and has offered group and individual health plans to Vermonters for more than 60 years.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.last_img read more

Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

first_imgCheers and Jeers for Tuesday, November 10, 2020Note: Hey, everybody! All of a sudden the postal service seems to be working fine again. It’s an early Festivus miracle!!!–- Advertisement – –“Vice President Harris’s emergency task force has reunited the last immigrant children separated from their parents by the previous administration, sources say…”“NATO alliance, with U.S. back on board, more unified than ever…”“Okay everybody, gather around. Say hi to Stephen Miller. He’s gonna be our new fry vat guy…”“President Biden’s cabinet picks have been hailed as smart, shrewd, and diverse…””In a manner she had feared for years, Betsy DeVos died today from an acute case of getting eaten by a grizzly bear…”“For the first time in four years, polling shows that Americans feel like the country is on the right track again…”“After less than 24 hours on the job, House Republicans called for President Biden’s impeachment today, and were literally laughed out of the chamber…”“Fossil fuel industry in full retreat as Biden White House announces massive green energy push…”And…“Donald Trump’s mug shot was retweeted over 50 million times in less than an hour after its release by New York prosecutors this morning, but not by his own Twitter account, which had been permanently deleted just days earlier…” – Advertisement – By the Numbers:Bideninauguration.jpg71 days!!!Days ’til inauguration day: 71Official time that the AP called the race for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Saturday: 11:28 amNumber of the top 5 states for boat ownership that Trump lost (CA, MI, MN and WI): 4Years, as of Mark Kelly’s Nov. 30 swearing-in, since both of Arizona’s U.S. Senate seats were held by Democrats: 67Minimum number of stars in the Milky Way, according to NASA estimates, 4 billion of which are sun-like: 100 billionPotential number of habitable earths in our galaxy if only 7% of those stars have habitable planets: 300 millionYear the word “Vacationland” first appeared on Maine license plates: 1936–Puppy Pic of the Day: History…–CHEERS to calling it. Look, people, I know you come to Cheers and Jeers for the slapdash, joke-a-minute nuttiness that has become the hallmark of America‘s favorite blogging institution. But I rarely get the chance to herald the arrival a new, duly-elected Democratic President of the United  States to my millions of readers, and I believe this moment is one that deserves to be noted with all the stone-cold gravitas I can muster. With that in mind, I wish to make the following announcement:Former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden was officially declared the winner of the 2020 election Saturday morning, and will become our 46th President at noon on January 20th, 2021. It’s a proud moment in American history that will long be remembered as a deadly blow to the rise of fascism and religious fanaticism in the United States.Presidentialplate.pngOn January 20th, President Biden will officially take his place behind the resolute Desk and on this collectible plate.In addition, Senator Kamala Harris of California becomes the first woman, the first Black, and the first South Asian vice president, shattering a significant glass ceiling into a million pieces for the first time since John Adams grudgingly took the office in 1789.Together, President Biden and Vice President Harris will face enormous obstacles, including the Covid-19 pandemic and a Republican party still drunk on power and dedicated to the proposition that only all card-carrying GOP white men are created equal. But, together with the Democratic-led House, and possibly a Democratic-led Senate if the Georgia runoff elections swing our way, our nation can begin to recover and heal from the gravest internal wounds since the Civil War. Oops, I farted.Perfect. Seal it in amber.CHEERS to more winning. Yes, there was more on America’s mind a week ago than just the White House, so let’s dig into some of the candidates and ballot measures that deserve applause. And since I’m a world-renowned daredevil who accomplishes amazing feats of skill, I’ll do this in a 30 SECOND LIGHTNING ROUND…GO! U.S. Senate: Astronaut from Arizona YES! Geologist and beer brewer from Colorado YES!  Twin runoffs in Georgia that could deliver Senate control to Democrats YES! Multiple exciting prospects to fill VP-elect Kamala’s seat YES!Retired astronaut Mark Kelly amd former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords share their moving story and inspiration for summoning courage in tough times AMGA Conference, Phoenix, USA - 10 Mar 2018.For the first time in 21 years, the Senate will have an astronaut among its ranks. Somewhere in the hereafter, John Glenn is whispering, “Godspeed, Mark Kelly.”Marijuana legalization: Montana YES!  South Dakota YES! Mississippi YES! Arizona YES! New Jersey YES!School funding: Tax increase in Arizona for schools YES!Michigan State Supreme Court: Now dominated by liberals YES!LGBTQ caucus: House LGBTQ Caucus grows to 9 members YES! America‘s first trans state Senate members YES! At least 117 openly-LGBTQ candidates across the country win their races YES!Constitutional amendment in Nevada: Same-sex marriages are just as equal as opposite-sex marriages YES!Minimum wage increases: Florida YES!  Portland, Maine YES!Ding!  29.999 seconds. I know I make it look easy. But don’t try this at home, kids.–BRIEF SANITY BREAK––END BRIEF SANITY BREAK–JEERS to keeping track of America’s fugliest numbers. The mighty Covid-19 Wurlitzer plays on with 51 million cases worldwide—the usual 20 percent of them in the U.S, including unnecessary daily records being set nationwide and a new breakout at the White House led by Trump’s own chief of staff and Ben Carson the brain surgeon. Our weekly tradition of maintaining a benchmark of the awfulness for the C&J historical record continues, so let’s check the most depressing tote board in the world as our death toll now surpasses the population of America’s 91st-largest city Chesapeake, Virginia: 6 months ago: 1.4 million confirmed cases. 81,000 deaths.3 months ago: 5.2 million confirmed cases. 165,000 deathsHey, Mom and Dad! Guess what Junior’s bringing home for the holidays?–1 month ago: 8 million confirmed cases. 219,000 deathsThis morning: 10.3 million confirmed cases. 245,000 deathsBut there’s hope on the horizon: a vaccine looks promising, for one thing. For another, we now have a president-elect who plans to take the pandemic seriously. Joe Biden is already assembling his coronavirus task force, co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, and former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler. In other words, he’ll be injecting science into America’s veins again. In the immortal words of a lame-duck president: “It’s like a cleaning.”P.S. In other health news, the fate of the Affordable Care Act goes before the Supreme Court (again) today. In a nutshell, there need to be enough reasons for a majority of justices to keep the law in place. I’m no fancy lawyer, but off the top of my head I can think of 23 million.CHEERS to knockin’ that sucker down. Thirty-one years ago this week, the world witnessed a surreal scene: Berliners hacking away with pickaxes and hammers at, and dancing atop, the wall that had divided their city for decades—a mind-blowing moment that briefly galvanized the planet in celebration.  And what sparked it wasn’t the pope or the U.N. or even ex-president Saint Ronald Reagan—it was this awkwardly-delivered comment by Politburo member Guenter Schabowski a day earlier:“Therefore…um…we have decided today…um…to implement a regulation that allows every citizen of the German Democratic Republic…um…to…um…leave East Germany through any of the border crossings,” said Schabowski.BERLIN-WALL-1989.jpgI’d suggest we do this to Trump’s Mexican wall, but he never built the damn thing.He appeared scarcely to believe his own words and we were all dumbfounded.  What did he just say?  Schabowski was asked when the new rule would take effect. “That comes into effect…according to my information…. immediately, without delay,” Schabowski stammered, shuffling through the papers spread in front of him as he sought in vain for more information.I still link to this must-see Boston Globe photo diary, which documents the jubilation and its aftermath. I had the chance to visit Berlin a couple times in the 70s when I was kid.  I had a middle-school knowledge of the post-war history of Berlin, but nothing could prepare me for the contrast I saw in person: vibrant and colorful on the western side…oppressive, gray, boarded-up and barb-wired on the eastern side.  In some ways it reminds me of what this country has become: reality-based, education-oriented and live-and-let-live on the left…authoritarian, trigger-happy, reality-averse and homogenous on the right. But my main point is: Happy reunification anniversary, Germany—let’s all drink beer.–Ten years ago in C&J: November 10, 2010CHEERS to the F-word, properly applied.  Every once in a blue moon, a “novelty” (for lack of a better word) web site launches, shines brightly, and then gets lost in the ether.  So, before I forget—and I will—I’m posting this one for posterity and the proverbial “future reference.”  Behold…What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far?  Quite a bit, as it turns out.  And, maddeningly, not enough.  Which is why I always open the C&J bar early.–And just one more…CHEERS to the software revolution.  On November 10, 1983, back when I was still banging out term papers on my REALLY LOUD Smith Corona electric typewriter, Microsoft introduced Version 1.0 of its Windows operating system. It wouldn’t actually be released until 1985, but the spark was…um…sparked.  Wanna see something hilarious?  Here’s over-caffeinated former CEO Steve Ballmer selling Windows 1.0 (the last line is priceless):–To mark the occasion, today the C&J cafeteria will be dishing out our famous Fatal Error Casserole served at exactly 404 degrees.Have a tolerable Tuesday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?–Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial“Oh my goodness! Cheers and Jeers! Woooooooooow!”—Rudy Giuliani– Kent Brockman’s lips to God’s ear.And now, our feature presentation…–- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Apprenticeships: Matching Employer Needs with Jobs that Pay

first_img By: Sarah Galbally, Secretary of Policy and Planning March 30, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy,  Education,  Jobs That Pay,  The Blog,  Workforce Development As Pennsylvania’s workforce ages, many business owners – manufacturers and construction companies among them – are lamenting a burgeoning skills gap. There are simply not enough workers trained and ready to fill skilled trade jobs as older workers retire.Historically, apprenticeship programs have attracted workers not interested in post-high school education and many apprentices enter the skilled trades because their fathers and grandfathers were tradesmen.But, over the past few decades, high school students have been pushed toward college-prep and away from vocational technical training as a viable career path, which further increased a need for skilled workers, such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers – occupations still very much in demand.As Pennsylvania, with its diverse economy grows, both industry and workers of all ages need to see the benefits of apprenticeships that lead to good-paying jobs and a stable career path. Confronted with a jobs gap that exists between the type of jobs people want or understand and the type of jobs that are available, career opportunities exist in manufacturing that have morphed from dark, dirty and dangerous, into bright, clean, and modern, in part, from technological advancements and the workforce’s response to industry demand. From carpentry to mechatronics, apprenticeships can lead the way to jobs that pay.Governor Wolf sees the need for aligning workforce programs, including apprenticeships, with the needs of employers. He’s listened to the cry of the skills gap and is including a new apprenticeship grant program in his 2017-18 budget.The grant program – both for those leaving the K-12 education system and those transitioning into a new industry sector (think high-tech) – can receive training aligned to business workforce needs, so workers are not training just to train, but have a job, a career path established.Governor Wolf’s apprenticeship grant initiative will be funded with revenue recovered by the Department of Community and Economic Development from companies that fail to live up to previous commitments made when they received state assistance.Businesses can seek grant funding of up to $2,000 for each apprentice employed pursuant to an apprenticeship agreement registered through the Pennsylvania Office of Apprenticeship and Training – an office recently established by Governor Wolf to explore non-traditional apprenticeship opportunities in high-priority industries such as health care and education.One such program is the first of its kind in the county. The Pennsylvania Apprenticeship & Training Council recently approved an apprenticeship program for entry-level early childhood education teachers working towards their associate’s degree.The program, sponsored by Philadelphia’s District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, establishes a pipeline for low-wage education workers to achieve an associate’s degree from the Community College of Philadelphia while continuing to work full-time. Apprentices will also receive four wage increases during the two-year program, with raises tied to academic and professional progress.These smart initiatives are helping to swing the apprenticeship pendulum in the right direction – toward helping both workers and employers achieve lasting success.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Apprenticeships: Matching Employer Needs with Jobs that Paylast_img read more